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Thursday, February 25, 2010


Home Sweet Home

Well we are now home and enjoying time to regroup. Mike will be writing something up on the race, but for now he is still catching up on sleep and food. Thanks for all of the interest, cheers, and love we have received throughout the race season. We had a blast during the Quest.
So I know that many of you are dying to know which dogs won the most valuable dog and tightest tug awards. Well I won't make you wait any longer. The MVD goes to REBA... She is such an incredible dog. She wants to please and is always ready to go. I love to see her pull a whole team off the straw when it is time to leave a checkpoint. We are very proud of her..
The tightest tug award goes to the dog that pulled the hardest throughout the entire race.. In Braeburn Mike mentioned that Moon was in the running.. Moon? Tiny little puny Moonie.. Although she worked real hard to win this prestigious award, there was another dog who wanted it more. ELIZA wins the TTA for the 2010 Yukon Quest! She really is a hard working dog... Reba and Eliza are not the only special dogs on the team.. Thanks to Mugs and Gila, Logan and Moon, Merlin and Trip, Lotus and Wilson, and Hood..

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hi all.
After getting up early to go in to Whitehorse to see Pierre finish with his siberians, I bumped in to Lance and Tonya and went to have breakfast with them. Zach Steer joined us as well.
Tonight is the mandatory Meet the Mushers event. Last night we were down at Hugh and Tamara's for a bonfire party. I am going to get caught up on sleep here sometime... I've been watching some Olympics in between dog drops and walks and going through some of the videos I took out on the trail. Here's one of my favorites from our crossing of American Summit just out of Eagle, Alaska. I'll process my thoughts and get some more stories, photos, and videos posted when we get back home.
We're looking forward to the Finishers Banquet tomorrow night!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quest Finish 2010

We did it!! Team Tsuga crossed the finish line in Whitehorse at 9:38am Wednesday.. Overall time is 10 days 20 hours and 29 minutes.. The team looked just fabulous.. We are very proud of the dogs and the rest of the team.. Crossing the finish line were Eliza and Reba, Mugs and Gila, Logan and Moon, Trip and Merlin, Wilson and Lotus and Hood in single wheel.. Stump, Hawkeye and Cassin also had a big part of this team and should not be forgotten.. The dogs enjoyed a nice steak in the chute and got lots of love from the crowd.. We will stay in Whitehorse through the rest of the week, enjoying the hospitality of Judy Beaumont, and catching up on some sleep and food.. Thanks to you all for watching and cheering on Team Tsuga.. Once Mike gets some sleep, I'm sure he will share some tails from the trail...
Respect your doGs..
Tsue, Mike, Peggy and the Tstars of Team Tsuga..

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Into Braeburn

Team Tsuga is almost there... The team looks real good and Mike will be leaving with 11 dogs.. He is feeling much better and is really enjoying the hospitality of the Braeburn Lodge... The food here is real big.. Video of the team coming into the checkpoint.. See you soon.
Tsue and Peggy

In Braeburn

We are sitting in Braeburn waiting for Team Tsuga to arrive at the last checkpoint.. Mike and the team left Carmacks at 2:07am after a 6 hour rest.. The team is looking good and they left the checkpoint without any problem.. We slept for a few hours in Carmacks and drove down this morning.. Time to get excited.. After an 8 hour mandatory rest it is 100 miles to the finish.. Mike is still not feeling to well, but he is plugging on... So proud of him and the dog team.. He was telling me who he thought would get MVD (most valuable dog) and TTA (tightest tug award) but I won't spoil the surprise.. What do you think? Which dog would you pick for each?
Tsue and Tpeggy
Ok we are getting a bit silly :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

On the trail again

The team left McCabe Creek at 2:50pm and is heading to Carmacks.. Mike expects the run to take about 6 hours.. Hoping for a cool night and fast trails, maybe some Northern Lights..

Team in McCabe Creek 2010

The team arrived into McCabe Creek at 8:46am on Monday.. Boy do they look good.. Happy, waggy doggies... The team is bedded down and will rest for 6 hours before hitting the trail again.. Mike is now able to eat some food and keep it down.. He looks pretty good overall.. Hope the temperature drops and the team has a good run out of McCabe into Carmacks.. Here is a video of what the team looked like in McCabe.. Enjoy..

