GPS has the leader, familiar name Nic Petit, at racc mile 758, out of Unalakleet and running a team of 10 dogs. Joar, Pete Kaiser, and Jessie Royer aren't too far behind. The back of the field is some 270 miles behind the leaders in Shageluk. Three more mushers have scratched fro this year's competition ~ Emily Maxwell, Marcelle Fressineau, and Cindy Abbott ~ leaving 48 teams making their way to Nome. As always, Seeing Double wishes these teams safe and swift travels back to their home kennels.
Prior weather and checkpoint conditions led to issues getting the food drops to a couple of Yukon checkpoints, including Eagle Island. It so happens that Kristy's husband, Andy Pohl, and Seeing Double's friend and Non-Stop Dogwear CEO Kale Casey, were out on the trail on Polaris snowmachines. They got tapped to make some food runs, and also responded to a transponder SOS from mushers Maxwell and Fressineau, making welfare checks. Kudos to them for being in the right place at the right time to help out.
Weather may become more of a factor over the balance of the race, as snow and winds up to 40mph along the coast have been reported. Your Mad Blogger is on her way back to Alaska on Monday, so while I'll soon have a boots-on-the-ground report for you, forgive me if I go dark for a bit getting there.
A few of the latest shots from the trail...