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The Yukon Quest Awards

The Awards banquet was held on Saturday in Fairbanks where sixteen mushers received their finishing patches for completing the race. The top fifteen also received some prize money based on their finish.

Rob Cooke of Whitehorse, YT received a patch and the Red Lantern for being the final team to finish the race. Rob blamed himself for the result, saying he allowed the team to work too hard in the extreme cold at the start of the race.

In addition to the patch Damon Tedford of Vancouver, BC received the Rookie of the Year Award for being the first rookie to reach the finish.

Four time champion Lance Mackey of Fairbanks Alaska won the Challenge of the North Award and the Sportsmanship Award for bringing his team of two-year-olds into Fairbanks. He was also given an “Almost Red Lantern” by one of his handlers, after noting that the Red Lantern is the only award he had never won.

Brent Sass’s lead dogs, Basin and Sound won Golden Harnesses and steak dinners for their efforts.

Brent took home the winner’s purse, the Veterinarians Choice Award, and the Dawson City Award of four ounces of gold for the first musher to Dawson who finishes the race.

February 22, 2015   No Comments

Belated Cat Blogging

The Old Man

Friday Cat Blogging

What do you want?

[Editor: Ninja, who is at least 15, decided to sun on the grill by my Mother’s kitchen window.]

The Friday Ark for lots of animal pictures.

February 21, 2015   4 Comments

The Cold

Unlike sled dogs, cats do not like the cold, and stay in hiding in a warmer place. Maybe tomorrow someone will wander into camera range when it’s warm enough for me to be outside.

A couple of days ago the high for the day occurred just after midnight and the temperature went down all day. Today it looks like the high will be just before midnight, as the temperature has continued to rise after the sun went down.

February 20, 2015   6 Comments

Yukon Quest 2015 – Day 14 and Final

Yukon Quest map odd years

Sled DogThis morning finds Rob Cooke and the Siberians the final team on the trail with Kristin coming in at 12:33AM CST this morning. Rob is about 40 miles out pushing through the crisp, clear zero degree air bringing in the Red Lantern.

And the race ended at 2:13PM CST when Rob Cooke and the Siberians crossed the line in Fairbanks. 26 teams started, but only 16 finished the race [62%]. 364 puppies pulled out of Whitehorse, but only 157 made the entire trip [43%]. The biggest problem was the extreme cold in the first half of the race which was the primary cause of almost every injury among the puppies. Half of those teams that scratched had the entire 14 dog team still healthy and pulling.

The Current Standings at 3:00PM CST (12:00PM AKST):

Finish
1 Brent Sass (2) 2/17 1:52AM CST
2 Allen Moore (1) 2/17 3:06AM CST
3 Ed Hopkins (20) 2/17 11:02PM CST
4 Damon Alexander Tedford (7)R 2/18 4:32AM CST
5 Hugh Neff (26) 2/18 6:11AM CST
6 Normand Casavant (3) 2/18 10:25AM CST
7 Jason Campeau (24)R 2/18 4:43PM CST
8 Torsten Kohnert (14) 2/18 6:42PM CST
9 Nicholas Vanier (5)R 2/18 9:44PM CST
10 Mike Ellis (22) 2/18 10:40PM CST
11 Dave Dalton (11) 2/19 2:43AM CST
12 Brian Wilmshurst (17) 2/19 5:24AM CST
13 Ryne Olson (16)R 2/19 3:56PM CST
14 Lance Mackey (8) 2/19 8:23PM CST
15 Kristin Knight Pace (12)R 2/20 12:33AM CST
16 Rob Cooke (21)Φ 2/20 2:13PM CST
[Read more →]

February 20, 2015   2 Comments

Cyclone Marcia

It’s late summer in Australia, and they aren’t worrying about snow and wind chills, they have tropical cyclones to deal with.

The state of Queensland on the east coast is preparing to get attacked by Cyclone Marcia, which is forecast to be a category 5 storm when it makes landfall.

The weather service is warning about possible core wind speeds of 295kph [185mph], high storm surge, and 300mm [a foot] of rainfall.

I’m worried about heating the house, they are worrying about having one. Officials are saying that any house built before the 1984 building code changes will probably be destroyed by the storm.

Update: The ABC is live blogging the storm and the damage it is causing.

February 19, 2015   No Comments

It’s Cold

Mustang Bobby showed the Miami weather with a wind chill advisory in effect. At 8AM here it was 31°F with a wind chill of 21°. This is not what we signed up for.

You elect Republicans to run things and you get oil spills and freezes :twisted:

February 19, 2015   2 Comments

Yukon Quest 2015 – Day 13

Yukon Quest map odd years

Sled DogDave and Brian made it in early this morning. Ryne, Lance, and Kristin are sleeping away their 8-hour mandatory stop at Two Rivers. The only ones working are Rob and the Siberians who have made their way over Eagle Summit and are almost to Mile 101 with the Red Lantern.

