March 12, 2010
Bruce finally called at 9:00 p.m. from Ruby. Though he was still sick with a bad cough and congestion, he was in very good spirits and sounded alert. He did not have much time, but was able to give a few updates…
First of all, as I suspected, he is having the race of his life. Bruce said this was the best team ever and if this were his last Iditarod (highly unlikely) he was going to race this team. No surprise, Maya has run every step of the way in lead. Kiwi however, has been moved back to team (except in tricky spots) and he has been alternating younger dogs to partner with Maya throughout. However, there is one dog in particular that will get the MVP award. She is a unknown to most, but one of the prettiest dogs in the kennel. Who would have thought our little Gibou (named after a road we lived off of in when we stayed in Montgomery VT) would be the missing link to the get some speed in the team! Little Red Gibou (her picture was on AND and I will post the link). She has been pushing hard and never wants to stop – ever! Other dogs in and out of lead include Frodo, Moscow and on occasion, Kiwi.
http://www.adn.com/2010/03/06/1170971/iditarod-ceremonial-start.html - go here to see a picture of Maya and Gibou running lead in the Ceremonial start in Anchorage.
The dogs are healthy and eating like “pigs.”
Of course, there has not been a race where Bruce has not had an issue or two during the Gorge. From what I could gather, he was behind Rick Swenson and DeeDee – there was a blizzard and wicked gusts of wind. He stopped on what he thought was a trail and saw a head light facing him. It was Rick and he was yelling they were not on the trail – in the Gorge – YIKES! I laughed and Bruce quickly said “It was not funny!” This is the reason for the extra rest in Finger Lake for those of you who were pacing in the wee hours wondering why he did not leave that checkpoint on schedule.
He plans to do the Yukon in two legs. There is a cabin called Old Woman’s Cabin where he will try to rest a bit. He plans on taking his 8 hour rest in Kaltag.
That’s it for now – it is late and I need to get some sleep. He will be leaving for Ruby at midnight.