Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mile 101 - Fifth day - Back of the pack

Once again the night was full of events, mushers prefer to run their dogs by night since it's usually cooler. The action started around midnight when Ed Hopkins showed up. We had to wake up Georganne and the people in charge of the dog yard (Lucas who leads the teams to their parking spot and Piia who checks the teams in), plus the race officials like judge Bob and vets. And since it is pretty hard to know exactly the time that mushers need to cover the distance between Eagle summit and Mile 101, we spend the first part of the night awake.

Further the race goes on, things get a bit less serious, mushers take the race a bit less seriously and are usually full of funny anecdote. 

David Dalton came in 40 minutes after Ed. Julien spend some time talking with Ed Hopkins and Michelle Phillips while Piia was resting. One of the hardest tasks during the night is to respect the wake up call that the mushers ask. That night Ed asked to be woken up at 3:00 and David at 4:30. So we didn't get much sleep. In order to provide food and warm coffee for the mushers the cook crew has to be woken up 30 minutes before a musher comes in or wakes up, you better not oversleep when you are in charge of that!

Julien went for a nap between 05:00 and 07:00 but ended up chatting with David and do some chores (filling the generator, keeping the musher cabin warm, making sure there is hot water). He finally got some sleep while Piia replaced him at the communication desk to watch the times of the next mushers coming in : Crispin Studer, followed closely by Denis Tremblay around 8 am. Both of them took a pretty long rest which lasted all the morning, a perfect opportunity for Julien and Piia to take some pictures and send them to the Yukon Quest Facebook page. We rested one hour on a couch but didn't really feel like sleeping. Outside the air was cold and the sun was shining, and the surroundings of our checkpoint showed us how beautiful it could be.

Both Denis and Crispin left around 2pm, by the meantime Cody Strathe and Darren Lee came in. With so beautiful weather we tried to shoot as much pictures as we could so this time of the day was super busy between the update to the Headquarters and the pictures sorting and sending on the Facebook page. We got to see beautiful landscape and amazing dogs pulling and barking while being checked in, a lot of them were waging their tails, rare fact after an exhausting run like Eagle summit.

Brian Wilmshurst came in around 5pm, at this time Cody and Darren were already thinking about leaving. They left around around 7pm followed by Brian who apparently wanted to feel once again the excitement of racing.

The checkpoint was empty, we enjoyed a long dinner, talking with vets, handlers and visitors, then we went back in our com shack to follow Rob Cooke's climb. Then Rob shows up with his good looking Siberian dogs, too bad it was dark and we couldn't take better pictures!

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