Posts Tagged ‘Alaska Dispatch’

On the Iditarod Trail (More)


March 5th, 2014 Posted 8:29 am

Here’s Rebecca’s (CEO of Snowhook, our team in what has started as a very tough Iditarod race) report. (The broken bones she refers to seem to be all human – see link below, in which Justin Savidis, our AJ, is quoted. Thanks to C.Hobbit for the link.)

Little to no snow, stumps, rocks, and ice add up to one thing—one hell of a ride. Beaten and battered mushers arriving in Nikolai have shared the horrors of the trail between Rohn and Nikolai, a section of trail that is now littered with sled parts and equipment. The canine athletes fared much better than their human partners. In the past 24 hours, the race has ended for 11 teams because of broken bones and other injuries and sleds that are damaged beyond repair. It is likely this section of trail will claim more victims in the hours to come.

My heart took up residence in my throat as I waited for word that the team reached Nikolai. After resting the team for several hours, they are back on the trail and headed for McGrath where AJ intends to take his 24. Teams are required to take one 24 hour break at any point during the race, another 8 hour rest on the Yukon River, and final 8 hour layover in White Mountain. When he reaches McGrath, AJ will transfer his sled bag from the sled he drove during the first third of the race to a lighter weight finishing sled. We have not had the luxury of sending out a second sled in past years leaving AJ to make due with repairs he made on the trail for the duration of the race. This year, a second sled is less a luxury and more of a necessity given the trail conditions. I hope Rose and Grizz understand how much we appreciate their sponsorship of AJ’s finishing sled. Knowing that AJ has the second sled waiting for him in McGrath eases my worried mind.

As I think about the trail the team has traveled, I recall a conversation AJ and I had about the rumors of treacherous terrain in the days leading up to the starting line. I said he would have to be pretty tough to handle the trail. He agreed and then remarked that Melanie is tougher than he is. Melanie is in our hearts.

And thanks to ML for this Alaskan memento:




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