Friday, March 14th
5:15am Alaska Time
11 days 14 hours 15 minutes 22 seconds
8 Dogs in Harness
If I was a proud big sister yesterday, now I'm positively gushing. Anna had a strong run from Safety to Nome, and the announcer commented on how good her team looked over the last few miles. Unfortunately, they completely balked at the finish chute, trying to skirt around it and head directly to the dog yard! There weren't as many spectators out to help guide the dogs in the right direction, and it looks like her team got all tangled up. She ended up having to set her hook and untangle the dogs, taking role in lead and jogging them up to the finish line.
Much like her twin, Anna immediately made the rounds amongst her dogs, praising each. She also took the time to give each a snack. The two right in front of her sled (maybe Floyd and Kelley...) were so enthusiastic, they got a good laugh from the bystanders. Anna commented how over the last couple of miles, Rooster saw the lights of Nome and really put it in high gear.
In reflecting on the race, she said the Gorge was bad, but the Buffalo Tunnels may have been worse. Around Shaktoolik, she experienced one of the, if not the, worst wind storms she has ever seen. At one point, she lost the trail and got up on an icy road, and had to walk her team some 4 1/2 miles into Shak.
Anna has much to be proud of this year. Not only did she survive one of the most challenging trails in Iditarod history, but she finished in her best rank yet (coming in 39th this year and 43rd in both 2012 and 2013), and her second best overall time. She also helped a number of rookie dogs complete their first Iditarod.
Don't forget, there are still 11 teams out on the trail. As is my custom, I won't close out the blog until the final musher is in to Nome and claims the Red Lantern. And after the twins rest up a bit, hopefully I'll hear from them and can pass along a few stories.