What an exciting day this will be! We may have a champion come into Nome! Right now, the mushers are looking pretty tired. We dogs get much more rest than the humans; the mushers must be sure to take care of us first, feeding and resting us. After that, they can rest. At White Mountain, where they must take an 8 hour mandatory rest, the mushers actually get some sleep.
Lev Shvarts had very pink cheeks as he talked about crossing Norton Sound with the 40 mph headwinds. That means the wind was blowing into his and the dogs’ faces. The Iditarod sets up markers along the trail which are flat poles with orange tips that can be seen from a distance; these mark the trail if there is a blizzard. With the strong winds, some of the trail markers blew away or broke. Lev said it was difficult seeing the next marker because of the blowing snow or that they were gone. His dogs were good about knowing where the trail was, even if he couldn’t see.
We are all watching the GPS or the race standings on iditarod.com, but the mushers don’t see where all their competitors are. Once they get into a checkpoint, there are sometimes computers with the standings pulled up. They crowd around to see where all the other teams are. On the trail, mushers and their dogs are just enjoying the beauty or pushing through tough weather to the next checkpoint. Stories from the trail will be shared once they get to Nome. Many of these competitors are friends outside of the race.
Keep watching today, cheering on these brave people! It will be exciting to see which teams come under the burled arch in Nome in the top 10 positions.
Until next time,