Rookie Christine Roalofs was the 54th and final musher into Nome, earning the Red Lantern award after 13 days, 22 hours, and 36 minutes. She had 11 dogs in harness. It's always nice to see the last musher and team reach Nome in time to attend Sunday's banquet. That doesn't always happen! Anna was very glad she was at the finishers banquet this year, as she won the Northern Air Cargo 4-wheeler in the drawing! Congrats Anna! I only hope they don't tell her to ride it home...
There is a short video of the twins crossing under the burled arch on the Iditarod Insider. They pulled in single-file this year, Kristy in the lead. When their sleds were parked, they hugged (I think I heard a quick laugh), and promptly went to visit and praise each dog. I could hear a young fan ask, "Are you Kristy?" "No, I'm Anna." They really don't escape that, no matter where they go! Kristy commented on the weather, saying they got a lot of rain, snow, and wind, although it wasn't as cold this year. She said simply, it was "an incredible journey." Anna laughed about her busted sled, but said she was pleasantly surprised by how it held up over some tricky sections of trail. She dropped a few more dogs earlier than she would have hoped, several suffering from shoulder injuries. The amount of open water they encountered was an additional challenge for a young dog team. But, Anna said that 5 of her 9 finishers were first-timers to Nome, and she is very happy about that!
The twins and their dogs will be on flights back to Anchorage on Monday, and then the drive down to the Peninsula. When they get a bit more settled in, I'll see if they got the camera out on the trail again this year, and ask if they have any other memorable tales from the trail.
It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.
Ursula K. LeGuin