Sunday, February 20, 2011

The toughest sled dog race in the world... the Yukon Quest. They say that the Iditarod is for sissies.

At the beginning of this week, I had the intentions of spending lots of time in downtown Fairbanks on Saturday watching the mushers come in from their 1,000 mile trek from White Horse, Yukon Territory all the way to the finish. I saw on the calendar of events that there would be an awards banquet on Saturday evening, so I figured that we could see some action at the finish on the Chena River downtown.

Boy, was I mistaken! I told you that I have a lot to learn. And that's what I get for assuming.
They don't all come in at one time, and they definitely don't wait til Saturday to finish. It takes days for them all to arrive.

On Tuesday evening at about 9 pm, I was checking Facebook status' when I noticed on the Yukon Quest's page that they were anticipating who this year's winner would be and they would know in a couple of hours.

I looked at the live tracker on the official website...then over to Phillip and the kids, and said "The first place guy just passed {a location near our house}!". Phillip then asked about the other mushers...We got that crazy look in our eyes (it was a school night)...threw our snowsuits on over our pajamas...and hauled booty over to {the location near our house}.

By the time we got there, there were a two other people waiting, and after some conversation, we learned that the area had been pretty busy earlier with lots of people wanting to see Mr. 1st Place (Dallas Seavey) pass by. We learned that if we waited, we'd see Mr. 3rd Place (Ken Anderson). It was about 11 pm when we finally saw a lone headlight come around the corner of the Chena, and so we went out onto the river (it's frozen solid) to cheer him on.

As we were waiting, the father of #4 had driven over to where we were. He'd just seen his son at the Two Rivers checkpoint. We had a nice conversation with him. He travels from Minnesota for about 3-4 month every year to support his son.

Mr. Anderson (#3) stopped long enough to adjust something on the dogs, and ask if we knew anything about how far behind Brent Sass was (#4). We were able to help him out with some information, and congratulate him on a good race.

My camera died just as I was trying to get a pic; I was only able to get him leaving. He had about 20+ miles to go before he finished.

We got home at about 11:30 PM ( night). But hey, don't judge! It's reason's like this that we love being able to live in different places.

Next year, I'll be more prepared.

We took these pictures earlier today of a musher loading up to go home, and of the tear-down of the finish line.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Yukon Quest, then click on these links:

1 comment:

NesrstaFamily said...

Duuuuuuuude. I shall live vicariously through you. You guys are troopers. Between you and Beth, I feel like I have traveled the world.

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