Pete and the Team are just now leaving the Checkpoint of Ruby and headed downstream! Pete and his buddy Richie just completed their 8 hour mandatory layover and now face a great fast trail and regular checkpoints to water their dogs and grab a warm snack. Pete dropped a dog in Ruby and is now running 14, while Richie still has the 13 he has had for while. Their out times were 17:57 and 17:58 respectively.
Mike Jr. is running about 2 hours ahead of Pete and Richie, having left just after 4pm. Mike is doing a fine job of keeping the Williams Family Team together and he still has 9 in harness. This has to be a bit of extra work, but also has something to do with these dogs being some of the toughest around.
Weather in the area is just wonderful. Clear skies, great temperatures, and light winds will make this a fun trip down the Yukon. The trail will follow the river 137 miles down to Kaltag through Galena and Nulato. This will take all of tonight to accomplish, but tomorrow, unbelievably, we will be beginning to talk about the Coast! The 2014 Iditarod is going to go down with talk of the challenges of the “Burn,” but it may also go down as one of the fastest. At this point we are 12 hours ahead of John Bakers historic record run. 12 HOURS!!
John Baker holds the Iditarod Record at 8d 18h 46m 39s. He left Willow on the 6th of March and arrived into Kaltag almost exactly 6 days later. To be exact he arrived into Kaltag at 13:19 on the 12th. (Day 6) He arrived into Nome at 9:46am on the 15th. What does this mean?
It means watch that clock! Martin left Willow on the 2nd and he has to be in Kaltag by tomorrow morning to be on record pace. If he gets there tonight, start counting back from 9am and do that to John’s time in Nome. It’s going to be close!
Now the one variable on the chart is the trail up the coast and especially between White Mountain and Nome. There is NO Snow and it looks, in some places, looks like the moon!
Here are photos from Team19 on their Iron Dog Trip.
Mushing weather for tonight is traditional Alaska Interior weather. Cold and still in the evenings and warm bright days with warmer temperatures.