On the Iditarod Trail
Many, many thanks to Rebecca, CEO of Snowhook – our team! – for these thoughtful and well-written reports:
The race has many miles. There are the beginning miles that hold newness and the excitement of another adventure, and the last miles that offer a glimpse of the finish line. And, then there are the middle miles. These middle miles can be difficult. They may not have the rollercoaster ride of the Happy River Steps or the bone jarring bumps of the Burn, but this section of trail has its own hazard of dismay. With the starting line far behind and the finish line not close enough, discouragement can become a companion while traveling the middle miles on the Yukon River. The team is at the last checkpoint before exiting the Yukon River and heading for the coast where the team will leave the middle miles behind.
Once the team leaves Nulato, it will be a fairly short run to Kaltag, but a much longer run onto Unalakleet. We can expect AJ to camp the team between Kaltag and Unalakleet, the first checkpoint on the coast. He will likely stop at new Old Woman cabin, a safety cabin on the trail that offers respite from the run. However, old Old Woman cabin is not so welcoming. Before he reaches the new cabin, the team will pass by the run down remains of old Old Woman cabin. With the clean quarters of the new cabin not much further down the trail, why may AJ stop at the shanty? Call it race strategy. Custom holds that passersby, in this case mushers, should leave an offering at old Old Woman cabin or her spirit will bring you bad luck on the rest of your journey. A bit of candy left on the woodstove should satisfy her sweet tooth.
Melanie was on the mind of our musher as he reflects on his run from the Steps through the Gorge and onto the Burn. If you have the Insider, you can see an interview with AJ where he speaks of our dear friend.
Melanie—You are loved. Never forget it.
Welcome new friends Josie, Bear, Finn the snow dog.
This entry was posted on Sunday, March 9th, 2014 at 11:15 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.