Aliy Zirkle is second into Koyukuk. Somehow this seems familiar. Jeff King and Aliy Zirkle. Also in the same order. Yes they were up front last year too, a little later in the race when they left White Mountain. There still is a lot more trail ahead of them from here. While it is bitter cold now, the forecast calls for near freezing temperatures in a few days from now. Such a drastic weather change usually is accompanied by wind. The wind was not kind to either team last year. And the same musher who is lurking in the shadows now, was lurking then. His partner in crime (dad) is also in the same position. I am not a superstitious person but can’t help but to see a pattern. Time will tell how this plays out. Aaron is also in the mix again.
Aliy is also running a full string of 16 dogs. She is a true master in the game. It is one thing to be up front, but another whole ball game when you do this and keep a full dog team together. That takes some serious dog care and team management skills.
Enjoy these shots taken of her on the Koyukuk River: