Hello from White Mountain. Conditions are near perfect sunny, cool and NO WIND. Teams have been steadily coming and going. The next 2 teams leaving are both rookies. Well they are classified rookies, as they have never finished Iditarod before. Both mushers are far from novice mushers. Ed Hopkins from Tagish in the Yukon has ran his first Yukon Quest with dogs from the late Susan Butcher in 1993 finishing in 19th position. Richie Beattie has run his first Yukon Quest in 2006 finishing 9th. And that year was not an easy year in the Yukon Quest with only 11 teams finishing. I have very vivid memories of that year, super low snow and we did not make it to Whitehorse, instead we went to Pelly Crossing and turned around and went back to Dawson City. That meant going 210 miles without a checkpoint twice, through the black hills and over Eureka Summit and King Solomon Dome.
Richie commented on how much he enjoyed this years Iditarod run, despite the seemingly difficult conditions. He is driving a team of fairly big dogs, and hairy ones. The heat has not affected them and he still has 9 powerful dogs in his team. They were howling up a storm before leaving the checkpoint. “ Sebastian do you remember Jet ( Ranger ). He was born on the glacier in Juneau and flew down in the Jet Ranger at the end of the season. I will never tell him to shut up again. He has been my cheerleader all race. And you know how annoying he can be. “ Richie is having the time of his life! A tour group from Wild Alaska Travel had flown into the checkpoint and watched Richie leave. They are also having the time of their life. This is what Iditarod is all about, brining people from all walks of life together, who have a passion for dogs and wild places!
I hope to get some shots from Ed Hopkins when he is getting ready to leave.