Checking in from Glennallen.
This afternoon we dropped all our drop bags to the enthusiastic volunteers ready for them to be taken to the checkpoints to await the mushers.
Our mushers had to check in at Head Quarters and turn in their veterinary paperwork including copies of rabies certificates and proof of current vaccinations for all the dogs. The dogs then got their turn with a veterinary check from the fantastic team of volunteer vets. Everyone got the a-okay to start tomorrow.
Later on the Prince William Sound Community College hosted a Musher Welcome and Meet the Musher event for the public. Aliy and Allen gave a short talk to the children present (and many adults) about dog mushing and introduced them to Junior and Kodiak. They behaved beautifully! Kodiak and Junior were great also.
We all then attended a Handlers’ Meeting and Mushers’ Meeting where we learned about the checkpoint layouts, where to park the dog trucks and the trail. The trail team led by Jamey Kemp has done an incredible job under trying environmental conditions this year to put in 300 miles of trail. The trail report at this stage is that the area has lots of dry but non-compactable snow with minimal “overflow”. The weather forecast is significantly warmer than we were expecting earlier in the week with above freezing temperatures expected (which may change the “overflow” situation).
The end of the evening was what we had been waiting for, the drawing of the bibs. In such a highly competitive 300 mile race a low bib number is extremely desirable and Allen was very happy to draw #6! Aliy has bib #31 and Chris #37. This means Allen and the Black Team will head out of the start chute at 10.10am, Aliy and the Red Team at 11.00am and Chris and his R&Bs at 11.12am (if my calculations are correct).
We’ve given the teams their dinner and a walk around the carpark then the handler team will get them out of the truck again around 11pm for another pee and stretch before a good night’s sleep for everyone. We’re up and at ’em early in the morning to get everything ready for the 10am start. After that the handler team heads north to meet the teams at Sourdough Checkpoint.
I’ll post the rosters in the morning.