Eukanuba Stage Stop: Day 3 Update

From Gerry and the team along the trail:

Today was a day off from racing — kind of. While the teams were not on the trails, we were still busy with the dogs. It’s great to have an entire day to thoroughly inspect each dog and work on every little issue there may be, like stiff muscles, foot problems, etc. In continuous races like the Quest or Iditarod, the mushers handle all these chores while resting in the checkpoints or camped out along the trail, but in stage racing these chores are done by musher and handler with the convenience of truck and trailer loaded with supplies. So the race also happens away from the actual trail, almost around the clock (mushers can get eight hours of sleep here if desired, unlike at Quest or Iditarod).

It's a different kind of dog race, where dog care happens in and around the truck in front of a cushy hotel...
It’s a different kind of dog race, where dog care happens in and around the truck in front of a cushy hotel…

The “day off” also gave us opportunity to go swimming in the hotel pool, eat Thai food and mingle with the local folks in Lander for a meet & greet, for which Main Street was shut down so that the public could visit with the teams.

...and "people care" happens in the local Thai restaurant! Darcy and Leo have had a great time making new friends along the trail.
…and “people care” happens in the local Thai restaurant! Darcy and Leo have had a great time making new friends along the trail.

 

Musher meeting on the day off in Lander. Local musher and competitor Jerry Bath (centre) gives info about the dog truck parade to downtown. Race marshal Terry Atkins is in the orange anorak. Race director Dan Carter is on the right.
Musher meeting on the day off in Lander. Local musher and competitor Jerry Bath (centre) gives info about the dog truck parade to downtown. Race marshal Terry Atkins is in the orange anorak. Race director Dan Carter is on the right.

 

Dog trucks fill Main Street in Lander, Wyoming, for a public meet & greet.
Dog trucks fill Main Street in Lander, Wyoming, for a public meet & greet.

 

IMG_1737

 

We had a fine time at the public event in Lander — thanks to those who came out to say hello to the team.

Team Willomitzer at Lander, WY meet and greet
Tundra is a favorite with the kids.

IMG_1738

 

Some scenes from on the trail and off — folks in Wyoming really know how to build ranch gates!

Ranch gate along 2016 Eukanuba Stage Stop trail

Ranch gate along 2016 Eukanuba Stage Stop trail

Thanks to Billy Snodgrass, owner of Continental Divide Sleddog Tours and Distance Dogfood, for the hospitality. Billy will run his fifth Iditarod in March 2016. Cheer him on!
Thanks to Billy Snodgrass, owner of Continental Divide Sleddog Tours and Distance Dogfood, for the hospitality. Billy will run his fifth Iditarod in March 2016. Cheer him on!

Wet roads make for interesting hubcap designs on our truck:

Gerry Willomitzer dog team truck hubcap

On the way to Lander, we dropped some dogs against a backdrop provided by Grand Teton:

2016 Eukanuba Stage Stop - dropping dogs in front of the Grand Tetons

Grand Teton dog drop, 2016 Eukanuba Stage Stop

It is snowing heavily, and while we are ready to travel to South Pass for the next stage at 6 a.m., we are also ready for a change of plan in case the road up the pass gets shut down.

You never know what tomorrow will bring, especially not in a dog race.


One thought on “Eukanuba Stage Stop: Day 3 Update

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s