The time change has put the sunset an hour later by the clock, but that clock is pretty meaningless when you’ve been on the back of a dogsled for almost 700 miles!
Pete and the Team were out of Kaltag at 3:12pm after an almost 4 hour break from the Trail. Leaving just a few minutes behind Richie, the Teams left the Yukon River, which has been under their runners for almost a week and entered the portage trail on the way to Unalakleet.
This 85 mile run can be accomplished in a single long run with a few short water breaks. Last year Pete and the 2016 Team made the run in 9hrs 31min– a very fast time.
This year a top 10 finish is at stake for both Teams and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go all the way to the coast, but a break keeps the Team happy and that is always most important.
Either way, Lee Ryan and his “Homelanders” will be waiting at the checkpoint to welcome him into town. Unalakleet is known for the best breakfast in Alaska and with Middy Johnson at the cookstand, there will be mountains of food. (At this point in the race, the smell of that bacon has been known to draw mushers in from the trail just to snag a taste!)
I did a little sleuthing and come to find out that there is a correlation between leaving Unalakleet and arriving at the Finish Line. Looking at several Teams over the years puts the Finish line between 46-48 hours for the top Teams. Not wanting to look too far in the future, but it is looking like a Finish for our fearsome duo, early in the morning Wednesday.
One other thing that must be mentioned– everyone is talking about Mitch Seavey winning this thing and such. But I’d have them ask Jeff King about a “done deal.” The weather doesn’t look bad, but there are so many factors ahead, that I’d bet Mitch isn’t taking any risks and has several rabbits feet in his pockets.
Stay tuned for another exciting evening of clicking the refresh button!
Go Team Kaiser!