After a steak and a piece of pie, the dogs are all snuggled into a good nights rest and Pete is dreaming of tugboats on the river. The run has been very respectable and Pete has kept the front runners much closer than his previous races. After the 24 hour layover, the differentials will be adjusted and we will have a better idea of the true position Team Kaiser holds. While Team Kaiser rests, strategies continue.
Several mushers have different ideas this year in terms of the 24 hour layover strategy. We saw it first with Martin Buser taking his layover very early in Rohn, and now we see several differing ideas in the traditional rest areas.
Early on, McGrath was the favorite rest stop, but as the race has gotten quicker, teams moved up into Takotna, just a bit further down the trail. In the last several years we have seen mushers even move further down the trail. Last year there were layovers in Cripple on the northern route.
Jake Berkowitz blasted through Takotna last night and moved up into Ophir for his 24. His speed to Ophir was dramatically faster than he had been moving earlier in the day reaching well over 9mph most of the way. After an 8 hour run to have that much speed available is a testament to the quality of that team. He will be one to watch.
But then Lance Mackey took back to the trail after a break in Takotna and is now past Ophir headed for Iditarod. Jeff King also didn’t take a break in Takotna and is resting between that checkpoint and Ophir, so I assume he will be moving forward past Ophir as well. (There would be no reason to take a break between two close checkpoints unless a musher planned on another longer run)
I am wondering if Mackey and King are looking at weather or Buser to push them further, or if this was part of the original plan. In any case, by tonight we will see quiet a different race to be sure as Buser moves back into the mix and teams return to the trail.
Pete and the Team should be able to return to the trail close to 12:30am this evening if my calculations are correct.
In weather news, the low that has been warming western Alaska seems to be dissipating, but it still could be a factor in the next few days.
UPPER KUSKOKWIM VALLEY- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...MCGRATH...NIKOLAI...TAKOTNA... FAREWELL LAKE 410 AM AKST WED MAR 6 2013 ...HIGH WIND WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON... .TODAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S. SOUTHEAST WINDS TO 10 MPH. .TONIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY. SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS IN THE EVENING. LOWS IN THE UPPER TEENS TO LOWER 20S. NORTHEAST WINDS 5 TO 15 MPH.
AKZ215-070415- LOWER YUKON VALLEY- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...RUSSIAN MISSION...GRAYLING... HOLY CROSS...SHAGELUK...ANVIK...FLAT 410 AM AKST WED MAR 6 2013 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IS CANCELLED... .TODAY...CLOUDY. SNOW LIKELY IN THE MORNING. LESS THAN AN INCH SNOW ACCUMULATION. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S. SOUTHEAST WINDS 5 TO 15 MPH. .TONIGHT...CLOUDY. SNOW LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT. AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW AFTER MIDNIGHT. SNOW ACCUMULATION AROUND 1 INCH. LOWS IN THE LOWER TO MID 20S. EAST WINDS 5 TO 15 MPH INCREASING TO NORTHEAST 15 TO 25 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.