klondike road relay 2014: part 3
Ok post race details. One thing I forgot to mention was at this point I had completely lost my voice (I started with a sore throat on Thursday, felt ok on Friday, and still felt ok on Saturday, but had no voice), so there was a lot of gesturing and "shouting" on my part.
We left the finish line and headed to the cabins where we were staying the night (Sundog Retreat, I think). It was about a 20 minute drive out of Whitehorse. Once we got there, we split up between the two cabins...and took showers! Hot showers! It was glorious. At that point the people in my cabin and I decided that we were pretty much too tired to do anything other than eat and go to bed. So, we scavenged some food and went to sleep. The plan was to get up super early (4:30am) Sunday morning and be on the road between 5am and 6am to get home.
We managed to get on the road by 6:15 (pretty good when you are trying to get 9 people organized and motivated first thing in the morning). The drive back started out with giant potholes. Like the biggest potholes I've ever seen. It had pretty much been raining since we drove down on Thursday, which was evident in the fact that the road had quickly disintegrated. It was hard to tell from far away where exactly the potholes were, all you could see was gravel scattered across the road until you got right up close to them. There was a lot of slowing down and driving in the oncoming traffic lane to avoid losing a wheel, or getting swallowed completely.
Next came the snow.
After we got through the snow there was one point when the whole road was gravel and there were 100s of tiny little (and some big) potholes. Getting through that portion involved driving 25mph and zig zagging all over the road. Super fun. We all cheered when we hit pavement (and Beaver Creek)!
Most of the rest of the drive was uneventful. It was funny that as soon as we went through U.S. customs, it was sunny and beautiful out, but it had rained/snowed on us almost the entire time we were in Canada.
About 10 minutes outside of Glennallen, there was a large bang, a funny smell, and some other weird noises in the engine of the RV. We quickly pulled over on the side of the road and got out to investigate. It was not the tire (which is kind of what it sounded like to me), turns out that it was a spark plug. After a phone call to the rental company, we established that it was safe to drive as long as we didn't mind the noise. It was either that or wait 5 hours for someone to come help us, or wait until the next day to try and find a place to fix it. We had a good laugh about the whole thing, donned our earplugs, and carried on in our RV turned giant riding lawnmower. (PS. To the 10 or so cars, trucks, and RVs who drove by and didn't bother to see if we were ok...thanks, we got it figured out on our own.)
We also had to drive with all the windows open because it smelled like gas. Fun.
We rolled into town around 8:30pm, did you hear us?. We unloaded the RV and went home to our own beds!
What an amazing, completely ridiculous, and incredibly awesome time! I can't wait to do it again next year!
Side note: my voice came back on Wednesday, but I ended up being sick for over a week. I guess running 20 miles over night in the rain is not really the best thing to do when you are sick. Oh well. Totally worth it.