Wednesday, 8 March 2006

March 8, 2006 News from Nikolai

I just got off the phone with Karen. She was in Nikolai and in a very good mood, she says that she's having a blast. The trail has been great, the Steps and the Gorge were the best that Karen has ever seen. Snickers and Dasher led to Finger Lake then Karen switched over to JR and Dasher. It appears that Snickers has developed a dislike for Vets. Every time someone other than Karen touches Snickers feet she snaps at them, so Karen put a fluorescent collar on her so she could warn the Vets about the little shark.

Draco will be dropped in Nikolia, he's just not pulling. The Vets can't find anything wrong with him, he's the biggest dog on the team and Karen doesn't want to take the risk of having to bag him. The good news is that everyone else is working so hard that Karen say's that he isn't needed.


Karen will blow through McGrath and take her 24 hour break in Takotna. Her run times between checkpoints have been faster than 2004, she's been taking longer rests at checkpoints and is still pretty much on schedule. We discussed some of the times that were posted on the Iditarod website and it sounds like some of the information has been wrong.

Karen's average speed through the early checkpoints during the 2004 Iditarod:
Yenta Skwentna Finger Lake Rainy Pass Rohn Nikolai
11.3 9.6 4.8 7.9 9.3 6.4

Karen said that Jeff Schultz was in Nikolai taking pictures of Dasher and of Karen's new souvenir. After successfully negotiating the Steps and the Gorge, Karen was crossing a frozen swamp when one of her sled runners caught a rut and she flipped her sled. While on her side she managed to slam her face into a tree. The picture of Karen's black-eye should be in tomorrows newspaper.


Shortly after this posting, questions regarding identity of a second dropped dog were quickly bandied about when the current race update was posted showing Karen leaving Nikolai with 14 dogs.

Pos Musher Checkpoint Time In Time Out Dogs Rest Travel Previous
Time Out
Speed Status
56 Karen Ramstead/76 Nikolai 3/08 08:05:00 3/08 14:15:00 14 6:10 15:43 Rohn 3/07 16:22:00 5.90  24   8

Karen's brother Jim shared with the NorthWapiti Yahoo NewsGroup the identity of a second dog that was dropped - Surge.
Photos by
Mary Curtis
DracoComforted2.jpg (143348 bytes)
Draco is cared for by a volunteer at the dropped dog lot
DracoComforted.jpg (215511 bytes)
DracoNoFun.jpg (231500 bytes)
Draco rests after being dropped
DracoSurgeRest.jpg (213070 bytes)
Draco & Surge
SurgeNoFun.jpg (187261 bytes)
Surge resting
SunsetDogLot.jpg (137788 bytes)
Sunset at the dropped dog lot

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