Armchair Musher: A walk down memory lane to McCabe Creek Dog Drop

Monday, February 4, 2019

2-3-2019 10:30 PM

Walk with me down memory lane to the McCabe Creek Dog Drop.

So the tracker has been showing teams at or around McCabe Creek this evening. For many Quest mushers this is a favorite place.  Feels more homey then the larger community building that have graciously hosted checkpoints. The Kruse family has been doing this as long as I can remember, well over 20 years.  There is a huge woodstove and home cooking.   And for many years while one of the Kruse daughters was still living at home it was also known for magnets.  She would create beautiful original signed and numbered magnets and sell them to anyone who came down the road to the garage during the race. I imagine handlers and vets were prime customers.  I know I bought my fair share when handling for Dan.    

I still have mine from ’04, ’05, and ’09 on the fridge. They make me smile, and bring back fond memories of being on the trail handling for Dan.

You would walk down the farm road into McCabe, open the door to the garage and be welcomed by the smell of baked good and coffee.  The old garage was a shop where a musher would feel right at home. And resting there has been part of many successful strategies. Handlers would wait for their mushers sitting around a large wooden table eating cinnamon buns or soup. And every year when I showed up one of my first questions was, “what does this years magnet look like?”

That old garage was lost in a fire, (you can read the news report) but the Kruse family rebuilt and continues to host mushers and vets and serve as a welcome rest spot for both. I was there myself as a musher in 2011, and although things had changed you still felt right at home there.

At the end of this post I have included some pre fire photos from the 2009 Yukon Quest I took in McCabe while I was handling.for Dan.

And if you want to see what it looks like today Yukon Quest photographer Julien Schroder has posted some images on the Quest Facebook page, including an aerial view of the McCabe Creek dog drop.

Thanks for letting me have this little walk down memory lane with y’all.

Mush Love


Jodi Bailey