Well it looks like Karen is back on schedule again. Her predicted times and actual times have been within a few minutes of each other, with the exception of the Burn which took her an hour and a half longer to run than she thought. I think that her run from Ophir to Iditarod will be longer as well, just by looking at everyone else’s times, everyone is running slower because there is NO snow.
Oreo is finally home, a dropped dog goes through quite trip before it is returned home. Once the decision has been made to drop a dog the musher has to sign a drop dog form, then the Vets priorities the dogs by how fast they need to get home. First they could medivac the dog out with a Vet immediately, or they mark the dogs with red tape around their collar which means that it goes out on the next available flight, or like in Oreo’s case she was marked with blue tape which means she can leave whenever its convenient for the race. If a dog is dropped on the first half of the race it is flown on a small plane to McGrath where the dog drop girls stake it out to chain link fence where they are pampered until they can leave for Anchorage. Once in Anchorage the dogs are trucked to the prison where they are pampered again until a designated person picks it up and takes it home. If a dog is dropped on the second half of the race it is flown to Nome.
Our handlers left for home the other day, they were going to Red Deer via Fairbanks and Northpole. Their help was very much appreciated, even though Karen and I are not the easiest people to work with or even be around at this time of the year. I hope that they had fun and took home lots of memories.
I have to tell you a funny story about Karen’s friends from the Bay Area Siberian Husky club from San Francisco. They were joking about how we don’t eat Tofu. So while Karen wasn’t looking they slipped a package of Tofu into her sled, she didn’t find it until the first checkpoint, she had a big laugh then threw it into the garbage.
Karen is on her second sled now, the sled that she brought across the burn needs a lot of attention, and will need to be beefed up a bit before it sees another race. Now that I see what breaks on it I’ll hopefully be able to make it stronger.