Thank Heaven and the Iditarod Trail Committee for the LIVE TRACKER!!
You may have noticed that for some reason Jeff’s GPS does not update as frequently as the rest of the Musher’s. I simply add a few miles…. I usually figure about four miles in a 30 minute period of time is fairly close. And this morning it looks like Jeff is just where he wants to be! The teams are moving toward Nikolai and most will likely arrive around noon. I know that they are breathing a sigh of relief knowing that the worst of the trail and demanding sled handling is behind them. Leaving Rohn there is about 20 miles of nasty trail before it levels off on the Burn. The Burn is a wide open, treeless area known for the lack of snow. This year in particular the teams were warned about the significant lack of any fluffy, white stuff to ease those trail miles. You will notice that the teams are running close together still and that is most likely due to the deep snow conditions up until this point. I also suspect that the experienced teams have been running a relatively conservative attack of the race due to the trail conditions. Some shuffling around will begin soon as the teams hit Nikolai and Takotna and their choices for their mandatory 24 hour breaks.
Jeff will be staying in Takotna for his long break. It is his favorite spot on the trail and he was looking forward to taking “a vacation” there. As I previously mentioned, he had a second sled flown in to McGrath just in case the rough trail took its toll on his equipment. If he needs to switch sleds, he will likely drag the “new” sled with him from McGrath to Takotna so that he can work on getting everything switched out without being rushed.
For many years, Jeff has worked at having all 16 dogs in the team leaving Nikolai. It looks like that may very well be the case this year. I know it will put a smile on his face : )
Down the trail in Rainy Pass rests our puppy team and Dave DeCaro. He is running a brilliant race at this point, showing off his calm reserve and ability and knowledge of managing his team perfectly. Our pups could be in no better hands than Dave’s. Here is his team of future champions:
Hopper, Spider, Cricket, Beetle, and Skeeter (Insects)
Shilling, Guilder, and Kroner (Currency)
Snoopy (Famous dogs)
Coltrane (Jazz musicians)
Dave (His namesake)
Eraser (Office supplies ala Carrie)
Stewart (Talk show hosts)
Suspect and Burglar (Crimes)