Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Moving Right Along...

Well, not so much. I spent most of the day Sunday recovering from our late Saturday night. Eleanor asked for help running a tour yesterday, so I packed up 8 Stardancers and trucked them to her place. Only 7 of them actually got to run, though.  While trying to get the team launched Cassiopeia, running lead beside Capella, slipped both her collar and her harness. She ended up going back to the truck as our clients were waiting for their ride. That meant Capella had her first ever opportunity to run in single lead. She did a brilliant job of it, hitting every cue spot on. The only real down-side was that we didn't have as much dog-power as I would have liked on the up-hill stretches. 300# of passengers (about 150 each) plus the musher meant the musher had to work harder than I would have liked.

Here is a little 3-minute video of Capella doing her thing in single lead.

Out on the Yukon Quest trail, predictions of a fast trail have held true and as of this morning the frontrunners are already out of the checkpoint at Eagle. Brent Sass has a very nice lead, a bit more than 2 hours, over second place Allen Moore. Hugh Neff left Eagle at 10:30, giving chase.

Since the portion of the trail over American Summit was unpassable, Quest officials changed the route so that the teams will be running straight up the Yukon River to Dawson, a distance somewhere between 90 and 100 miles. I'm betting that by this time tonight Brent will have earned 4 ounces of placer gold (the Dawson award) and he and his team will be settling nicely for their mandatory 36 hour layover. I'll also bet that Allen Moore shortens that two-hour gap between the teams by a fair amount. Hugh, with a smaller team (he's thus far already dropped three dogs compared to 1 each for Allen and Brent) will maintain his position. 

Currently in 4th place, Cody Strathe is still about 20 miles out of Eagle, and rookie Matt Hall is about 45 miles behind Cody.

Today I'm focusing my efforts on work around the kennel and house so that Trish and I can run dogs tomorrow without have to feel any guilt about taking time away from other things.  I have a morning dental appointment on Thursday, but we may be able to run some more teams afterward, depending upon how my mouth feels.

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