Erik made it in time, got the machine loaded and headed down the trail, first time ever after all the mushers had left. That actually was not bad riding. The trail is hard and fast. Matter of fact, most likely best I have seen. Hardly a bootie to be found, and that tells a story, as they do not get stripped of the dogs feet in deep sugar snow. In other years, with more snow and a lot of snowmachine traffic, the trail gets pretty deep and punchy, specially for the last teams. Not so this year. When I caught up to the Last team it was Danny Seavey, carrying a dog in the bag, most likely to slow down his team and he promptly asked me ” am I finally the last team? “. He seemed content with his position.
Right when I pulled into Yentna Station, the ” Buser Bullets ” were arriving, Martin being he usual cheerful self. As of now he has posted the fastest runtime of anybody, with 3 hrs and 22 minutes. In comparison Mitch took 3hrs 59. Big difference in run style. Both teams are known for the respective style. A bigger surprise to me is seeing Robert Sorlie posting a time not much slower than Martin with 3hrs and 24 minutes. THat shows a lot of speed and also a bit of a change of his previous runstyles…. Boy, that could be interesting if Robert can run long AND fast!
Some teams were struggeling with the warm temperatures a bit more than others. Two teams caught my eyes as particularly nice looking. Ramey Smyth and Sonny Lindner. Very smooth and effortless trotting along. At those times, it is itching a little bit, so hop on the back of the runners.
Time to catch up a bit more, enjoy the shots, beautiful evening light out here, the Alaska Range looming in the background!