P is for Parka: Chilly Night in Nenana

The Iditarod Alphabet 2017
P is for Parka

A parka is a large windproof jacket with a hood, which is designed to be worn in the cold weather.  Each musher has a parka that is worn on the trail to protect them from the extremely cold temperatures.   Very often a parka will have a fur ruff on the hood to help the musher keep warm.

P is for Parka

When I awoke this morning all the teams had left Nenana and they are on their way to Manley.  Currently Iditarod veterans Dallas, Mitch, Wade, Nick, and Martin have already arrived in Manley, while rookies Jimmy Lebling and Roger Lee are bringing up the back of the pack around mile 100.    

The run/rest schedule of the mushers is a fascinating thing.  Last night the community center was filled with mushers discussing how long they were going to rest their teams before moving on, and talking about those who went right through the checkpoint. 

Math problem: If a musher continues a run rest schedule of run for 6 hours, and then rests of 6 hours when will they reach Nome if they are running at 10 mph? Remember they have two 8 hour layovers and a 24 layover.  (Do not worry about the differential)

The checkpoint of Nenana has only about a dozen or so people left (veterinarians, communications, Iditarod Insiders and a few others).  After a long night in the cold (about -40*) the veterinarians and Tyrell Seavey, who is running the checkpoint, are finally warmed up and ready to travel down the trail.  Most of us will go by bush plane to checkpoints up the trail, while a few will head back to Fairbanks.