February 18, 2009; 1300 PST (Dawson City, YT) – Warren Palfrey and Martin Buser arrived in Dawson City this morning within minutes of each other, checking in at 9:44 AM and 9:55 AM respectively. Both mushers are rookies in the Yukon Quest but veterans of the Iditarod.
The 2009 Yukon Quest has special meaning this year for Warren who hails from Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. The 2 time Iditarod finisher is planning to race both the Yukon Quest and
Iditarod this year.
What makes this special is not only running the two races back- to-back, but the symbolism that running the Quest in 2009 has for this musher. Warren is paying a special tribute to his family members who participated in the famed Klondike Gold Rush.
In l897, Warren’s Great Uncle Tom Hourie and Great Grandfather Sam Hourie traveled north along with hundreds of other hopeful men to seek their fortune. Both men worked the Chilkoot trail for months and arrived at Lake Bennett in l898 before making their way down river. Around l905 they found gold. Sam departed to travel the world but Tom chose to stay behind in the Yukon and ultimately passed away in Dawson City, Dec 3, l908.
Tom Hourie was so respected and well-known that the Legislative Association, on hearing of his death, held a special meeting and voted to attend his funeral en masse. Prior to living in the Yukon, Tom had worked as a Métis Scout during the Riel Rebellion and was renowned for his heroic deeds. He was one of three scouts to whom Riel had surrendered and was heralded across Canada as the man who braved the icy Saskatchewan River in March, swimming across to carry an urgent dispatch.
To honor and commemorate both these men, Warren is carrying the Métis flag and two sashes as he travels by traditional dog team across the country where his family lived and worked over one hundred years ago.
- NorthernStar Kennels Press Release – January 29, 2009
- Iditarod Presentation by Warren Palfrey
- Lance Mackey Wins 4th Consecutive Yukon Quest