When we last left Team North Wapiti, they were hunkered down in Unalakleet (aka: the Pizza Checkpoint), relaxing and the Musher was scheduled to get her favorite pizza.
Well, we are pleased to announce that the Musher DID get her pizza!
Helen (smells of cookies) Handler called Peace on Earth and heard from employee Davida that the Musher dined on a large pizza, half greek, half "the works" created by Bret. Whew! Thanks to Kathryn "snack bag and former handler" Minion for ordering the pizza and making sure it was paid for.
Also, thanks go to all of the peoples that donated to the Get the Musher a Pizza, latte-guzzle, gas fund! We'll be gathering the names and posting an official thanks a little later on, we really appreciate your outpouring of support and generosity, and pictures and reports of the pizzas you all ate last night!
Of course after the pizza, the Musher was able to relax and enjoy the goodies in her snack bag that were packed with love from Deb Bok. THANK YOU DEB!
So... just about the same time that we had a winner in the race, the Musher and PCTs pulled their hook and headed out of Unalakleet at 18:41 (6:41 pm) with the same 14 Pretty Curly Tails and headed toward Shaktoolik (I really must insist that during the next Iditarod run that checkpoints be called simpler names).
Here is the trail description from Unablahblah to Shakalakadingdang. No disrespect to the residents there... I just can't get it straight.
Frankly, I was so tired that I went to bed and in the morning... TAH DAH the Team arrived in Shaktoolik at 2:46 (2:46 am) right when I woke up! Good timing on my part. I also felt really bad that I was complaining about not finding a comfortable spot on my chair yesterday, when the Musher and PCTs were doing such an amazing job running all that way. I really can't wait for the Musher to finish and start telling all of us about their adventures!
Ok, so here is where the Shaktoolik checkpoint is:
You may have heard that the weather there is ATROCIOUS! Its so bad (how bad is it?) that mushers are camping out there waiting for the weather to clear because the route from Shaktoolik to Koyuk is straight over the ocean... sea... WATER! Ok, don't worry, that part is frozen, so they aren't swimming it, but it means that they are out in the open, no trees, no cover, no place to hide from the 35 mph winds. It was also -35 degrees windchill there. Brrrrr!
When the Team arrived, there were 12 other teams camped out there waiting for a break in the weather. One of the problems with having so many dogs in one area is that if a dog is sick, it's much easier for the others to pick up the "bug". The Mushers are very careful to make sure their dogs don't get too close to other teams and clean after themselves as much as possible.
Luckily for the Musher, she had the snack bag lovingly packed by Brittany (watch out, here comes the dog team) Wiest (Handler). Thank you Brittany!!!!
We would also point out that all through the race so far, The Musher has traveled with Hank DeBruin, who is also running a team of all Siberian Huskies. Well, not any more. The Musher now has about a three hour lead on Hank and his team of Pretty Curly Tails (but not as pretty as our Pretty Curly Tails).
I present to you, Prettiness exhibit A: Pretty Sled Dogs at McGrath
|Curled up Turtle|
|Charge... asleep sitting up before he was dropped in Galena|
|Jinx and Boo|
|Jinx, See, and Boo (Plotting a shoe shopping trip after the race)|
|Roscoe and Wolverine (wishing the girls would stop talking about shoes)|
Meet the Minion: Donna Quante!
"Photographer/videographer/Siberian lover minion Donna Quante loves taking photos of the pretty sled dogs. After owning Siberians since the mid 70’s, she finally got to meet Karen and visualize a beautiful dog team.
Donna worked in network TV for over 40 years, garnering 3 national Emmys for camera work along the way. Now, semi-retired in Alaska, she continues to produce video projects, mostly about mushing. Her website is: http://www.huskyproductions.net
Her current project is a follow up to the highly successful Pretty Sled Dogs DVD with Karen and the North Wapiti Team. Of course, it helps to host the team at your own home. ☺
Donna has been lucky to have 4 North Wapiti dogs live with her---the beautiful and wonderful Iditarod finisher, Sissy, who has crossed the rainbow bridge; CKC Champion Rosie, who at 13 is still a hooligan; the lovely and sweet Iditarod finisher, Nahanni; and the young and crazy Fritter who still wants to be a sled dog and is spending time out back with Karen's B team."
Did you catch that tidbit... ANOTHER Pretty Sled Dog movie in the works!!! I can't wait. I wasn't around for the first one, so I'm hoping my scenes in this one don't get cut. I did all of my own stunts! Nope, there was no roving Border Collie Reporter stunt double in this film, its all ME!
Here's how focused the Donna Photographer Minion is when she's filming (get it... focused)
|Donna.... DONNA!!! There's the MUSHER!!!!|
But I digress... back to the race!
As I write this, the Team is 10 miles away from that Shak checkpoint and moving steadily. We are hearing reports that the weather still sucks, and that some mushers have left, only to come back again. It also seems that Mushers are pairing up to go over the water, as the Musher is now traveling with Travis Cooper and is close behind Anna and Kristy Berington who are traveling together.
There will be more updates tonight as we have to cover so much material to get you all up-to-date on stuffs and things and happenings.