Guiding another Yukon Quest tour

On Wednesday, January 30th, I began a 12-day tour with a group, focussed on the Yukon Quest sled dog race, with other related activities as well. I’m a few days behind (I’m writing this in Haines, on Day 6 of the tour), but I’ll try to catch up over the next couple of days.

I had a lot of preparations to get ready for the group’s arrival. The first step was picking up a 15-passenger Ford Transit van from Driving Force. Once it was home, I stuck my car in the garage for a 12-day rest.

My car ad the rental tour van
As I was back in town, I saw dump trucks bringing snow to the Yukon Quest dog yard area. We’ve had very little snow this winter (so far), and it has caused some problems for the Quest.

Trucking snow to the Yukon Quest dog yard area
The weather forecast for our first was near perfect. Sunshine and just enough cold for a proper “Yukon” experience.

Weather forecast for our Yukon Quest tour
Once I picked up the trailer we use for luggage, I went to the Yukon Transportation Museum for a photo. That DC-3, CF-CPY, is known as “The World’s Largest Weather Vane“.

My tour van with the DC-3 at the Yukon Transportation Museum
I was at the airport for the group’s 17:05 arrival on Air Canada. I could see on my flight tracker that the aircraft was at Whitehorse, but they wouldn’t land. After about half an hour, they went to Fort St. John for fuel, stayed there for a while in case the weather improved at Whitehorse, then returned to Vancouver. The short version of a long story is that my people were stuck in Vancouver, and there was no indication when they might be able to get to Whitehorse.

An ugly evening at the Whitehorse airport
One member of my group had come in early, so she and I began the tour, starting with the Meet the Mushers event that evening. It’s always a high-energy event, and provides great people-watching 🙂

Yukon Quest Meet the Mushers event
The next day, Thursday, I showed Lori around Whitehorse, then that night, Cathy and 3 friends joined us at the Yukon Quest Start & Draw Banquet.

Yukon Quest Start & Draw Banquet
The banquet is where you really get to know a bit about the mushers – to see each one on stage as they draw their bib and starting position, and tell a bit about themselves.

Yukon Quest Start & Draw Banquet
As always, the Yukon Convention Centre was packed for the event. We left after the final bib was drawn, but I expect that the party went on for quite some time.

Yukon Quest Start & Draw Banquet
The silent auction fundraiser had a large number of items, the most impressive of which was this amazing glass sled dog team donated by Lumel Studios. The minimum bid was $2,500, and it sold, though I didn’t see the final price.It was one of the artists at Lumel that created “glass Monty” for me 2 years ago, with some of Monty’s cremation ashes in it.

An amazing glass sled dog team by Lumel Studios, Whitehorse

Day 3 is always one of the highlights of the tour – mushing on Lake Laberge.


Guiding another Yukon Quest tour — 7 Comments

  1. Love everything about the Yukon, The Northern Lights the Quest etc.The scenery is spectactular!!!

  2. Hi Murray
    I saw the Yukon Quest in a news item last week about skipping one section. I having been checking to see if you were going to blog about it.
    Thanks for the behind the scenes details (-:

    • Because of the problems with my people stranded in Vancouver by Air Canada, I wasn’t sure I was going to blog about, but now that we have everything sorted out, I’ll have lots to tell you about 🙂

  3. Hey Murray
    Will be fun to watch your perspective again over the race.

    And I know exactly why you guys don’t have much snow now – we have it all here in Ottawa!!!!!
    The snowbanks at my house melted a bit and are still 5 feet high. The next snowstorm will start in a couple of hours and has me nervous. They are forecasting 35-50cm by the time it is done Thursday morning and quite frankly, I am not sure where I am going to keep putting it all at this rate!

  4. Nice to see you making this trip again as guide, driver, advisor to all…

    Looking forward to reading the rests of the posts.