MANY thanks to SunHusky
for the use of their photos here!
Well it looks like this year I'm off to a bit of a slow start, luckily Karen isn't. The restart went off with out any problems. We dropped the dogs about half an hour before it was time to depart for the starting line, harnessed them and put booties on Loki and Odie.
With about 15 minutes to go Karen asked me if she had forgotten anything, I said I don't think so, and continued to mill around the truck. Shortly after that I did my ritual walk around the truck, closing dog boxes and locking doors, when I noticed a little white face staring at me out of a top box. It was Camilla, she had been left in her box because she is in heat and Karen didn't want her distracting the boys. Anyway we brought her down, harnessed her and chained her to the sled far away from any of the boys. The picture of Camilla giving Karen a kiss below is really of Karen apologizing to Camilla for almost forgetting her.
With Karen gone it was time for me to focus on my second task of the day, my snowmobile trip to Skwentna. I got home, emptied the truck, had lunch and waited for Ted & Deb Norris to return from their cheering spot on the Susitna river. When they returned Deb told me that when Karen saw them she stopped the team, sunk the snow hook and had her stand on the sled while Karen used the make shift port-a-potty that was brought for the party. While Karen was "Busy" another team approached from behind, Deb was getting a little nervous expecting our team to give chase, but no, they all just sat there staring at the port-a-potty waiting for Karen to get out. When Karen returned she was given a ready to eat lunch of bar-b-qued ribs with wet nap that she could eat while driving her team.
Once all the stories were told Ted prepared the snow machines for the trip, with that done Ted, Constant and myself headed down the Iditarod trail to Skwentna. This is the same trip that Karen and I did a few weeks ago except this time it was at warp speed and mostly in the dark. We didn't see any teams until after Yentna and even then its hard to see them in the dark. When we got to Skwentna we found Karen's team sleeping and when we went up to the house we found Karen sleeping, so we waited around for a few hours until she woke up. Then we watched as she fed her team, then we watched her as she ate a snack, then we watched her as she left. I don't understand why more people don't do this. Anyway with her gone, again, we headed back to Willow, arriving at about 5:30 in the morning, making Sunday a 25 hour day for me. When I woke up I was told that I had to meet the "Moms" and the Bakers in Wasilla for supper, or breakfast in my case, so I did, and now the "Moms" are gone.
If you haven't already noticed the Iditarod website is slow on their updates, but when the information is there it shows Karen a little ahead of her schedule. Don't forget to get on the Cabela's website talk forums and "Root For Your Favorite Musher".
Well that's all for now, maybe Karen will phone, hopefully not.