The dogs are coming! Saturday, February 4, 2017, marked the beginning of the Yukon Quest. This year they left Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory, Canada, for the 1000 mile trip. As of the time of this post, the racers are headed into Eagle on the far west border of Alaska. Three of the former champions are mushing again, Hugh Neff, Brent Sass and Allen Moore. While participants come from a wide range of places, winners in the past five years have all been from the interior of Alaska.
Just for those who wonder, each musher is required to bring the following items with them during the race: (1) cold weather sleeping bag; (2) hand ax; (3) a pair of snowshoes; (4) veterinary records; (5) promotional race materials (think banners); (6) a functional cooker; and lastly (7) fuel to heat 3 gallons of water. Extra dog booties are also required for each dog when they leave each checkpoint. Other suggested supplies are emergency food for themselves and their dogs, as well as navigation (compass and map). With such a short list this race indeed can be considered epic!