The team are back awake after about 5/6hours sleep – some in better shape than others but all still up for the next leg of this amazing adventure.
Whilst the teams have been asleep Ben & I have been hard at work making sure everything is ready for them. We strip the boats, clean everything and put It all back – Yukon Beat em had beached during the race and the team had to get out into the river to get it going again, the boat had about 4 inches of water in it and it took us a couple of hours to get this all out.
Boats cleaned, 80 litres of water per boat restocked, individual water bottles full, the boats are back in good shape, job done. One of the team had arrived at Carmacks in a particularly bad way and Ben had decided that he should sleep in the RV so we could keep an eye on him and to make sure he kept warm and got a good few hours rest, Ben and I take turns on checking the teams to make sure they are Ok. All seems well.
At about 19:30 I head back to the RV to start cooking for the team, we have lined up tortellini in a tomato and basil sauce, with salad followed by berries and ice cream, you could physically see the spirits lift as they started tucking in. 9:30 comes around and another mandatory kit check comes and goes and all that’s left is a team huddle, a few words from the captains and the teams are in the boats. Ben and I untie the two boats and push them off all we can hear is the sound of Rule Britannia echoing out around the wilderness as they paddle away.
Finally Ben and I can put are feet up… well not quite. We clear the camp site (seven tents taken down, rubbish away). To give a bit of context to the day, the campsite is roughly the size of the front car park at RLS office, Ben and I walked over 20 miles between us during the day. Anyway, the RV is packed, quick run to fill up with fuel and at 23:00 we hit the road heading for the five finger rapids. The boys should get there just after 12:30am.
Upon arrival at the checkpoint we have a 2km walk through dense Forrest to get to the rapids. We are acutely aware that Yogi and his pals along with Little red riding hoods wolf friends roam the area, so with a little nervousness, we find a couple of large tree branches and push on (yes, I know what you are thinking a couple of sticks vs yogi and his pals.. well fear not, we have secret weapon). The locals have been telling us that neither animal likes noise, so if they hear you coming they will stay out of your way, so Ben with his soft spot for Justin Bieber fires up the music, I take the lead (as to be quite honest getting attacked by bear seems the lesser of two evils when confronted by JB for 2km) and 20 mins later we arrived at the viewing platform, the boys get there not long after us and thankfully safe passage is achieved by both. Back to the RV again with Justin blaring out, up the 20 million steps to the top and we are back in the RV. It’s now just gone 1am, still light so we decide to push on to Dawson, another 4 hour drive And nearly 500kms to go. I take first stint while Ben has a nap, we drive for miles and see no one, we have climbed to over 800 mtrs above sea level and we are driving through cloud, we can’t see a thing, the roads are so bumpy the only way I can describe them is its like being thrown about on a cross channel ferry in high winds. 4:00am comes around and I am starting to feel tired, so we swap, we have about 130km left to Dawson. A few mins in we come across a couple in a broken down car, they have been stuck on this road for over 9 hours, yes 9 hours! We get them in the van and drive them to Dawson with us so that they can get sorted out.
Finally we arrived at about 6:30am we say farewell to our companions and we head straight to bed. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Ben & Spencer