We have just seen Allen and 14 team mates pull into Pelly Crossing and go out the other side. The northern lights came out just as he arrived adding to the excitement.
Having had over five hours rest in Stepping Stone we fully expected he would go through this checkpoint. Allen stopped the team for around 20 minutes so he could go through his drop bags and get supplies for the trail ahead.
He took kibble, meat snacks and booties for the team and dry gloves for himself. He checked booties and jackets and tangles. Of course Rodney and Five got tangled as they waited because they are both ‘circlers’, so he had to sort that out before he left.
Allen said he had no worries about any dog, they were all still eating really well and we watched as they were barking and squeaking to go while he was busy. They were very alert and looking down the trail, ready to keep going.
As the first musher to Pelly Crossing, Allen was presented with these amazing wolf mitts from an elder of the Selkirk First Nation people, made by local artist Don Trudeau.
They truly are beautiful and he will treasure them.
There is a story behind them and, as I understand it, this wolf was killed in self defence.
We are thankful to the Selkirk First Nation for welcoming the Quest onto their lands. We appreciate your hospitality.
While we were waiting for the team to come in, Bridgett and I had a fascinating conversation with Frida, a local woman who has volunteered for the Quest for a number of years. She told us about how her Grandfather WALKED over to Pelly Crossing from Fort Yukon, AK area when he was young and met and married her Grandmother. As we were trying to work out how long it would be before he was in by using the tracker and pen and paper, Frida worked it out by reeling off the names of the native fish camps he had to pass before getting here – she was more accurate than us.
From here it looks most likely they will run the approx 27 miles to McCabe Creek Dog Drop and have a long rest there. The recent trail report said lots of glare ice and beaver dams on the ponds north of McCabe but thankfully there was no open water (at the time of the report) – dry feet!!
McCabe Creek is a family farm run by the Kruse Family. They are great supporters of the race and very welcoming to dogs, mushers and handlers. We will head there now and enjoy their hospitality as we wait for the team. There is no cell coverage there so you won’t hear from us for a bit.
From McCabe, the next stop is Carmacks, around 50 miles away. This is where the trail rejoins the Yukon River. Although here is not much jumble ice, there has been little snow so the icebergs are sharp and hazardous. It is on this kind of trail where you want a really good gee-haw leader, i.e. you want a steering wheel in front of you. Allen has the luxury of a number of great gee-haws on the team. The trail then follows the bush trail to “Yukon Crossing” and evidently there are more willows so more bobbing and weaving! The rest of the trail is reportedly excellent.