The Red Team is into Koyuk!
They camped about midway between Shaktoolik and Koyuk and although the location on the sea ice was perhaps a little unorthodox, she had run through Shaktoolik she was due to stop somewhere on that run.
The Insider crew stopped to chat and she explained that it was in her initial race plan to stop there, then she changed her mind but changed it back again. Aliy told us how the dogs can sleep in the wind – she lay them out in groups of three and they curled up together with their backs to the wind and heads away from it. They are wearing their wind breakers and they were probably perfectly content. Aliy had set up her sled, cooler and cooker as wind breaks for her team and herself.
The Trail Notes tell us that “the trail from Koyuk follows the main snowmachine trail to Elim and is usually well marked. However, the wind can blow hard in the Moses Point area and the trail can drift over very quickly.” It has been windy on the coast today and the weather forecast for the area is for similar wind over night.
Allen brought his Black Team into Unlakleet at 11.46pm tonight. They have been travelling at good speeds since their camp at, what we presume was, Tripod Flats cabin. They will likely stay here for 4 to 6 hours before heading out onto the windy coast.
The coast will be a real test for the youngsters; it will be unlike anything they have ever experienced before, running on sea ice in the coastal winds. Quito, Nacho, Lester and Sissy are well experienced while Junior has seen it once before, so he may spread out the experienced amongst the team. This is where mental toughness kicks in also – they are 700 miles in and probably starting to wonder when it will end. Allen will set it up and put them in a situation where they can only succeed.
RETURNED DOG UPDATE
Neither Clyde nor Felix made it back to Anchorage yet. We’re anxious to get them back but understand a few teams scratched over the last couple of days so their whole teams will have had to be transported back as well so… hopefully tomorrow!
On another note, take a look at this wonderful piece from Laura Wright, the Teacher on the Trail, about the village of Unalakleet. In it she also talks about ACT – Alaskans Coming Together – a wellness initiative involving former champ John Baker as the primary advocate and spokesman and Katherine Keith as the Program Director. Both John and Katherine are running in this year’s race and mushers on the race are supporting the initiative.