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Unintended Consequences

A while ago the decision was made to replace all of the CFCs that were used in spray cans with another propellant because the chlorofluorocarbon gases were destroying the ozone layers. This was a good and necessary thing, but some people didn’t really think through what they were using as replacements which has resulted in some problems.

The ABC reported on one of the problems: Bathroom explosion as woman kills spider.

This isn’t the only time this has happened. A lot of the insecticides use propane as the propellant. Propane or bottled gas is heavier than air and is generally ignited by pilot lights in water heaters or ovens, but as owners of gas grills are aware, a spark is enough to light it.

I set insect bombs off in the places I’m going to rehab. I do it while the power and gas are shut off, and I don’t go in for a day afterwards. Lately I have found some foggers that don’t use flammables as propellants, and when I know they are effective I’ll mention names, but you should read the labels.

February 2, 2013   Comments Off on Unintended Consequences

YQ 300 2013

Four hours after the first team left on the Quest another group queued up to start their own race – the intermediate distance Yukon Quest 300 that will follow the same trail, but end at Pelly Crossing. To qualify for the 1000-mile Quest or Iditarod you have to prove your team’s competence by completing intermediate distance races, like the YQ 300.

This year’s contestants include some familiar names:

1 Tamra Reynolds (51)
2 Colin Morrison (52)
3 Yuka Honda (53)
4 Marcelle Fressineau (54)
5 Jerry Joinson (55)
6 Aliy Zirkle (56)
7 John King (57)
8 Michelle Phillips (58)
9 Olaf Thurau (59)
10 Gaetan Pierrard (60)
11 Debbie Knight (61)
12 Jonathan Lucas (62)
13 Jennifer Levy (63)
14 Paige Drobny (65)
15 Ryne Olson (66)
16 Kyia Bouchard (67)
17 Lucy Tyrrell (68)

Aliy Zirkle is the only woman to win the Quest, but now her husband, Allen Moore runs the Quest, while she checks out dogs who might be on her Iditarod team. Last year Allen finished 26 seconds behind Hugh Neff, so he really wants it.

Yuka Honda finished her first Quest last year [as did Marcelle Fressineau and Paige Drobny], but she wants nothing to do with the Quest on odd years after her day and a half climb over Eagle Summit in 2009.

Bib 64 is missing because vets didn’t like the condition of David Mason’s dogs and he had to scratch at the starting gate. No one has said what the problem was, but I would suspect coughing on the team. This is a problem when the temperature warms up. People don’t get colds at -40° because the viruses die at those temperatures. When things warm up a bit people and dogs get sick.

Updates on the 300 are slow in coming. It should take 3 days or less to complete, but there are no guarantees.

February 2, 2013   Comments Off on YQ 300 2013

Yukon Quest 2013 – Day 1

Yukon Quest map odd years

Sled DogThe start went off without any major problems with teams leaving at 3 minute intervals between 11AM and 12:15PM PST. The Quest teams favor 14 dogs rather than the 16 that is normal for the Iditarod.

Update at 11PM CST – the decision has been made to change the route between Dawson and Eagle. Trailbreakers have reported that the trail is impassable over American Summit in several places, so teams will stay on the Yukon River. This change shortens the race by about 50 miles.

At 11:30PM CST it is Hugh, Lance, Allen, Normand, Brent, and Abbie in that order according to Live Tracking. Hugh is about 15 miles from Braeburn.

The Standings at 2:30PM CST (12:30PM PST):

Beyond Whitehorse

1 Brian Wilmshurst (1)
2 Markus Ingebretsen (2)R
3 Rob Cooke (3)R
4 Hugh Neff (4)
5 Cody Strathe (5)R
6 Lance Mackey (6)
7 Normand Casavant (7)
8 Kelley Griffin (8)
9 Randy MacKenzie (9)R
10 Susan Rogan (10)R
11 Allen Moore (11)
12 Christina Traverse (12)R
13 Denis Tremblay (13)R
14 Matthew Failor (14)R
15 Dan Kaduce (15)
16 Misha Pedersen (16)
17 Abbie West (17)
18 Brent Sass (18)
19 Dyan Bergen (19)R
20 Jake Berkowitz (20)
21 David Dalton (21)
22 Ed Abrahamson (22)
23 Scott Smith (23)R
24 Darrin Lee (24)R
25 Ed Hopkins (25)
26 Crispin Studer (26)

These are the official standings. That means they are official, not that they are correct. Things jump around a lot as people decide to update the standings. This problem is especially bad in the back of the pack, as no one bothers to update those standings when the lead is changing.

The Mushers in bold are former winners of the Yukon Quest, the numbers in parentheses are their Bib numbers, and the small “R” indicates a rookie.

Note: This post will be updated during the day, and the map changed on all posts to reflect the current situation.

All posts on the Yukon Quest can be seen by selecting “Yukon Quest” from the Category box on the right sidebar.

February 2, 2013   Comments Off on Yukon Quest 2013 – Day 1

Groundhog Day

Militant Groundhog

It’s Groundhog Day and some of the militant marmots object to being disturbed.

February 2, 2013   2 Comments

The Starting Grid

The race starts at 11:00AM PST in Bib order. The difference in start time is usually adjusted at the first mandatory stop in Braeburn. The mushers with a “R” after their names are Quest rookies, while those in Bold are former winners.

Brian Wilmshurst (1)
Markus Ingebretsen (2)R
Rob Cooke (3)R
Hugh Neff (4)
Cody Strathe (5)R
Lance Mackey (6)
Normand Casavant (7)
Kelley Griffin (8)
Randy MacKenzie (9)R
Susan Rogan (10)R
Allen Moore (11)
Christina Traverse (12)R
Denis Tremblay (13)R
Matthew Failor (14)R
Dan Kaduce (15)
Misha Pedersen (16)
Abbie West (17)
Brent Sass (18)
Dyan Bergen (19)R
Jake Berkowitz (20)
David Dalton (21)
Ed Abrahamson (22)
Scott Smith (23)R
Darrin Lee (24)R
Ed Hopkins (25)
Crispin Studer (26)

There is currently about 8 hours between sunrise and sunset with the length increasing by more than 5 minutes a day. The temperature at the start is forecast to be in the 20s F, which a bit warm for the dogs. The moon will be in the last quarter on Sunday, so it won’t be much help for night runs, which some mushers may elect to do to keep their puppies cool.

February 2, 2013   2 Comments