At noon CST Rob is resting at Mile 101 while Ryne and Lance are on their way to the finish from Two Rivers.

The final four teams are all on the trail at 3PM CST.

Ryne finished at around 4PM.

Rob is at the top of Rosebud and ready to descend at 5PM CST. Lance is about 30 miles from the finish with Kristin about 30 miles behind him.

Rob is at Two Rivers for the mandatory 8-hour stop and Lance has finished his race.

The Official Standings are currently messed up.

The Current Standings at 8:30PM CST (5:30PM AKST):

Finish
1 Brent Sass (2) 2/17 1:52AM CST
2 Allen Moore (1) 2/17 3:06AM CST
3 Ed Hopkins (20) 2/17 11:02PM CST
4 Damon Alexander Tedford (7)R 2/18 4:32AM CST
5 Hugh Neff (26) 2/18 6:11AM CST
6 Normand Casavant (3) 2/18 10:25AM CST
7 Jason Campeau (24)R 2/18 4:43PM CST
8 Torsten Kohnert (14) 2/18 6:42PM CST
9 Nicholas Vanier (5)R 2/18 9:44PM CST
10 Mike Ellis (22) 2/18 10:40PM CST
11 Dave Dalton (11) 2/19 2:43AM CST
12 Brian Wilmshurst (17) 2/19 5:24AM CST
13 Ryne Olson (16)R 2/19 3:56PM CST
14 Lance Mackey (8) 2/19 8:23PM CST
Beyond Two Rivers
15 Kristin Knight Pace (12)R
At Two Rivers
16 Rob Cooke (21)Φ
[Read more →]

February 19, 2015   No Comments

Yukon Quest 2015 – Day 12

Yukon Quest map odd years

Sled DogDamon Tedford had a very successful first attempt at the Quest, coming in fourth early this morning and Hugh’s 7 puppies brought him in a couple of hours later.

Rob Cooke’s Siberians with the Red Lantern are in Central.

Mike Ellis and his Siberians complete the top 10 finishers. He always has the most beautiful team in a race.

The Current Standings at 11:50PM CST (8:50PM AKST):

Finish
1 Brent Sass (2) 2/17 1:52AM CST
2 Allen Moore (1) 2/17 3:06AM CST
3 Ed Hopkins (20) 2/17 11:02PM CST
4 Damon Alexander Tedford (7)R 2/18 4:32AM CST
5 Hugh Neff (26) 2/18 6:11AM CST
6 Normand Casavant (3) 2/18 10:25AM CST
7 Jason Campeau (24)R 2/18 4:43PM CST
8 Torsten Kohnert (14) 2/18 6:42PM CST
9 Nicholas Vanier (5)R 2/18 9:44PM CST
10 Mike Ellis (22) 2/18 10:40PM CST
Beyond Two Rivers
11 Dave Dalton (11)
12 Brian Wilmshurst (17)
At Two Rivers
13 Ryne Olson (16)R
Beyond Mile 101
14 Lance Mackey (8)
15 Kristin Knight Pace (12)R
At Central
16 Rob Cooke (21)Φ
[Read more →]

February 18, 2015   No Comments

Happy New Year, 4713

Year of the Green Wooden Sheep

Happy New Year
Happy New Year

Chinese New Year
[Spring Festival]

[Note: The new year begins on the new moon and that occurs today in the US. Because of the International Date Line, it is the 19th in China.]

February 18, 2015   6 Comments

Yukon Quest 2015 – Day 11

Yukon Quest map odd years

Sled DogIn the end is wasn’t close with Brent gaining an hour on Allen in the run to the finish at Fairbanks at 1:52AM CST with Allen coming in at 3:06AM.

Ed Hopkins made it in at 11:02PM CST.

Rob Cooke and the Red Lantern are now in Circle.

The Current Standings at 11:30PM CST (8:30PM AKST):

Finish
1 Brent Sass (2)
2 Allen Moore (1)
3 Ed Hopkins (20)
Beyond Two Rivers
4 Damon Alexander Tedford (7)R
5 Hugh Neff (26)
6 Normand Casavant (3)
Beyond Mile 101
7 Jason Campeau (24)R
8 Torsten Kohnert (14)
9 Mike Ellis (22)
At Mile 101
10 Dave Dalton (11)
11 Nicholas Vanier (5)R
12 Brian Wilmshurst (17)
At Central
13 Ryne Olson (16)R
Beyond Circle
14 Kristin Knight Pace (12)R
15 Lance Mackey (8)
At Circle
16 Rob Cooke (21)Φ
[Read more →]

February 17, 2015   No Comments

Shrove Tuesday

Mardi Gras

The last day before the beginning of Lent on the Gulf Coast that once belonged to France, it is Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday”: Laissez les bon temps rouler!

