Iditarod – Monday 3/16/09
Well, Brody and I are managed to fill our day, just waiting to leave for Anchorage and then Nome. However, I have not heard from Bruce and I am worried. The run was so long, cold and windy Sunday night. I can’t even imagine parking the dogs on the side of the trail (what was left of it) and hunkering down in the middle of a ground blizzard – during the wee hours of the night nonetheless. I had a picture in my mind of Bruce, surrounded by the Maya, Kiwi, Ruby etc… cuddled in the snow. I don’t know how he does it? But early this Monday morning he made it to Kaltag – 14 plus hours from when he left Eagle Island.
It was a miserable day here in Kasilof. No sight of spring – it is still below zero at night and we have gotten over a foot of snow since Bruce left Willow. Great for running dogs!
We should be able to run until April if this holds up. The weather where Bruce is however is not going to break until morning. I am wondering if he will just rest in Kaltag and leave tomorrow morning?
So, there is a side-story that could have ended tragically, but as of 2:00 p.m. today has a very happy ending. It started on Thursday afternoon. Our good friend Patty graciously offered to pick up (and collect) our dropped dogs so Cindy would not need to go back and forth to Anchorage. The round trip from Kasilof is about 300 miles round trip – through the treacherous pass and turn-again arm, not to mention the added expense of gas. So, we had four dogs dropped by and Cindy was planning to meet up with Patty of Friday sometime. But plans changed. Patty called late Thursday afternoon and said the dogs had escaped from the crates, and Click, our Jeff King lead dog, escaped. There was no sight of her. Patty lives about a quarter of a mile from the trails that lead to end of the Ceremonial start. YIKES! There are miles and miles of recreational trails. Cindy and our new friend John (who handled with Cindy for the start) changed plans and headed up to Anchorage Thursday night. Once there, there immediately began walking the trails. They literally looked night and day on the vast trail system in Anchorage with no luck. They set-up a live trap at the airport where the ceremonial start ends hoping she might return to what she knows. Click is smart, fast and a dog that LOVES new trails. She hates training because she likes to see new scenery. So I can only imagine the fun she had exploring. But Click was dropped because she was sick – not herself, and we were worried for her health as well. When Bruce called on Friday, he asked how Click was, and of course, I had to lie. There is no way I could tell him, while on the trail, that our beloved Click was lost. Though I tried, he could hear something in my voice, and before hanging up he asked “Are you keeping something from me?” During his first Iditarod, Nate and I came home from the start to five very sick pups. As hard as we tried, they all passed away while on the trail. So, Bruce knows I can keep a secret while he is away.
Anyway, too make a really long story short, Patty got an email today (Monday) due to the fact she had posted a Craigslist ad and CLICK WAS FOUND! Thank GOD! Cindy was in Girdwood, on her way home and she turned right around to get Click!!!
So now, we are just waiting to get Bruce and the dogs back on the trail. As I am writing, I am also watching the news and the weather does not look good. 55 Below temps and a wind chill. I have a hunch Bruce is not willing to risk the dogs health in those temps. He learned his lesson during the Knik 200 this winter. So, I would be thankful if he hunkers down for the night in Kaltag – enjoys another hot meal, warm place to sleep and sets out in the morning. The dogs would be well rested to take on the rest of the race.
Until then, happy trails,
Melissa and Brody
Ps – Forget the hunch! As I was writing, Bruce called from Kaltag. Like I thought, he had a wretched run on Sunday night and was recuperating. He meant to wake at 11:00 a.m. today but did not wake until 4:00. He needed the rest as did the dogs. He said when he went to the dogs, all you could see were their ears sticking out from the snow, as the wind had blown over a snow blanket. They were glad to see Bruce and they again, ate like horses. This is a good sign of course! He intends to leave tonight, but he could stand to wait until early morning as well – either way is fine with me! As long as he and the dogs are safe and happy.
So, we shall see – I will be watching the green blimp mush across my screen in the wee hours tonight – that is my hope!