Morning update from Unk and shakeup in lead

Good morning form Unalakleet. It has been a busy night here with Teams coming and going all night. Light snow is still falling off and on. NO WIND. VERY NICE!!!!  Jeff King was the latest to arrive, with a very animated team. Parking is at a premium here, and Jeff took it in stride,  being parked a bit further away from the checkpoint as usual. Tireless volunteers are up all hours of the night to rake straw of freshly departed teams. Travis Beals is en route to Shaktoolik, closely followed by Ryan Redington. Inside the checkpoint building things have quieted down considerably. Which is good, so the mushers get some peace and quiet while trying to sleep. We have musher rooms 1 to 5 all filled up, and a list with their wakeup calls.  Time for cleanup…. And making more bacon.

Last night Nicolas Petit stopped short before the shelter cabin outside of Shaktoolik and has since reached the cabin. He has been checked on and has been passed by the chase pack. The coast, once again, is where the race is being decided! We have a new race leader: Kusko Champion Pete Kaiser is leading the charge, followed by current Iditarod Champion Joar Leifseth Ulsom and Jessie Royer in 3rd place. I am sure all 3 of them were as much surprised to pass Nicolas as us on the screens. Nicolas Petit seems to have tried to skip one checkpoint too many. Considering him and Pete Kaiser had identical fast runtimes from Unk to Shak, it shows that the 3hrs 37 minutes was well spend time in Shaktoolik. 

Here are a few unedited pictures from around the Unalakleet Checkpoint.

Jeff King looking for his front hook

Jeff King hooking down his animated team

Richie Diehl dog

Matts Pettersson all smiles, he was able to call home to Sweden via Skype

Matts Pettersson Team

Up all night helping! Great community help here in UNK

Travis Beals heading out

Travis Beal getting up

Ramey Smyth dogs all snuggled in

Ramey Smyth uses nice blankets to conserve energy in his team

Ryan Redington having a great run, hooking up to go

Richie Diehl got beat up by a tree en route to Nikolai

Ramey Smyth all smiles inside the checkpoint