Thursday, 17 May 2012

Tales of the Trail 2012 - Nulato to Kaltag

The folks in Nulato have turned this checkpoint into a little oasis in the last few years. Located in the very nice school mushers have showers, flushing toilets, cots, a drying room, and great food available!! Sweet!!

The dogs were keen to sleep, I know they sensed my frustration in the last 11 miles of our run and I think we were all keen to put it behind us. Thankfully, they ate really well before snuggling down into their straw and drifting off.

I was very amused by the fact that on the door to the furnace room, which is where we were to hang our clothes to dry, was a sign that said "Warning: Possible Asbestos Risk" and not one of us even hesitated about going in. There are dangers and then there are dangers ....freezing to death by going out in the cold with damp clothes was the most imminent danger!

I was really enjoying the company of a lot of mushers I was traveling with on this race and had a very comfortable and enjoyable time as we  'sniff tested' the 'potluck' meals left out for the mushers, leftovers from other mushers and sorted through our own food.

A tiny bit of sleep, that I could have easily stretched into HOURS and HOURS of rest on that cot, another meal for the pups and it was time to hit the trail again.

The dogs didn't leave well and this time didn't really pick up at all. It was FREEZING, FREEZING cold to begin with, but as the morning wore on the sun was beating down on us and I was stripping off layers of clothing. The dogs seemed to be wishing they could do the same.
By this point river traveling is getting pretty darn old. There just isn't much of interest at all to 'distract' dogs or human. There was one giant flock of ptarmigan perched in the trees on the river bank at one point, but that was about the extent of 'excitement' for this leg.

Finally a few miles from Kaltag the trail goes through a narrow passage between the river bank and an island. That perked the team up, which pleased me. They climbed up the steep bank and through Kaltag to the Fire Station that acts as the checkpoint.

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