One moment I'm content to bask in a moment reflecting on a run and team that I am so proud of. I look out the window at the dogs, active and prancing around on their chains - I know we are sharing the moment. I especially look at the youngsters - Crunchie, Hector, Hilda, and Herman. They have changed tremendously in the last few weeks. At the beginning of March they were bouncy 'puppies', now their bodies are hard and their minds reshaped by a thousand miles of trail. They are now dogs - capable, confident and amazing athletes. I am in awe of them.
The next moment I'm overcome by a wave of regret that the adventure is over and the trail behind us. Yes, the trail was arduous, but the overall experience was wonderful and enjoyable. Nome was a relief and a particular regret this year.
Next, hits the feeling of accomplishment. I improved 2 days, 16 hours over my 2001 finishing time. My time of 12 days, 8 hours is the third fastest Iditarod for a Siberian team ever BUT it wasn't the fastest and that was our goal.
But the most overwhelming emotion I'm feeling is eagerness. Eagerness to get home - eagerness to get working with my young dogs - and eagerness to get back working towards 2005.
YES, I said 2005.