Tough Day On The Iditarod Trail
“A tough day,” Admin says.
“But Rebecca and Justin (of Snowhook Kennel, the team we all love here at chetthedog.com) are so strong and resourceful,” Spence says. “The following is from Rebecca:”
Today, to put it mildly, has been difiicult. First, the heartbreaking news about our dear Rory, and secondly, seeing AJ’s GPS flag remain in one place for so long instead of moving onto Takotna as we planned—and then, I understood.
He had navigated the Steps suggesfully, made it the through the Gorge, yet it was the Farwell Burn, the notorius challenege that tried to hold him—last year, it clawed at his coat, this year it tried for his sled. The trail in this section was bad, worse than he’s seen before. A tree stump sheered the bottom of the sled, the undercarriage leaving only one side of the yoke that connects the sled to the dogs in tact. Think of sailing a boat without its rudder, a car without alignment. For a hunded miles, from the Burn, into Nikolai and then onto McGrath, AJ steered the sled with only one side responding.
Originally, the plan was to move through McGrath onto Takotna—a checkpoint known for its hospitality and its pies— for his mandatory 24 hour layover. Originally. He declared his 24 in McGrath at the advice of the checkpoint checkers; Takotna was reporting a lot of snow and limited space to park teams. The drop bags we packed with extra food and gear was sitting 18 miles further along the trail, not in McGrath. No worries—the race is bringing AJs Takotna drop bags to McGrath.
AJ leaves the starting line with a plan, yet much can change and the race can cause those plans to be adjusted or forgotten. The unexpected layover in McGrath is an adjustment, yet from this point forward, I will do my best to analyze the team’s run rest schedule once he leaves McGrath.
And here’s a picture we really like – volunteer vet Cat Hefley checking Justin’s dogs at the Nikolai checkpoint (photo credit Jeff Schultz):
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2012 at 7:01 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.