It was first celebrated in Mobile, Alabama, but the big show these days is in New Orleans, and it is a holiday in the state of Louisiana, because people wouldn’t show up for work anyway, so why fight it.

The tradition is to serve King cake, which is a circle of cinnamon bun dough with a white frosting on top sprinkled with sugar colored purple, gold, and green. If that weren’t bad enough, they put the figurine of a baby in the dough, and whoever finds it in their piece is supposed to be lucky. Actually if you find it and don’t choke on it, I guess you are lucky. You should use a small ceramic figurine, as some of the cheap plastic versions melt in the oven [yummy].

February 17, 2015   No Comments

Yukon Quest 2015 – Day 10

Yukon Quest map odd years

Sled DogAllen waited and made his move at Mile 101. It is going to be a sprint to the finish. Allen is bedding down at Two Rivers with Brent just outside.

Rob Cooke and the Red Lantern are resting at Trout Creek.

Update: The bad news for the finish is that Fairbanks is already at 21°F at 6AM AKST. The puppies are going to have to trade their jackets for sweat bands for the final 70+ miles. The teams have gone from the freezer to the oven in this race. (There has been an 80°F temperature differential from the start to the end, without considering wind chill.)

Update: Ed Hopkins seems to be stalled near the top of Eagle Summit only a few miles from Mile 101. Meanwhile Rob is about 50 miles out of Slavens.

Update: 11:15PM CST Allen and Brent are about 20 miles from the finish, while Rob Cooke is less than 10 miles from Slaven’s Roadhouse.

The Current Standings at 10:40PM CST (7:40PM AKST):

Beyond Two Rivers
1 Allen Moore (1)
2 Brent Sass (2)
Beyond Mile 101
3 Ed Hopkins (20)
At Mile 101
4 Hugh Neff (26)
Beyond Central
5 Damon Alexander Tedford (7)R
Beyond Circle
6 Normand Casavant (3)
7 Jason Campeau (24)R
8 Torsten Kohnert (14)
9 Dave Dalton (11)
10 Mike Ellis (22)
11 Brian Wilmshurst (17)
12 Nicholas Vanier (5)R
At Circle
13 Ryne Olson (16)R
Beyond Eagle
14 Kristin Knight Pace (12)R
15 Lance Mackey (8)
16 Rob Cooke (21)Φ
[Read more →]

February 16, 2015   No Comments

Temperature Inversion

The Fairbanks News-Miner had a couple of interesting articles on the effect of the super cold temperatures at the start of the race: Jeff Richardson’s Yukon’s extreme cold takes toll on people, dogs and John Schandelmeier’s
Why so many dropped dogs? Deep cold, risky strategy.

Jeff King’s scratch at Pelly Crossing highlights another issue – appetite. Jeff has been competing in 1000 mile races for decades, and certainly knows how to pack a sled for a run, but he was blind-sided by the change due to the cold. In a normal race each dog consumes about 25,000 calories per day and mushers load their sleds with that much plus a reserve. If you drop a dog, you have to leave at least 4 pounds of food per day for the dog to eat when it isn’t working.

Jeff left Pelly Crossing and got to the Scroggie Creek Dog Drop and saw that the dogs were eating much more than normal. At the stop he concluded he didn’t have enough food packed to ensure they were fed all the way to Dawson, so he returned to Pelly Crossing. There was no way for him to obtain the extra food he felt he would need for the trail to Dawson, so he scratched.
[Read more →]

February 15, 2015   No Comments

Yukon Quest 2015 – Day 9

Yukon Quest map odd years

Sled DogAllen is closing on Brent on the way to Central. Allen tends to stick to his race plan for resting and running which seems to be working for his team. It is also easier for a team to chase than lead.

Hugh Neff has a tough call as he came in to Circle with 7 puppies pulling and 1 riding. The two big climbs, Eagle and Rosebud, are coming.

Rob Cooke and the Red Lantern are about 30 miles from Eagle.

Allen joined Brent at Central and Rob Cooke arrived at Eagle.

The Current Standings at 11:20PM CST (8:20PM AKST):

At Mile 101
1 Brent Sass (2)
Beyond Central
2 Allen Moore (1)
Beyond Circle
3 Ed Hopkins (20)
4 Hugh Neff (26)
At Circle
5 Damon Alexander Tedford (7)R
Beyond Eagle
6 Normand Casavant (3)
7 Torsten Kohnert (14)
8 Dave Dalton (11)
9 Mike Ellis (22)
10 Brian Wilmshurst (17)
11 Jason Campeau (24)R
12 Nicholas Vanier (5)R
13 Ryne Olson (16)R
14 Kristin Knight Pace (12)R
15 Lance Mackey (8)
At Eagle
16 Rob Cooke (21)Φ
[Read more →]

February 15, 2015   No Comments