After finding the great coffee house in Whitehorse that also serves a great hot chocolate and treats we catch up on the mundane ( shower, washing and cleaning the van).
We go out to the kennels, it was about time for a dog fix for us. Frank kennels and keeps all the dogs he races with and then after their racing life. He is up to 125 dogs. They are all out when we arrive each has a name on its kennel and there is a new brood of 10 week old puppies. All the dogs are raised to be human friendly, so we go up and pat and pat and pat…..
The Yukon Quest is this amazing 1000 miles race from Fairbanks Alaska to Whitehorse taking turns as start and finish each year. It is held in February and it is not uncommon to have -40C temperatures.
The reason for this race which has been going since 1984 was that the initial dog-sledding race the Iditarod had become very commercialised and highly technical, the Yukon people wanted to get to the roots of the race.
In 2004 the conditions were so bad that four teams with their dogs got stuck on a mountain pass and had to be flown out by the national guard. One of Frank’s dogs was remembered by the pilot because he spent the whole flight sitting behind him making sure he was taking the right route looking over his shoulder. The race is an incredible feat of endurance and amazing spirit of team between the musher and his dogs. We had a great time including taking 8 of the currently training dogs for a walk, we found Frank a real inspiration and if there is any active adventure left in me a dog-mushing trip here we come!!