{Tsuga Siberians}
February 17, 2008 - "Awesome Dawson"
  Howdy all from the halfway point of the Yukon Quest!

My checkout time is in just four hours and I can't sleep anymore, so  here's a quick note-

I got here with ten strong dogs.  A few nicks and slight injuries,  but all manageable, small things that aren't affecting the dogs  performance or attitude.  I however have had a fever and a bead case  of food poisoning.  That's been a major challenge for me.  It's hard  to keep your sprits high when you feel so physically low.  Thank God  for my iPod.  Music is a major crutch for me out on the trail. The trail has been amazingly tough.  At times on the Yukon River you  could look as far as you could see ahead and behind and see no  markers and no trail.  That is very mentally draining for the team,  especially leaders.   My most reliable leaders (Stump and Mugs) have  had to do most of the hard work out there on the river.  I really  hope to be able to get them some more time out of lead now that we  are going to be on more overland trail and back in the woods.  This  should raise the attitude of the whole team who are as sick of being  on that big, mean river as I am.  This second half should be much  easier, but very warm temperatures will slow our fuzzies down for  sure.  It was sixty below a couple of days ago back on Birch Creek  and they say it will reach freezing or above this week for a range of  nearly 100 degrees in this race!!   I can't say how we'll do from  here out, especially with the warmth, but the vets were very  impressed with the team when I got in here and our run times have  been very competitive.  If I hadn't had to turn around to bring  Hawkeye back to Circle and the needed to add a whole other run/rest  cycle to my race I could be at least 12 hours ahead of where we are.   I hope that the strength and good attitude of the team will  eventually make up for it.  Dawson has been great to regroup, sleep,  and eat big.  Sue, Scott, and Moe have done most of the dog care  across the river at the dog camp while Tom, Linda, and Uncle Bobby  have kept me fed and in good company.  Gerry helped alot with my sled  repairs and it's as ready for the second half as it can be.  Thanks  all!!   Whitehorse, here we come!!!!!

Take care and thank you for your support -  Mike.

Mike at the start.

Steese Roadhouse

Crossing American Summit.

Resting on the nice Yukon River

Jumbled ice, open leads on the Yukon River.

Top of Eagle Summit.


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