Made into Shaktoolik. Well, the trail into Shaktoolik is challenging. Leaving Unalakleet there is very little snow, sometimes none, sometimes a ribbon of ice. It is good to see, that many mushers had a replacement sled in Unk. When leaving there I talked to Martin Buser, who was switching to his third sled. Having a sound sled for this run is very essential, specially a good break for the downhills, as some of them are very bare. The next challenge is waiting once the mushers leave the blueberry hills. At the bottom there is lots and lots of glare ice waiting. A good steering wheel type lead dog will come in real handy. That lead dog better has a good coat, as it is windy out there. A constant 15 to 20 mile an hour northeast wind. And that is part of the problem, that wind will push the sled sideways over the ice. Specially trail dragger type of sled, which act more like a sail in the back, will be difficult to drive. This run is another test for the mushers. A strong headed team ( including the musher ) is needed. Here a few pictures of the sunset, right on top of the blueberry hills, looking down on the Shaktoolik Spit. Aily Zirkle is the first team en route here, my guess is going to be 2 to 2.30 a.m..Yipee night shift!
Shaktoolik in the distance