Photos & Story
by Dan Davidson
An enthusiastic first group of Trek Over the Top sleds began to arrive in Dawson just after 1:30 p.m. local time, having taken off from Tok, Alaska, at about 8:30 (their time, 9:30 Yukon time) that morning.
Those first three riders were followed by a cluster of four about an hour later. A final number of 60 were expected for this run.
This is a rally, not a race, so people take it as fast or as slow as they are comfortable with, and many mention stopping along the way for a little break and some picture taking.
Nick and Melissa Billstrom said the trail was “very nice – sunny most of the way.”
Jim Psiones is on his ninth Trek. Glancing at the ladies over at the check-in table he said he keeps coming back for the women.
“Seriously though, I enjoy it. Excellent ride today. Best trail ever. The trail’s never been this good and the weather has never been this nice either. It’s been an exceptionally good day. Excellent ride, excellent view, excellent company, great place to visit.”
It was about -10° C in Dawson when they arrived, and most thought it had been about -20° F. (about -29 C) for most of the ride.
Reggie Everitt from Palmer, Alaska, is on his fifth Trek.
“This is by far the best ride and the best trail – on both sides.”
Two years ago he persuaded his friend, Eldon Bell, who he met while they were both on jury duty, to attempt the trip, and Eldon is a convert.
“I think we need another hundred miles,” he said. “I’m just getting; warmed up. Like he (Reggie) said, you couldn’t have asked for a more spectacular day. Perfect weather. Couple places where it was a little foggy, but that just kinda added to the intrigue of the trail.
“Everybody’s been terrific, from the folks up in Tok to the folks here, who really do a nice job. It’s nicely organized; the customs folks are nice and friendly.
“I can’t imagine why there aren’t a thousand people doing this, because it really is a lot of fun.”
Some years back there were close to 600, spread over three weekends, but border issues, international issues and the rising Canadian dollar (“No,” says Eldon. “It’s the falling American dollar.”) have cut into the registration and the Trek has just been a two weekend event for several years now.
Trek Number One will head back to Tok on Sunday and the next contingent, numbering about 117, will arrive this coming Thursday.
Read more about the Trek in our March 6th issue of the Klondike Sun! See how you can subscribe to the Sun here.