The team pulled into Pelly Crossing at 4:50am on Monday.. They trotted off the river into the checkpoint looking great.. Since the temperature is around 27 degrees and getting warmer, Mike decided to keep on trucking.. He packed his sled and left 11 minutes later.. There is a warm breeze blowing and it feels pretty strange.. I guess that is better than no breeze at all.. Not sure if Mike will be stopping in McCabe Creek or not, but will find out soon enough.. He is still running the 11 dogs that he left Dawson with. Any injury or soreness getting into Dawson doesn't seem to be a problem after the 36 hour rest.. Mike is in good spirits, but I am sure he is not too happy with the warm weather.. We are in McCabe enjoying the hospitality. I'll keep you posted.
Tsue and Handler Peggy

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spot is back on the team

The tracking device that Mike lost in the beginning of the race is back and working.. Leaving Dawson the team was: Mugs and Reba in lead, Eliza and Gila, Moon and Wilson, Merlin and Trip, Lotus and Logan and in single wheel Logan..
Go Team Tsuga

Back on the trail

Team Tsuga is back on the trail after a successful stay in Dawson.. While in Dawson the dogs got a lot of rest, food, massages, and love.. I enjoy the opportunity to work with the dogs.. When the team came in, they were wagging their tales and seemed happy.. Mike was not in the best shape and needed to sleep.. I guess the trail over was very tough and Mike ended up breaking his nose in a fall in the jumble ice.. After a few hours of sleep, he was feeling better.. In camp the dogs were in overall good shape and ate well.. Throughout the 36 hours stay the team was fed 5 times.. After each feeding the dogs were walked, massaged and put back to bed and each time they let out a group howl. They were the loudest team in camp! Lotus and Trip had minor shoulder issues and we were able to work on them and both left in good shape. Wilson had a split between his toes and it didn't look like he would be continuing on.. We worked on it and by morning he was ready to go with the team.. Besides taking care of the dogs and catching up on some sleep (not the handlers), Mike also needed to fix his sled.. In the first 50 miles of the race, Mike broke his handle bar on the sled. The pictures will show you the severity of the break.. Tough to drive a sled without a handle bar. The handle bar was taped so it was still attached to the sled, but not really working.. He took the handle bar off my sled and put it on his.. Hopefully this one holds up.. The team was eager to go and looked great..
We will spend the night here and then head down the road to Pelly. Pelly is about 200 miles from Dawson so we will enjoy the evening Dawson style. Hope you are having as much fun as we are.. See you soon.
Tsue and Handler Peggy

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stump love

Stump really enjoyed the hotel.. Looking forward to seeing my babies today..

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ready in Dawson

Today has been a very busy day for the handlers.. We spent all day setting up the camp for the dogs.. We are really excited to work with the team when they arrive.. While setting up we saw the plane fly in with all the dropped dogs.. I got to the vet shack as soon as the dogs arrived.. When I saw Stump I burst into tears.. Not because he looked bad, but because his race was over and he wasn't himself.. He hurt his back.. He was happy to see me, but I think he knew that he shouldn't have been flying on a plane.. After feeding him, I will sneak him into the hotel for some love and a good rubbing.. He should be feeling better in a couple of days.. The team is on their way to Dawson.. Time to get some sleep... The runs from Eagle have been taking over 25 hours and I think the team will be here sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening..


We are still setting up camp.. Came to find out some updates and if the team has left Eagle.. Plan is to rest 8 hours and then hit the trail.. Unfortunately Stump was dropped in Slaven's.. Stump is our best leader and I am sure that it has been difficult for Mike to see him go.. I did hear that Mike is still in good spirits. Since Slaven's is a remote dog drop the dogs are flown ahead and will arrive in Dawson later today.. Stump was flown from Slaven's to Eagle and Mike was able to give him lots of love there. Sure he was happy to see him again.. I am still in shock... Hoping for the best.. See you later.
Sue and Handler Peggy

Some pics from Circle

In Dawson

Good Morning,
Well we made the drive safely! After the team left Circle we cleaned up and headed to Two Rivers. Although we were quite tired we decided to leave Two Rivers after changing over the gear. We hit the road at 10pm and got to Tok around 3am. The check engine light came on earlier in the race and the heat was working in the truck, but not very well. We slept in the truck next to the garage for a few hours and had them check out the problem when they opened. The thermostat was shot and they were able to find the part and get the truck into the garage. By 10:30 am we were back on the road.. We arrived into Dawson on Tuesday night.. We now have a few hours of sleep and are heading over to camp to set up.. Not sure what is going on, but I do know that a dog was dropped in Slaven's. Don't know who it is, but will get the dog as soon as they are flown to Dawson.. I'll try to post some pictures of camp when we finish.. Hope everyone is enjoying the trip..
Sue and Handler Peggy

Monday, February 8, 2010

In Circle

Hi Everybody,
The team has arrived in Circle. I am now able to upload some video from Mile 101 and Circle. First video is Mike getting ready to go over Eagle Summit and second one is of the team in Circle. Cassin will be heading home with us today with a hurt shoulder. She will heal up soon and did a great job at her first Yukon Quest. Once Mike and the team leave here, Peggy and I will clean up, drop gear off at home, gather the things for Dawson and then drive, drive and drive. Hawkeye is doing well and is just a bit sore. We will miss both of them on the team... Mike is in good spirits, but tired... Good thoughts to Team Tsuga... See you in Dawson..
Sue and Handler Peggy

