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A Denali Destination

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Thursday update @ 4:02pm

Hello Race Fans!

It’s a sunshine filled afternoon here at Husky Homestead with the temperature climbing to a toasty warm 35 degrees.  It seems things are warming up all over the state!  We couldn’t help but notice that during the heat of the day yesterday, Jeff’s tracker was transmitting that it was 41 degrees where he was at.  That is t-shirt weather for some Alaskans!

Jeff spent yesterday making his way from Ophir to the checkpoint of Iditarod.  This is an 80 mile run and it is noted that this is one of the emptiest stretches of trail.  Jeff rested the team for about 4 hours along the way, stopping during the hottest part of theafternoon.  He arrived into Iditarod this morning at 1:06am, and upon stopping at the checker jokingly proclaimed “And the crowd goes wild!” since there were less than a handful of people there.  Jeff seemed to be in good spirits (we watched the Insider video) but we can imagine that he is pretty tired at this point.  As we write this Jeff is still in Iditarod so we are presuming that he is taking his 24 hour mandatory rest here.  (Mushers are no longer required to declare that they are taking their 24 hour rest due to a change in the Race Rules.)  Staying in Iditarod for his 24 hour will give him a chance to catch up on a bit of sleep too.

From Iditarod the trail heads west to Shageluk.  Reports say that this section of trail is a bit primitive at best, with the first 30 miles having the potential of being a very soft trail as it was only put in two days ago.  Check out Joe Runyan’s 8am News Roundup article from this morning for a bit more information.  Sebastian Schnuelle snapped a few pics of Jeff on the trail to Iditarod, you can see those photos by heading over to his blog: Update von Don’s Cabin.

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We’ve had a few questions come our way via our Husky Homestead Facebook page, so we wanted to make sure that we shared those with you as well!

Q: “I love watching the race through the GPS tracking, but I don’t understand why Jeff and the others are making so many 10 minute stops between check points.”

A: Mushers stop on average every hour to snack their dogs, as well as to make changes in the line-up by moving one dog here and another there. While moving dogs around may not always be part of the stop – keeping the dogs eating is. Many of Jeff’s snack stops include a frozen/soft frozen meat snack – thus they also contain some water helping to ensure that the team stay hydrated and healthy.

Q: “What is the advantage of not going ahead and taking your mandatory 8hr rest if the team has already taken 7+ hours at one checkpoint. I have noticed this happen a couple of times along the trail and wonder why they don’t go ahead and finish the time and get it on the books. They can always rest more if needed later…just wondering the strategies.”

A: The 24 hr mandatory rest can be taken anywhere that the musher chooses. There are two 8 hr mandatory rests: one must be taken at a checkpoint on the Yukon River, and the second 8 hr rest must be taken at the White Mountain checkpoint.  If Jeff rested 8 hours at any place other than one of the five checkpoints along the Yukon River and White Mountain,  it would not count as one of the mandatory 8.

Do you have a question that you would like answered?  You can ask your question by emailing it to us at info@huskyhomestead.com.  We’ll go through them and post answers here, as well as on our Facebook page.

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Virgil may be back at home in Montana, but he’s still spreading smiles here in Alaska!  Two nights ago an interview with Virgil was shown on KTUU in Anchorage.  Click here to watch this great piece!

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What do dozens of sled dogs sound like at night?  Alaska Dispatch has the answer!  Click here to find out by watching this fun video!

Alright folks, with Jeff sitting still…  maybe we should get some work done before he gets back on the trail and we’re glued to our computers again.  We hope you’re having fun following the team!

Until next time…

– The HH Crew

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