Iqaluit adventurers prepare for final stretch of four month journey

Sarah McNair-Landry and her partner Erik Boomer say the latest leg of their long trip - from Pond Inlet to Arctic Bay - has been tough on them and the dogs, and that they're looking to add additional dogs to the team for their journey's final stretch.

'70 days wears on us and the doggies,' says adventurer Sarah McNair-Landry

A couple on a four-month-long dog team trip around Baffin Island are hoping to add some fresh blood to their team for the trip's final stretch, saying the trip so far has been difficult on both them and their dogs.

Sarah McNair-Landry and her partner Erik Boomer are currently in transit from Pond Inlet to Arctic Bay, the latest stretch in their 120-day attempt to retrace a route McNair-Landry's parents took 25 years ago.

Catch up with McNair-Landry and Boomer's journey:

Their current leg follows the same route as this year's Nunavut Quest sled dog race, but the Quest has been delayed by a few days. McNair-Landry says they had hoped to meet up with the Quest racers, but the delay will prevent that.

"We won't see them on the trail," she says. "We've seen a couple of teams from Arctic Bay that were making their way by snow machine to Pond Inlet. But we're going to miss the race."

McNair-Landry says the trip from Pond Inlet has been challenging, with her team battling deep snow and big hills. She says there were two passes, more than 300 metres each, to go up and over. McNair-Landry says the journey so far has been tough on them and the dogs, but she hopes the team will get some help once they arrive in Arctic Bay.

"Seventy days wears on us and the doggies," she says. "They're getting tired. One of the debates is maybe we should bring in some fresh energy and some fresh power and a couple extra doggies just to help us out."

McNair-Landry is hoping to fly a couple of extra dogs into Arctic Bay or Igloolik, the couple's next stop. Ideally, she says, they'd be flown to Arctic Bay, giving them a chance to try out or warm up before McNair-Landry and Boomer fully commit to their new recruits. Igloolik is the last community stop in the couple's journey before they return to Iqaluit. McNair-Landry says they hope the dogs will make it to Arctic Bay in the next day or so.

There is some symbolism in McNair-Landry's hopes for additional dogs. Twenty-five years ago, her parents ran into a similar situation, looking for a little more power and fresh energy by this stage of the journey.

"When my parents did this trip, when they got to Arctic Bay, they increased their team by five dogs," she says. "They ended up buying five dogs in Arctic Bay."


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