Howdy from Circle

Well the race has been very exciting so far.. Some good and some not so good.. Mike finally got his wish and got to run the team over Rosebud, and it went well.. Although there has been less snow than usual, Mike and the team navigated the trail without any major problems.. On his way to Mile 101 the tracking device came off the sled and he will no longer be tracked for the rest of the race.. I was really enjoying being able to "see" where the team was. I was expecting him to come into One-O-One within the hour, but he arrived 5 minutes later. The plan was to rest for 6 hours, but the teams parking spot was less than ideal and all the teams leaving had to run past them. Peggy and I shared the responsibility of sitting with the team throughout the rest. Needless to say the team did not rest very well. Mugs had a minor encounter with another sled, but is still on the team and doing well. Mike got up before his alarm (no big surprise) and got ready to leave. While filling his fuel bottle he got sprayed in the face with the fuel. Luckily he was able to close his eyes and avoid serious injury. Very scary moment for both of us.. Eagle Summit was in the best shape it has ever been.. The last 16 miles into Central were terrible. Going through very tight and twisty trail Hawkeye hit a tree and is now on the truck with Peggy and I. He is very sore, but is doing ok. We will be watching him very closely over the next few days. He is a very stoic dog..Mike stayed in Central about 6 hours and is on his way to Circle. Hopefully the rest to the ride is uneventful.. Group howl leaving Central makes me proud.. So Peggy and I have been awake for the last 24 hours and need some sleep. Internet access right now does not allow me to upload images, but there are some good pictures to come... Happy thoughts to Team Tsuga..
See you soon.
Sue and Handler Peggy

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Heading to 101

Well after feeding the dogs that are hanging at home, Peggy and I got a few hours of sleep.. it is 2am and we are heading out the door to go to Mile 101... Love the Live Tracker on the Quest site.. See you soon. I many not have internet access until Central. Safe driving and good mushing..
Sue and Handler Peggy

Saturday, February 6, 2010

HI Everybody,
The 2010 Yukon Quest is underway. The team really looked great getting to the starting line and also getting prepared. We receive many complements on how the team handled themselves getting dressed to race. Once the team got to the starting line, they were jumping up and down, screaming to go and really pulling hard. Our friend Bill McKee rode down to the start line on the sled and Mike walked in front of the team. Peggy and I walked with the team too. The dogs looked just amazing.. Here is a little clip of the team leaving the start line.. We have the truck loaded for the first part and will be heading to Twin Bears checkpoint is just a bit.. Will be back home after the team goes through... Thanks to everyone for sharing in our adventure..
See you later.. Feeling great...

Sue and Handler Peggy

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here We GO!

Well, we are only hours from the start of the 2010 Yukon Quest!!
The last few days have been full of all the pre-race meetings, banquet and bib draw, media and fan events, etc. It's been really nice having the dogs all at home and comfortable during this week and we've even had a little time to run the team.

We've had to make one change to the team and it's kind of a big one. The strongest single dog on the team, Ambler, hasn't been able to completely get over a bit of a sore shoulder despite our best therapeutic efforts. So, Cassin gets her big chance! I'll miss Ambler's great strength and exuberant energy, but look forward to seeing what Cassin can do on her first Quest!!

We're very happy to have Peggy here from NH to handle the whole trip with Sue.

The trail report sounds pretty good this year, and they say it'll get better as we go.
The temperatures are forecast to be pretty moderate and the long range looks too warm, if anything.
We'll deal with whatever comes and do our best to get through it with a happy, healthy team.

Stump and Mugs are going to lead us out tomorrow. They're earned the honor.
Mugs has 6 of her 7 kids on the team. (Logan, Merlin, Lotus, Trip, Cassin, and Moon.)
Gila is coming along with 4 of her 5 kids. (Hood, Wilson, Eliza, and Reba.)
Hawkeye joins his littermates Mugs and Stump.
These guys are ready to go and so am I!!

Thanks for all the good wishes and look for updates here during the race. Sue will update whenever she can.
Ready?, let's go!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thanks Cody and Dog Paddle Designs!!

Yesterday I took my sled over to Cody's shop to give it the once over before Quest. We found a few more problems than I had anticipated, but thanks to his know-how and very functional shop, my sled is again ready to hit the Quest trail.
Brent was over there working through his Dog Paddle Design sled he's been riding all year and will be bringing on Quest.
I'm really grateful Cody could find the time and offer his help. Thanks!!!
Check out his website at www.dogpaddlegear.com