|Early morning on the beautiful Kuskokwim River.|
We left Nikolai after a solid six hour rest. Daylight faded as we trotted away from the village. I had asked some locals about the route prior to leaving and, true as advertised, the run was flat the whole way with frequently changing terrain that wound through sloughs, river, woods, river, swamps, and river. I thought it was great fun. I was in a good mood & the dogs were looking smooth. We were focusing all our energy forward, towards our big rest. We hopscotched the whole run with John Dixon, a musher from Fairbanks, who was having trouble with his team, plauged by females in heat. They had speed and would pass me quickly, but would invariably ball up and refuse to get going again, frustrating their musher. Midway through the run, Ralph Johansson roared past me. Holy cow, his team looked good. His dogs looked so strong and fresh, they made quite the impression on me. That looked like a top-10 team ripping past, but Ralph had a lot of ground to make up if he was going to catch up with the lead pack.
Unlike me, the dogs had gotten a solid 25 hour rest, interrupted only by feedings. They had been eating great. It was a short eighteen miles to Takotna, and another short eighteen after that to Ophir, the last checkpoint before the race trail veered into open wilderness.
To be continued......
Coming up: Part VII: Sunrise on the Road to Ophir
Missed the first few installments of my Iditarod story?
Click here for: Part I: The Start
|Ruby in her special pink coat & Frigg. See all the brambles sticking up. Annoying for me to kneel on but the dogs didn't seem to mind.|
|Pete, looking like there should be a "do not disturb" sign hanging off his nose, & Vader.|
|These lovely fleece blankets were made and donated to |
Iditarod by school children all across America!
|Vinnie, always inquisitive.|
|Robber & Victor snug under their covers.|
|ummm I don't remember who is hiding under here. I think it's Vinnie & Fezzik.|
|Nils & I think, Doc.|
|Goofy & Major, probably.|
|Felt pretty luxurious to have a room to myself!|
|Feeding dogs. Photo by Anja Radano.|
|Must be a few feedings in, judging from the amount |
of spilled kibble & water on the ground. Photo by Anja.
|Looking over race stats with Christian Turner.|
Photo by Anja
|Lisbet & Tabby.|
|Lisbet (wearing hat borrowed from Anja) & Anja.|