Monday, February 7, 2011

YQ - Mid Day Report

My lunch today was mystery fish, some mixed vegetables and the most bland white rice I think I've ever stuffed down my gullet.  Sometimes I find myself growing weary of my high protien, low carb (and no simple carb) diet, but then I step on the scale and smile with some satisfaction.  Since November I've lost the equivalent of 1 big village dog, and a couple of puppies as well.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that my personal motto, and that of the historical North West Company, is simply "Perseverence". 

Let's take a look at some dog races.

Yukon Quest 300

Although a bit further up the trail, at first glance there doesn't appear to be much change in the YQ-300 leaderboard.  This afternoon it shows that Gerry Willowmitzer and Ed Hopkins are both at the Pelly Crossing checkpoint, and have been for some time.  Gerry arrived at 7:49 this morning, and Ed at 11:10.  Both mushers arrived with 11 dogs.  None of the other mushers have yet arrived at Pelly Crossing. 

Paige Drobny left Carmacks at 04:16 this morning in third place, followed by Mathias Beck at 5:00, Brian Wilmshurst at 5:22 and Aliy Zirkle at 5:58.  Yuka Honda was number 7 to leave, followed by Susie Rogan, Oyvind Jakobsen and Misha Pederson. 

The Big Quest

In the 1,000 mile race, Hugh Neff is still maintaining his lead, stopping at the Stepping Stone just long enough to exchange pleasantries at 10:00.  Hans Gatt blew through the hospitality stop with little more than a wave and a greeting about an hour and 1/2 later, only 10 minutes ahead of Ken Anderson, who also did not stop.  Allen Moore arrived at 13:00 and is still there, perhaps resting his team through the middle of the day.  Allen is the only one currently in a top-10 position to still have a full team of 14 dogs.

According to Live Tracking, Brent Sass and Wade Marrs are also at Stepping Stone and Michelle Phillips is very close if not already there.  Dan Kaduce and Sebastian Schnuelle appear to be running together only two or three miles out from the hospitality stop.  Kelly Griffin is following by only 1 bend of the river, maybe two miles based on the map scale. 

Stepping Stone hospitality stop is very close to the historical site of the Hudson's Bay Company's historical post of Fort Selkirk.  Fort Selkirk was established by Robert Campbell in 1848, only 1 year after Alexander Murray established the post at Fort Yukon.  Fort Selkirk was destroyed by Chilkat Tlinget Indians who had previously enjoyed a competition free trade with the local Tutchone Athabascans in 1852.  The site was abandoned until about 1892 or so, when it was re-established as an important Yukon River supply post. 

Thus far, two mushers have scratched from the race.  Denis Tremblay and Allen Dennis both scratched at the Carmacks checkpoint.  According to an updated article in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Allen Dennis decided to scratch "...after conferring with race officials."  In past years that sort of phrasing has been Quest-speak that translates as "W had a come-to-Jesus talk with him, and he chose to scratch rather than risk a penalty or withdrawal."  Of course I have no way of knowing if that is the case today.

That's about all the news fit to hit this afternoon.  I'll post another update before I climb into the rack.

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