Thursday, 8 March 2012

March 8, 2012 - The Iditarod So Far - Bet

The last time we left off:
  • The spare sled was suppose to be at Takotna in case the Musher needed it
  • Richard and Donna Photographer Minion were taking a plane out to Takotna to see the Musher and Pretty Curly Tails
  • The Team was almost to McGrath
  • The Musher was going to take her 24-hour mandatory rest in Takotna
My how things change, and exactly why we typically don't like to provide trail plans because trail plans are made to be broken as needed or desired!

So, overnight, this is what happened:
  • The spare sled never made it out of Anchorage because flights were cancelled
  • The team made it to McGrath, but were asked by the Iditarod officials to do their 24-hour mandatory rest there because there was no room at Takotna
  • Richard and Donna Photographer Minion were scrambling to make alternate plans to get to McGrath to see the Musher and Pretty Curly Tails
  • The Musher is currently taking her 24-hour mandatory rest in McGrath.
Did you follow all of that?  Good!

The Musher did leave this message for all of the North Wapiti fans:

"Hanging out in McGrath wishing I could sleep!!! Was going to 24 in Takotna, but checkpoint staff encouraged me to stay here because Takotna was so crowded. Things here are very cushy...good sleeping, great food and a skookum sleeping spot for the critters!!! Critters are doing wonderful and I should leave here with all 16 at 17:48 this afternoon!!
Trip has been incredibly fun so far. Running over Rainy Pass in the full moonlight the other night was worth the entry fee and all other expenses on it's own. SO BEAUTIFUL!!!"

By the way, in case you don't understand 24-hour clock speak (or military time) 17:48 is 5:48pm Alaska time.

She is also enjoying the snack bag packed by Pat Bach while the Pretty Sled Dogs rest, east, and get their massages.

Here's a picture snagged from the McGrath Cam

Part of the race includes this 24-hour layover time, and this is also where the teams make up the starting time distance from leaving the starting line in Willow.  The earlier they started in Willow, the longer they have to stay to make it a fair race.

To help explain all of that blah blah, here is a chart that explains the concept and shows just how long each musher has to stay beyond their mandatory 24-hour layover to even the field.

When the team does leave, they will be heading to Takotna.  Here is a description of that leg of the race.

So far there has only been one scratch in the whole race.  Silvia Furtwangler from Rauland, Norway scratched out of Nikolai because of health reasons (her own).  We congratulate Silvia on her run and wish her good health!

In case you didn't already know, if you want to cheer on the Musher and Pretty Curly Tails, you can call the Iditarod phone room at 907-248-MUSH (6874) and leave a Musher Gram!  A Musher Gram is a brief personal note to a Musher that is then delivered to them by the Iditarod Air Force!  Cool, huh?

Ok, and now for some obligatory photos.  I've been going through all of the photos that I was bombarded with and herded them down to different events, so here are photos from the Banquet!

This is the BIG SCREEN that shows the Musher picking her bib number!  

Here is the Banquet room where everyone was gathered and eating tasty foods... mmm, tasty foods.  I personally can't wait for the Musher to get back because I'm getting tired of eating chicken wings dipped in ranch dressing and Cheetos...  which is the food of choice of Musher Mark.  Thankfully I still get my tasty Eagle Pack foods.

Here is the information page for the Musher on the BIG SCREEN.  I bet everyone there is thinking "what the heck is a musher minion"... oooh, glad you asked because in our "Meanwhile Back in Willow" segments, we'll be telling you about them, what they do, and how they can help you get cool merchandise, help with something, answer questions, or wash your windows.  I made that last part up, I don't think they wash windows, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Until more updates!

- Bet


Wild Dingo said...

Go Team North Wapiti!
This is so fun watching you on the blog and FB... thanks for the update Bet!

Pat & Mark from MN said...

Thanks, Bet, for the great update and for helping us wait out the time until the Musher pulls the snow hook in McGrath.

Kathye said...

This is so much fun, following a musher blog. We've been following the Iditarod for years, but this is the first time we feel a tiny bit of a connection: We are owned by a Sibe and live in the same town as the Thundering Herd, from whom we found out about The Pretty Sled Dogs. Gotta say that I would take an all Sibe team anyday, even if they are a bit slower. So beautiful. Best wishes and prayers for you Karen and the team.