Dan arrived in Dawson with 12 happy dogs at 2:12 on the 6th. Once the mushers get to Dawson the handlers fun really begins. Here we can actually get involved and help care for the dogs… and the musher. The Dew Claw handling crew of me and Joel got a boost from our friend Erin who made the trek over to help with the Dawson layover. Erin was an amazing help. Along with all her work she also served as our official photographer when Dan and the dogs arrived in Dawson. Check out her photos at the end of this post.
Things have run very smoothly, and we were able to get Dan well rested and fed. Chores included washing all his gear, checking the sled and doing some minor repairs, and of course caring for the dogs. They really enjoy resting in the Dawson camp on big beds of straw with meals every six hours; followed by massage and walks in the campground to stretch out. As simple as it all sounds it actually involves a lot of logistics and organization. Not to mention the work of setting up the camp for the dogs before Dan even arrived. For the layover dogs are bedded down in a campground across the Yukon River from Dawson. Trucks travel an ice road to get there. Once dogs arrive trucks are not allowed into the campground, to ensure the dogs have a good rest. But till that point handers are trucking in the supplies, dog food, straw, and gear that will make the campsite a comfortable workable place during the layover. This year due to logistical concerns the traditional 36 hour layover was lengthened to 40 hours (read more here) giving us a little extra time to get work done, and allowing Dan to get an extra nap while he was here.
And while he is napping I am taking this opportunity to share with you all some photos Erin took when Dan came into Dawson, and when the dogs first got settled into the camp we made for them.