Friday, 9 March 2012

View of part of the Iditarod Trail - Richard

Whilst Bet takes a well earned break, and what a great job she is doing, to rest her crampy little toes (not too long to wait now Bet !) I thought I may take the opportunity to share some of the pictures of the area and trail which I was fortunate enough to pass over the other day.
I hope it gives some sense of the enormity of the undertaking the mushers have to battle through in their quest to reach the safety of Nome.
Just consider that this is only the first 3rd of the journey and that it gets far more remote and daunting as they head into the interior and coastal regions.

Having experienced just a small part of the sense of these adventures in my races last year, I have full respect and admiration for anyone who can stand on the runners at the start line and believe, without a doubt, they can complete the journey and indulge in the pleasure of riding behind a dog team.

After leaving the relative comfort of Willow and the surrounding lakes, then the river checkpoints of Yentna and Skwentna, the trail route heads towards the eastern flanks of the Alaska Range of mountains near Finger Lake.

A pass through the Alaska Range similar to Rainy Pass (just to the South of where this picture was taken)where the trail climbs and crosses through the mountains.

Kahiltna Glacier coming down off Denali
(not part of trail but just an awesome view !)

Clouds tumbling over the ridges.

A view back from the western side towards Rainy Pass. Here it exits onto the Kuskokwim River plain, just after leaving Rohn Checkpoint on the way to Nikolai.(Pass is just to the bottom left of the wing tip)

Looking across to the Farewell Burn area.

A good view of the seemingly endless terrain of trees and snow heading towards McGrath checkpoint (many, many miles away !)

Picking up the trail passing a remote cabin on the way to McGrath.

The trail continues....

Eventually entering the small town of McGrath and it's welcoming checkpoint on the banks of the Kuskokwim River

Coming up off the river to....

Many thanks to Jonathan at Talkeetna Air Taxi for the amazing flight.



Helen Johnson said...

Beautiful pictures Richard. Thanks for posting them.

Nannette Morgan said...

Beautiful photos, Richard, that somehow make the journey even more alive. In all the years of following this, I think some of your photos really show the reality and beauty. Well done!

Traveling Girl said...

The pictures are gorgeous, Richard. Thanks for sharing them with all of us.

Pat & Mark from MN said...

Great photos. Thanks for the bird's-eye view and descriptions of the trail.