(Whitehorse) The race began in earnest yesterday, each musher tenderly patting their fourteen dogs before leaving. The dogs were more excited than anybody, just barking and whelping, waiting to hear the buzz that sent them flying on their 1,000 mile course.
Kyla Boivin had what must have been a nervous start, changing her sled just minutes before taking off. She had found a lighter one. But she is a pro, and she too was off on her adventure.
We caught up with them here and there on the course, took great pictures. But it all seemed like a photo-op. I know that in a few hundred miles they will look very different, the wear and tear of the miles and cold weather will probably be evident on their faces. Like it is now, the ice accumulations on their beards just seems like a kind of a northern make-up.
Our last stop was late at night when we went Braeburn, to the first pit-stop of sorts about an hour outside of Whitehorse. I met with one of the mushers, who seemed as confident and relaxed as ever. He had parked his dogs and ate a whopping big sandwich. It was only the first milestone. 100 miles. Another 900 miles to go. On our way back the skies became green, and we stopped to watch a long streak in the sky. It was the auroris borealis, the northern lights.