Leaving the Yukon

Some (maybe all) of you will have seen some of this post on Sheila’s FaceBook account already as it was so poignant I wanted to share it straight away. This version is edited a little as I’ve thought about it and am a little more rational and a little less emotional about it. It is nevertheless a true recollection of the stunning view and when I looked for a second I thought I saw that team on the river.

We took off from Whitehorse. I looked out of the window and there was the Yukon. It was so beautiful I had to photograph it. And it went on for several minutes.


We disappeared into cloud. Then we came through the clouds and there it was again. There was a great frozen river covered in snow cutting through the mountains. It was so mesmerising that I started to well up. Then I realised there was something else I hadn’t noticed before. On the river was a musher and a team of fourteen Siberian Huskies. The lead dog was a beautiful big red boy and there were two puppies in swing.

The big red dog was called Fya and the puppies were called Hektor and Paris and they were running towards a dream.

I think this was that guy you saw on the trail at Carmacks, McCabe and Braeburn but he was still younger and he was even more naive and filled with joy and expectations.

I wanted to shout out and tell him to keep going. Never give up. But I knew he wouldn’t, in the same way as I knew he wouldn’t give up in Dawson many years later with a different team but the same determination, the same steely grit and the same dream.

And then we climbed back into cloud and the mountains and the river and the musher and the dogs were gone. And then the tears started.

Keep chasing that dream Rob.


3 thoughts on “Leaving the Yukon

  1. Wow..I welled up at the end. Inspirational! I’ve followed Rob all the way on fb. He’s not far from me from Upton upon Severn. – I’m in Tewkesbury do enjoy training with Vickie P at Arctic Quest.
    If I had the money I WOULD do this..Susan Butcher did.. way back…won Iditarod more than most sequentially…”Men are men and women win the Iditarod” was quoted often in her day.
    I’m 64.5yrs but would do this if I could pass the physical and have more dogs. (Have two husky/mals).
    Only started dry rig running last year.. did half marathon (the only one) at 59+. Crumbling neck -> medically retired 2012. Had to step down ftom VR in sea cadet & off shore sailing – instructing navigation, band, plt’s and power boating and more.
    Not a quitter. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marianne

      By the twists of life, after living around the UK and the world I now live back not too far from you or our childhood home in Upton.

      Congratulations with the dry rig running. I admire you for doing that. Never stop chasing your dream.



  2. Pingback: The end of a long, hot summer…… | Andrew Cooke's Yukon Quest Blogsite

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