The Unknown Unknowns (Updated)
The Iditarod is not bean bag. Here’s the overnight report from Rebecca, CEO of Snowhook, our team in the race. Many thanks, Rebecca! And below, the cover art for the next Chet and Bernie novel, coming on Bastille Day but otherwise totally unFrench. (Also – congrats to Dallas Seavey and his team, who have won the race.)
There is safety in numbers, a truth that has been proven on the trail time and again. However, AJ prefers to run alone. At times he deliberately delays his departure from checkpoints to shake a pack of teams that formed on the trail. Was this why he left a Shaktoolik an hour later than other teams only to venture on the sea ice alone? Maybe. Maybe not. And, we will not know until after the race.
As the pack ahead continued across Norton Sound, one team stopped about twenty miles out of Shaktoolik. There is a safety cabin in the area. Given that teams are fairly fresh after resting in Shaktoolik it is not a common place to camp willingly. To stop there for an extended stay usually means there is trouble. It could be a storm, issues with the dogs, or problems with equipment.
With a life currently dictated in five minute increments as the GPS tracker updates, I watched as AJ neared the point where the other team was camped. The pack ahead was long since gone. In the next five minute refresh, both teams were shown as running. With a pace that matched AJs, the musher arrived in the checkpoint within one minute of Snowhook.
I anticipated AJ to rest the dogs for six or seven hours in Koyuk before continuing on the trails so I left to catch my flight to Nome. However, when I saw that the team remained, I changed my flight to Thursday with a guess that a storm pinned the teams down in Koyuk. Finally, fourteen hours after arriving, Team Snowhook left the checkpoint. But, they were not alone.
At the time of this report, AJ and two other teams are making their way to the next checkpoint of Elim. I have been tracking all three closely. AJ is in lead, yet usually less than a mile separates Snowhook and the third musher. And, like last night the teams are running at almost the same speed.
There is safety in numbers, a truth that is likely being proven on the trail tonight.
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 8:50 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.