Yukon Quest 2008: Update from Slaven’s Cabin

With a team of 12, rookie musher Julie Estey was left Circle City this morning, but a short while later she returned to drop Timmy, one of her favourite lead dogs. Timmy came in to Circle last night in Estey’s basket and she thought this morning he was ready for the trail. She reluctantly left him behind, a good luck charm of sorts that helped lead her team over Eagle Summit. Slaven’s Cabin is a public use cabin in the heart of the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Park. During the Yukon Quest, this remote outpost cabin becomes an official Dog Drop for the race; a location where mushers can enjoy a little warmth and hospitality along the 150 mile route between Circle City and Eagle, Alaska. Yukon Quest Vet Team members are stationed at the cabin and are available to attend to any dogs requiring examination or care. As of early Tuesday afternoon, 8 teams have departed from Slaven’s Cabin to continue on their way to the Eagle Checkpoint. First out early Tuesday morning was Lance Mackey, followed a couple of hours later by Ken Anderson and Hugh Neff. An hour later Brent Sass joined the run to Eagle. Michelle Phillips, Dave Dalton and Cor Guimond have also departed from Slaven’s Cabin. Several teams were still resting at Slaven’s early Tuesday afternoon. Although it’s only 60 miles from Circle City, this stretch of trail represents the first time in the race that the teams run on the mighty Yukon River, and this winter, the river has frozen in a contorted manner, making it important for mushers to drive their teams with care to avoid any hazards along the icy trail. Looking at some of the lead teams’ speeds into Slaven’s Cabin it could be suggested that those mushers who did not need to drop any dogs at the Slaven’s Cabin Dog Drop enjoyed quicker run times than those who did…likely a result of the additional time required to attend to those dogs who would eventually be dropped once their team reached Slaven’s Cabin. The need to drop these dogs at this point in the race, with about 700 miles still to go to the Whitehorse Finish Line, could play a crucial role in the final race outcome.


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