|Cruising towards civilization.|
Leaving Tin Creek, we wound through dusty hills still bereft of snow. At this point, the dogs were still running on their necklines. Conditions were marginally better than before, but still not great. The turns were sharp and icy, my headlight illuminating odd stumps and trees sticking out at irregular intervals. I expected the worst around every narrow corner and the ride was tense. All of a sudden we dropped down onto a flat expanse of untracked snow. It was Farewell Lake! And it was so…. SMOOTH. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of pure, sweet, relief to be on level ground. I felt like kissing the lake ice. The trail reflectors stretched far out ahead, glinting clearly. I relaxed for the first time in who-knows-how many hours, so thankful for this respite from the trail. We hopped from lake to lake and then into a different sort of terrain, traveling through sparse woods and up and down several steep ridges. The trail straightened and dropped into an open clearing. I swept my headlight around and saw Alex bedding down his team at the end of the clearing. We had arrived at the Buffalo Camp! It was time to take a well deserved rest.
As I was settling in, Ralph Johannessen came in to lie down. He had cracked a rib or two somewhere between Rainy Pass and Farewell Lake. “Ooof — there is no comfortable way to lay,” he told me in Norwegian. Poor man. My heart went out to him; there is really nothing you can do for a broken rib. I settled in for a short nap — the dogs and I didn't need to stay too long…. our big 24 hour rest was coming up next !!
To be continued......
Coming up: Part VI: 24
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Click here for: Part I: The Start
|Safe refuge: Buffalo Camp.|
|It's Yvonne! Hooray!|
|See you in Nikolai!|
|Sun rises on a new day.|
|Peering into the Interior of Alaska; the trail stretches out to the horizon.|
|Leaving tussock country for the forest.|
Ruby, Pete, Nils, Victor, Vader, Major, Robber, Vinnie, Fezzik, Goofy, Doc & Frigg.
|Traveling through an open, windy area.|
|Approaching the village of Nikolai.|
|Hand dyed, hand spun, hand knit wonder socks from Su! Worn for 700 miles of Iditarod.|