Monday, February 11, 2013

Mile 101 - Fourth day - Action!

The action started at night when Scott Smith, who checked in at 10 pm, checked out at 2 am. Luckily we got sleep before and after that, so in the morning we were good to go. We had five mushers coming in the checkpoint: Markus Ingebretsen and Normand Casavant came in the morning, followed by Abbie West (from Two Rovers) before noon. Susan Rogan came at 5, had a short stop and continued her way. And before 6 we had Dan Kaduce coming in. 

 Markus Engebretsen working with his dogs

 Abbie West on the right

 On the right our vet team today

The day was filled again with excitement of seeing new teams and mushers, hearing their stories, taking pictures and publishing them, and eating eggs and bacon, salmon soup and many many cookies. We learned that when Julien said the teams were "just around the corner" it could mean the 40, or the 20, or the 10 minute corner, so many times we were standing at the check in line, staring at the trail, waiting for some movement to show.

The day here is going so fast, we barely sleep but there is so much to do, Julien's job is to let basically everyone know when arrive the mushers (for the cook to plan the food, for the handler, the vets, the race officials and whoever need it). Piia's job is to be ready whatever what happen to check in or check out the mushers. When the musher pass the summit Julien let the people in charge of the dog yard and the check in in order to let them some time to get ready. We usually go to the checkpoint entrance 10 to 20 minutes ahead to be sure. Piia make sure with Travis or Lucas that we have a spot to park them, someone in charge to lead the team and someone to bring snow and drop bags. Julien is trying to make people believe that the musher are just around the corner and prepare himself for the media part of his day. When the musher arrives, Piia checks him/her in with the date, the time and make sure that they have everything they have to carry while Julien is taking pictures. Then Julien run to the cabin to transmit the data to the headquarters and to the different facebook pages, then he sort the pictures and publish them. After checking in Piia take the other camera and try to get some better view of the musher while they take care of their dogs.

We had handlers coming in, who were nervous about their mushers and teams, who didn't breathe for 15 critical minutes while the teams were climbing the Eagle summit while we followed them from computers,
and whose relief was read in their face when we saw that teams had reached the summit and were now coming down and soon arrived at the checkpoint.

Piia's favorite moment of the day
"I will go to the end of the world with you!"

The best moment Piia had today was when she was watching Abbie West talking to her leaders, saying that they just did the Eagle summit, which means they can do something that most dogs the whole world can't do. The capture from this moment was indescribable.

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