The news Friday that the trail was being drastically rerouted didn’t come as a huge surprise. All the way up the Klondike Highway, we talked to residents and some of the Canadian Rangers who put in the trail. They all said the conditions were terrible and they had been busy rerouting the trail, filling in holes and cutting through ice and drifted areas.
One guy at a bar in Dawson blamed the conditions on global warming. He predicted that long-distance sled dog racing would die out in a warmer world. Another person at another bar said he thought the climate had been going through a blip, similar to one that occurred in the warm and dry 1930s, but was turning and we could expect a return to more wintry conditions. Who knows. If I could predict the future I’d be playing the lottery right now.
Whatever the reason, the poor conditions were obvious this year. The trail from Pelly Crossing to the dog drop at McCabe Creek runs along the road for several miles. It consisted of an icy snowmachine track with patches of grass and brush poking through. There wasn’t enough snow to hold trail markers up.