Mother Nature is surely throwing a bit of oddball weather into the mix in this years Iditarod! It’s not often that you will find this rainy drizzle complete with warm temperatures like this north of the Alaska range. Mushers have been donning rain jackets!
Jeff came off of his 24 hour in Anvik and posted a nice run time over to Grayling – just 5 minutes slower than current race leader Martin Buser. He stayed in Grayling for just 22 minutes where he most likely snacked the team and perhaps grabbed some items from his drop bags. From there he headed to Eagle Island where he stayed for his 8 hour mandatory rest (8 hours of rest must be taken at one of the checkpoints along the Yukon River). The icky weather is not just affecting the teams, but the race support personnel as well. Planes were grounded the last few days, making it impossible for the Iditarod Air Force to transport musher drop bags into Eagle Island. Iditarod Trail Breakers did come to the rescue however, as they worked some extra long hours to haul supplies by snowmachine to Eagle Island. As mushers departed Grayling some were packing extra dog food to prepare for the possibility that their drop bags would not be there.
Areas of overflow have been frequent on the trail, however the temps are beginning to drop as Jeff makes his way to Kaltag. These lower temperatures will help these spots of overflow to freeze up – perhaps even in time for Jeff as he is now about 42 miles from Kaltag – however his tracker is still reporting temps above freezing.
Jeff did drop one dog in Eagle Island, however we don’t yet have any info on who it was or why Jeff opted to drop them. We’ll be keeping our eyes open on the videos and photos to see if we can tell who is missing. Burglar is doing well and was even out running with some puppies today! We haven’t spoken to Jeff (he usually phones from his 24 hour layover – however the Iditarod checkpoint is quite sparse and there is no ‘telephone’ as there would be in Takotna for instance) to find out what was quirky about Burglar so we’re thinking he must have just seen something that he didn’t like. He is his normal self though! Yap, yap, yap as he barks in his high pitched voice!
We figured that today was as good a day as any to start harness breaking the little ones! We took 6 puppies out, and here’s some pics of veteran leader Coltrane leading Jerry, Beanie and Bonnett around the neighborhood.
Alright… back to the race! We hope you’re enjoying following this one… still a ways to go!
Until next time… don’t eat the yellow snow!
– The HH Crew