Hi, my name is Bumpy and I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Yukon Quest is starting in a few days. The race is 1,023 miles long. It starts in Fairbanks, Alaska, and ends in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. I have sixteen dogs that I am racing. Their names are Vanilla, Chocolate, Silly, Zero, Shadow, Fetch, Tuffy, Clover, Nanook, One, Bootsie, Pretzels, Mitzi, Gigi, Tracker and Sargeant.
“Awoooo, awoooo, awoooo!” I can hear my dogs howling and barking. I better go check on my dogs. Oh, it’s just that one of my dogs got loose. Well, I better go to the store and buy fifty booties for my dogs and a headlamp, so I can get ready for the Yukon Quest.
One week later
I’ve been practicing all week for the Yukon Quest. This is my first year in the Yukon Quest. I might not be good. I might even scratch. Tomorrow is the race. I sent my dogfood and my other stuff on Wednesday to checkpoints along the race trail.
“It’s time for bed, Tracker. Go get the other dogs.” Tracker ran out the door. Zoom! Suddenly, a herd of dogs come running in from the doggy door. Zero came running in and jumped on me. I fell on the floor. All the dogs jumped on me and started licking me in the face. “Okay now, let’s get some rest. We have a big day tomorrow. Good night, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
Soon it was time to get up. I ran around in my pajamas and yelled, “Get up everyone, hurry, Tracker, Zero and Silly. Get Up! You don’t want to be late for the race.”
|J. Carpuk with her dog, Spot.
I didn’t have enough dog holes in my truck. I put the smallest ones in one hole. Then I stuffed Tracker, Zero, Silly and Sargeant in one hole and the rest in the other holes. I started my truck and drove down to the Chena River, which runs right through Fairbanks city.
When I got there, I hitched up my dogs. Gigi was in the front. Then there was Nanook and Pretzels. Behind them was Tracker and Zero. The man said, “Are you ready?” I yelled, “Not yet!” I hurried up, I got them ready and then I heard, “Go!” I yelled to my dogs, “Mush!” They started to run as fast as they could. “No, don’t go fast!” I yelled. My number on my shirt is six.
I ran my dogs around a river bend. One fell in, but came back up. One was all soaking wet. One shook back and forth, getting other dogs wet. He was a team dog. Then we started to run. I heard something in the distance. It sounded like it was behind me. I dared not look behind me, because it might be a bear or a moose and it might charge me. “Mush!” I yelled to my dogs.
When I arrived at the first checkpoint, I unhooked my dogs and went into the door. I got a drink of water and some food for me and my dogs. Then I got some sleep.
In the morning, I got up and had some breakfast. Then I got some food for my dogs and some warm water mixed with it. They gobbled up their food. As soon as they were done eating, I hitched them up to the sled. “Bark, Bark!” The dogs all said. They ran and ran and ran.
One week later
Two hundred fifteen more miles until I get to Dawson City. While I was running, I noticed that the trail was marked the wrong way. What should I do? I just sat there for one or three seconds. Then I had an idea, since the piece of wood was stuck in the ground with an arrow on a piece of paper, I took the stick with the arrow and put it on the right trail and the arrow was facing the right direction.
Then I heard the same noise I had heard at my first checkpoint. The dogs started to whine and bark. Whatever is making that noise is following me. I got so scared that I said, “Gee!” and went the wrong way. Then I noticed I was going the wrong way! I told my dogs to turn around.
I wasn’t far behind. I was in seventh place. My dogs ran and ran. We passed a musher. The next day we passed two mushers. I felt great, until one of my stanchions broke. The stanchion broke in half. I took my axe and chopped a piece of a tree, then I put the piece of wood where my stanchion broke.
I heard a musher behind me. My dogs started to run. We sped up. Finally, the musher slowed down. I got to one of the checkpoints and rested.
I had the worst dream ever. I dreamed that I was with my dogs in the race and suddenly, I saw the biggest and the strangest grizzly bear I’d ever seen in my entire life! It was right in front of me, and all my dogs got loose and ran away from the big bear. It charged at me, and its big paws came swinging down from the sky and its big claws were just about to give me a big scratch on my face. Then I woke up and looked around. I sat up and ran to the mirror to see if there were any scratches on me. Whew! It was just a dream.
It was already morning, so I went to the kitchen and made myself some breakfast. I got ready to start running, but when I got out there, one of my dogs had a frozen paw. Luckily, it wasn’t the lead dog. It was five more minutes before I got ready to go. So I asked the person that was there to warm up my dog’s paw. After my dog’s paw was warmed up, we started to leave.
I passed one musher and I had a conversation with her. I asked her if she had heard a strange noise when she was coming into Dawson City. “Yes, it was a bear and it hurt one of my dogs,” she said. “Well, bye. I’ll see you later,” I said. She stopped her dogs to let them have a rest. I whispered to my dogs, “Keep up the good work.”
I was in fourth place and then passed two more mushers. So that put me in second place. I got to the last checkpoint. That night, I had a good night’s rest.
In the morning, I woke up and heard my dogs howling. I went out to check on them. I thought they might be hungry, so I got them some doggy food and water. But they didn’t want any dogfood or water, not even one gulp of water. Everytime I showed them a piece of dogfood, they just turned away from the food.
I ran into the checkpoint headquarters and looked for the veterinarian. I found him in the kitchen making pancakes. I said to him, “Can you please come out and check my dogs?” They won’t eat or drink.” He came out with his doctor stuff. First, he checked their mouths, then their ears. After he checked all the other stuff, he said, “I think they just have a five-minute flu.” “OK,” I said.
So, I waited for five minutes. Then I hitched my dogs to the sled. It was about 9 a.m. when I was near Whitehorse. I saw a dog musher in front of me. She was only one mile ahead of me. Then I caught up to her. She said to me, “You won’t win. You don’t have fast dogs.” “I might win. What would you do if I won?” I said. She said in return, “You know you won’t win, but just to be nice, I’ll be Mickey Mouse.”
I got ahead then she got ahead. It kept on switching back and forth. We did that for about fifty-nine minutes. There were about eleven more miles until we got to the finish line in Whitehorse. The other musher had sped up and was in front of me. I was going slower than the other musher but still going fast. I knew that if I went as fast as the other musher, my dogs would get tired and then slow down. Then the musher behind that musher would speed up and pass the finish line.
Just as I said, the musher started to slow down. Then she stopped right in the middle of the race. She would have won the race if I hadn’t passed her. Then, I passed the finish line.
I won the race! That was the first time I’d ever won a real race, in my whole life. I was so excited that I had won the Yukon Quest!
When I got home, I had a celebration. That night, I went to the pet store and bought four Alaskan Malamutes, five Siberian Huskies and three Samoyeds.