Wednesday, 14 March 2001

March 14, 2001

Good day:

The Athabasca River is a nice size, the North Saskatchewan River isn’t that small and the Bow River can hold its own.  But you could put them side by side multiply them by two and you still wouldn’t have the Yukon River.  This river is HUGE, at some points it is over a mile wide, it is always cold and it is always winding.  So you can imagine that Karen is very happy to have her and her dog’s feet on dry land again, she’d be even happier if there was snow on that dry ground. So now Karen has finished the Southern route and is back on familiar trail, at least until she gets to Shaktoolik.

I’ve had a lot of questions sent to me during the night, so I’ll spend this diary answering them.  First of all Karen is feeling fine now she was sick for awhile but just ignored it until it went away. 

Karen usually runs her dogs on an equal run rest schedule, this can of course change due to weather or if she is trying to make it to a checkpoint.  On the longer stretches of the race Karen camps on the trail, she has a cooker with her and can melt snow to make meals for herself and her dogs.  I have a copy of her schedule with me so I can watch her progression and see if everything is going according to plan.  I haven’t shared it with anyone yet, you never know when someone from Swingley’s team is watching.  I’ll post the remainder of her schedule before I head up to Nome on Friday.

Karen has been rotating her leaders to keep them fresh.  She hasn’t really said who’s been up front the most, but I’ll bet you any money that Grover will be up front as Karen leaves Shaktoolik.

I get asked a lot of questions about mushers carrying navigation equipment and emergency locators.  Rules #36 & #37 of the Iditarod go something like this:
Rule #36: A musher may carry an Emergency Tracking Device, activation of this device will make a musher ineligible to continue. 

I know for a fact that this rule has been enforced in the past.  
Rule #37: Musher may only use traditional forms of navigation, no night vision goggles, or GPS devices.

In other words follow the trail markers.
When I mentioned yesterday that I was going to watch the grass grow I wasn’t kidding, the snow is quickly disappearing, its getting hot enough during the days that I had to bring my beer in off the porch and put it in the fridge.  Yesterday when I was in town getting some groceries there where people wearing shorts...

(Karen's husband)

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