When we last left the Team, they had left Rohn at 1:38pm heading toward Nikolai! Here's the description of the trail in case you forgot.
At 2:46am, all 16 Pretty Curly Tails strolled into Nikolai and took a breather, and the Musher snacked on the wonderful treats supplied by Tara Lemieux (thank you Tara!!).
They rested for a little over 6 hours until 9:13am and then off they went, all 16 (well, 17 if you count the Musher) toward McGrath. Here's all about the trail from Nikolai to McGrath!
As of right now, the very moment I'm writing this bloggy post, the team is less than 20 miles away from reaching McGrath!!!! While they are there, they will be snacking on the wonderful treats packed by Pat Bach (thank you Pat!!!)
I have just received word that in Donna Finner's Skwentna snack bag was packed: Maple candies from New Hampshire, Yummy Bar bq pork jerky, variety of nuts, dried fruit, granola, gum, and oodles of other goodies.
Now, you may be asking yourselves... selves, is this what the Musher had planned all along? Well I'm glad your selves asked, because here is Richard to give you an inside scoop:
"Took 13 hours to get from Rohn to Nikolai. Race plan was for 16 hours with a 4 hour rest at Buffalo Camp which appears she didn't need to do. Planned to stay at Nikolai for 6 hours and she stayed for six and a half."
OOOH, so that means that conditions are optimal for the fluffy Pretty Curly Tails for some good running! Also, Karen E Minion did some research and according to her 2008 times: as of Nikolai, she is running at 5.78 mph vs 5.11 mph and the run time is 12:58 versus 14:40, so she's making excellent time!
Her goal (other than the main goal of finishing) is to break the Siberian Husky record of 11 days, 20 hours, 39 minutes, 11 seconds that was set by Blake Freking in 2010.
The spare sled should be there if she needs it, or just parts of it, and as a special added fun bonus... shhhh, don't tell the Musher if you see her (hehe), but tomorrow Donna Photographer Minion and Richard found a flight out of Talkeetna and are going to Takotna to be with her tomorrow during her scheduled 24 hour layover! Of course, the weather has to behave, so I'd like everyone to do the really good weather, no snow dance right now. I said right now... I'm waiting.
Ok, that's better.
So, when she reaches McGrath, this is where she will be
Instead of an arrow, the Cartoonist thought she would put a little Musher pointing to the checkpoint... the Cartoonist is goofy.
I know that all of you are just slathering for some on the trail pictures, and honestly we had planned on getting some more... but the weather isn't conducive to travel, except for Pretty Curly Tails. Richard was going to get some shots from Finger Lake, but the weather chased them out, and then he was going to try to get to McGrath, but once again... that pesky weather.
This is the best we could get you for now:
Ok, look really close... we don't know if any of those three are the Pretty Curly Tails or not
Pretty sure they aren't down there because they were on the trail when Richard took these, but still, pretty cool looking
Isn't amazing how they can set all that up out in the middle of nowhere in all that snow?
To help you get your fix of on trail pictures, here is one from the Anchorage Daily News of Wolvie and Rosco, and it also sorta mentions "The Story of Irving"... but not the whole story. No seriously, I have the whole scoop... but you'll have to wait for the "Meanwhile Back at North Wapiti" blog post a bit later tonight.
In the meantime, here are even MORE pictures from the start that you should enjoy, because they are really awesome photos.
Until later - Bet
An apparently very serious discussion going on here
The Musher getting ready to fly while Richard duct tapes something to the sled
Richard checks the list while the Musher and Helen (who smells of cookies) sort through harnesses, ropes, and leads.
Musher making sure everything on her sled is just right while Richard takes a picture of... the sled... yeah, the sled
Richard perched on top of the dog truck taking pictures (yes, yes, just wait, I have the pictures he took too, but there are SO MANY, I'm getting to them)
Helen (cookies) and the Musher doing more preparing while Richard is still perched.
More serious discussing of things