Stopping in Checkpoints

Paws Along the Trail with Stops

Being at the checkpoints, seeing the teams arrive and leave is a great inside view.  Some of the things mushers do when they stop in a checkpoint follows:

  1.  Take off their dogs’ booties
  2. Spread out straw for the dogs to rest upon
  3. Talk with the vet as he/she checks the dogs
  4. Snack the dogs with chunks of frozen meat
  5. Carry a cooler or bucket to get hot water (if provided by the checkpoint) or start up their cookers and melt snow
  6. Mix in the dog kibble and some meat into the water and feed the dogs
  7. Dump the drop bags and sort through
  8. Take off wet gear and put on dry
  9. Make sure the dogs are OK and resting, maybe give them a little talk and scratch some ears
  10. Take care of themselves

Some check their sled runners and possibly add a different runner plastic for the upcoming terrain.  They may get a hot meal and some conversation in with other mushers, a vet, and the media.  Many carefully check the race standings that are printed out and placed on the lunch table, or they pour over the GPS tracker if a computer is available.  It reminds us all that it’s still a competition. 

Monica Zappa was ready to leave in the early morning from Nikolai.

Larry Daugherty leaves Takotna

All packed and ready to go, Aliy Zirkle and her dogs are ready to hit the trail again

Can you write the sequence of what you do each morning when you arrive at school?  Are you like the mushers, using your time efficiently?