I talked to Karen yesterday (A LOT). It appears that a computer was not the only piece of technology that was available to mushers in
Takotna, Karen managed to find a satellite phone. The time delay was so bad that we had to keep talking for two minutes after we hung up. I hate the 24 hour layover. When you put a bunch of tired mushers in a room together with nothing to do but whine and complain about everything, nothing good can come of it. So I
am guessing that when the conversation started to fade off, Karen decided, “Hey lets get Mark involved”. She was very bummed about the heat and the way that it was sucking the energy of her very powerful team. This year’s team is much better than last years, but she is not being given the venue to display their talents. I told her that a lesser team would have scratched by now and to “SUCK IT UP PRINCESS”. This did not go over as well as you might have expected. I quickly asked her if she had seen any moose and she said “a few, but nothing like on our training runs”. She forgot all about the whole “Princess” thing, phew, close call.
In years past when Karen has stopped her team for their 24 hour rest she has had a problem. I guess our prissy little show dogs are opposed to crapping where they sleep. This means that when Karen leaves the checkpoint the dogs spend the next 5 miles leaving “used dog food” all over trail. So this year our friend Bob Chlupach lent Karen a cable stake out line, which she sent to
Takotna, it worked perfect. Karen said that many of the other musher commented on what a great idea that was, thanks Bob.
Gus is home now, Karen dropped him in McGrath during her 13 minute sled changed. She had to bag him on the way in, and it didn’t make sense to carry him all the way to
Takotna. He’s still sore today, so he wouldn’t have been able to continue even after the 24 hour lay over. A few days of lounging in the sun and he’ll be as good as new. I’m pretty sure that the dog that Karen dropped in Ophir was Snickers. Snickers is a young dog and Karen said that she just wasn’t having fun anymore.
Karen’ team was on the CBS news last night, she was shown coming in and out of McGrath, there was no audio but Karen said that they caught up with her later and did an interview so keep your eyes open.
Olena didn’t eat breakfast this morning so it looks like she’s getting close.
Well that’s about it for now, Karen has left Ophir and is on her way to Iditarod. She will stop half way at Don’s Cabin and rest the team for 4 or 6 hours. Unfortunately this means that the last half of the trip into Iditarod will be made during the heat of the day.
I hope that there are no satellite phones in Iditarod.