Good morning from Tanana

There was lots of action here in Tanana all night. Teams are constantly coming and going. Hoping for some decent river travel, we decided to stay for the night and catch up with some of the teams traveling a bit further back. Internet is great here, might as well make use of that too. And yes, to get a good night sleep.


Monika Zappa getting her vet book signed off


Some of the teams here are here by choice. They had planned a slower schedule, either running a puppy team, or this being their first experience. Others experience some problems. Mainly from Hay Slough coming into Tanana. The trail there looked great from a snow machine, going at 25 miles an hour. But traveling at dog speed, which is pretty high this year at 10 miles an hour, the cracks in the ice were visible, more so readily waiting for a dog stepping into. The trail was crowned, nothing the trail breakers could have done about that, it simply was the way the ice had frozen.  And a few mushers now are massaging away on their dogs.

Rick Casillo massaging

Rick Casillo massaging

There is 3 main massage lineaments mushers are using. Algyval for joints. Zalox for muscles and some people use Emu Oil instead of Algyval too. A few even make their own, like Michelle Phillips and Jodi Bailey, there might be others.


Rick with Battle Dog Racing, raising awareness for wounded veterans


Talking to Rick Casillo, he is debating to take his 24 hr layover here. Most mushers have plenty of food to do so, as the drop bags from 2 original race route checkpoints were both send out here. Rick even send out a second bale of straw, so he can pack a full bale of straw with him for this next long 115 mile run. That second bale now comes in handy with staying longer than anticipated here.

Matt Failor seemed happy with where he was at. Then again Matt is always happy. He was putting booties on his team and getting ready to go. 


Matt Failor


People who know me closer, know I do not like barking dogs. I prefer a quite team. Outside our door this morning Scott Janssen, the mushing mortician was hooking up his team. And he must really like an energetic sounding team. They were carrying on for a long time. And that long time is what makes the difference in standings. Scott and and I joked before the race: ” I am going to be somewhere between 1st and 79th place “. While the front pack mushers are really conscious about how much time they take for each talks, the mushers who travel further back do not really look at that. If another musher walks by, they are readily available for a chat. Dogs hooked up to go or not, does not really matter. One very patient volunteer meanwhile kept on holding out Scott’s leaders who really wanted to visit some females in heat further back in the team. 


4 time Quest and Iditarod Champion Lance Mackey was still sitting in the mushers area. I did not expect him there anymore. He said”  I have stayed here 10 hrs now, so I might as well stay longer “. I suspect he will 24 here too. Lance was talking about his circulation problems and how he has liner glover, inside his heated gloves and those inside his seal mittens. 

Daylight is out. The trail is calling and lots of teams traveling. Looking forward to the run to Ruby. The front runners are camped out at the Bible camp at Mile 291. Should take us about 3 hrs to get there. Happy trails. Enjoy the shots. No internet along the way, my satellite unit does not work in this 20 below, sorry!

Enjoy the morning shots. 

Happy trails Sebastian


Travis Beals


Cindy Gallea


Zoya Denure

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