On the trail - Pelly Crossing - Carmacks
This time it did not take me long at all to catch Thomas. Having 3 dogs more in the team is defenitely feelable. I am amazed to see Thomas run those 8 dogs as strong as he does. He is constantly working behind the sled and skipoling. The trail is quite windy going through burn areas. That must have been a grunt to put in the trail here. We travel over 2 lakes, where we were warned of overflow but it was all nicely frozen when we passed. It was very hot and I stopped 2 to let the dogs cool down and even snacked once some fish snacks. After about 3 hrs the trail drops right next to the Klondike Highway and passing cars stop to take pictures. Make me feel spcial. Just before getting to the dogdrop a nice sheet of ice was waiting also ther Carsten Thies the photographer hoping for some nice wipeouts. I made sure not make a good impression. The run into Mc Cabe was relaitvely short with just under 4 hrs, but I decided to stay again no poit to push hard, besides it was way too warm. Hospitality was great here, great stew, homemade bread, a good sleeping spot. Kelly and Michelle also came in, Kelly going straight though making me loose some more standings. We stayed almost the same amount we ran, a bit more than 4 hrs. The sled was light only one set of snacks in it. The trail leaving was a bit confusing to me..... might just have been my tiredness though. I could not quite figure out why I did not see any markers. None for more than 1 hr. That really got me concerned, but we were clearly travelling south east which is the right direction. I expected the Yukon to be on my right, but it was not there. But there was still dogshit on the trail, so must be right. Sure enough we dropped onto the Yukon, which was on my left, that means I went across without notiving it, pretty bad. The trail is the old Dawson Trail, the same trail we live on, homestretch so to say. I passed Kelly resting on the trail and caught up to Thomas again. The team was running strong, we made great time and soon hit the Freegold Road, being even faster with it`s plowed surface. I had to ride my brake for the first time in a long time...... the road is nice and hilly.
Coming into Carmacks I had the feeling we weave through every possible street there is, totaly lost my bearing where we were till we hit the Yukon again. Some steep hill did lead into the checkpoint after only 5.25 running time. The dogs looked good, ate good, drank good, they had their rythm back. There was some guys watching me the whole time while I worked on my team. Never said a word and I wondered that they never got tired of watching me the whole time. By now I also had a good routine of what to do when. Stop. Grab the front hook, while walking up front also taking the bale of straw half way. Putting in the front hook, while coming back taking of booties and checking for soreness, ( and if I find any I massage right there, the earlier the better ) but leaving tugs on. Than spread out straw without the dogs being all over it right away. Once the straw is done at each pair, undo their tugs, they instandly lay down and I do not have to wake them again to take booties of. I put my blanket over them right away so they loose no heat to the top. Than I empty my sled, get water for the cooker or here they have hot water and soak my food, which I feed about 1 hr after arriving. They all gobble down, who wants seconds gets them and them.While they are up I use my chance to remassage them without having to wake them up. Go inside, prepare the next batch of food, come out, they are all sound asleep and I put the blankets over them again. At the beginning of the race this did take me some 2 hrs, now about 45 – 60 minutes in total( depending on massaging). Once back in the community hall, where some young guy gave me a huge plate of chicken I spotted Trevor who scratched in Dawson. We chatted some and also came Walter Egg up to me with 2 friends. It dawned to me that they were the 3 watching me the whole time outside and I did not even realize it was him. There was a computer set up and I checked the times of the other mushers. I said to Johnny Schandelmeier, hey look, Peter Ledwidge is already in Carmacks. With a bewildered look he asked: And where are you. O.K. o.k. really time to get some sleep now. They had a great heated house for us, where we slept on the floor, any surface will do now. I rested a full 2 hrs longer than it had taken me to get here, not quite a racing strategie this late in the race.