I made it to the coolest city in the north country...Dawson City, Yukon. So far things have gone really well. Temps have been on the cool side...mornings generally in the mid -30's, days around -10, warmer at least two of the days. Trail has been great. Most days have been just hard enough, but not too hard. Until yesterday. Yesterday was cold. And it was too hard. I think probably my toughest day on a bike since the 2015 ITI. Rode from Scroggie Creek all the way in to Dawson. Quest says it's 100 miles. My GPS says 98. Either way it's a tough up-and-down piece of trail. When I got to Indian River, a reasonable place to break that run in two, it was still daylight and already cold. So I opted for a long day on the bike over a long night in a sleeping bag. Got in to Dawson about 1am. Pretty wasted this morning. I'm gonna layover. Hopefully have a beer with some Yukon Quest friends. Start rolling again tomorrow.
I'm really enjoying riding alone and getting to actually see the YQ teams racing and getting to hang out with some of them in checkpoints. But I'm looking forward to Heather joining me in Eagle for the ride back to Fairbanks.
DAWSON CITY, Yukon — Dog teams aren’t alone in running the Yukon Quest trail this winter.
The 1,000-mile trail between Whitehorse, in Canada’s Yukon, and Fairbanks gets packed down
each year for the sled dog race and marked with wooded stakes topped with reflective tape.
The existence of the long cross-country route attracts runners, bikers, skiers and snowmachiners
in addition to Quest teams.
Fairbanks cyclist Jeff Oatley biked the Yukon Quest trail from Fairbanks to Whitehorse last year and
holds the record time for the Iditarod Trail Invitational, the 1,000-mile race that follows the course of the Iditarod.
This year he’s trying to link the two trails for a 2,000-mile trip from Skagway to Whitehorse to Fairbanks to Nome.
Oatley ended up exceeding his 60-mile goal on the day before he came to Dawson, riding 98 miles in one long day in
order to arrive in Dawson and skip a night of camping at 30 below
There’s no annual distance sled dog race from Fairbanks to Nome, but Oatley has worked out an itinerary of local
trails that will connect him with the Iditarod trail in the Lower Yukon River.
Good luck Heather Best and Jeff Oatley!
Real winter conditions in Alaska's Interior this week during the Yukon Quest race.
from Heather Best this morning:
"Just what I was hoping to read before heading to Eagle and setting off down the Yukon with Jeff...
NWS Special Weather Statement: "A cold airmass will bring much colder temperatures to the Interior
for the weekend. Many locations will see low temperatures of 35 to 45 below on Saturday and Sunday.
High temperatures on Saturday in many locations will not exceed 15 to 20 below.
Fortunately, this cold snap appears to be short lived as a warming trend in temperatures is expected
early next week. Please be prepared for the cold conditions if you have any outdoor activities planed this weekend."
Not very much information coming through on this ride, but,
According to his tracker, Jeff and Heather are almost to to the Chena Hotsprings winter trail. They should be in Fairbanks tomorrow evening,
the next 90 ish miles are pretty fast. Perhaps he will hit the hot-springs tonight..
Pretty epic - they did rosebud and eagle summit today, both big climbs, but Eagle summit is pretty steep!