The clock is ticking and all of the mushers are watching it.
Pete and the Team can leave at 12:51am. As each minute ticks of the clock and Teams behind him rest in Kaltag, Pete gains on them by doing absolutely nothing.
“His Team looks great. They could win it.” Joar Leifseth-Ulsom said as he bedded down his Team in Kaltag.
The deal is that Pete has to stay 8 hours before he can return to the Trail. All of the other Teams with the exception of Aliy Zirkle have taken their 8 hours and can leave whenever they would like.
Pete’s not worried. He made his way up to Kaltag to get all of his gear dried out and ready for the coast. He probably caught a bunch of sleep as well, but he had chores to do in terms of getting ready for the last third of the race.
One thing that is notable to me is how energetic and upbeat Pete is in this race. He looks like he is having a great time. Laughing with the Insider guys, moving quickly as he does his chores. This is a Pete Kaiser I haven’t seen before. And I have to say I am loving it! Races can get to a musher. Long hard monotonous trials in horrible weather. I’ve seen him beat up and sleeping sitting up at the end of a race. I’ve seen him that way in Takotna!
Here we are in Kaltag and there is an air of enthusiasm and I think it really is part of his new program. At the Restart in Willow he spoke about next year already. I’ve been wondering if he has finally come into his own and realize- This is who I am and this is why I’m here!
From Kaltag to Unalakleet to Shaktoolik are established trails. They shouldn’t be having to break trail. Temperatures are warm though and tomorrow we will start hearing about the coast and that challenge. Koyuk doesn’t have any ice in front of the village, so a new overland route is going to be the trail. When Pete leaves Kaltag, he embarks on the final section of the race to Nome. He enters the land of the Inupiaq and the coast and the sea. It’s a new place and this year will provide many challenges.
Mushing Weather for tonight:
Go Team Kaiser!