Monday 3/12/18 – evening update

Jeff is closing in on Shaktoolik after departing UNK at 13:15, and resting for 6 hours 13 minutes.  Hot on his tail?  Martin Buser – departing Shaktoolik just one minute after Jeff and team.  This is so fun for us to watch as these two have so much history between them.  A quick look at the GPS tracker shows us that Jeff is ahead of Martin by a mere three miles.  You can bet we’ll be taking a peek at the tracker before we call it a night… and then taking a peek throughout the night whenever the opportunity arises.

Taking a look further up the trail, teams that have been traveling from Shaktoolik to Koyuk have been getting hammered by some wind and snow.  Here’s an Iditarod Insider video that KTUU shared of Nic Petit earlier this afternoon as he headed to Koyuk.

Nic Petit strong winds on Bering Sea coast

Nic Petit and the other lead mushers faced strong winds and blowing snow Monday between Shaktoolik and Koyuk. veered off trail Monday morning and was forced to backtrack, giving Joar Leifseth Ulsom time to pass him and pull into Koyuk first. (Video courtesy

Posted by KTVA 11 News on Monday, March 12, 2018

The weather along this coastal section can be brutal.

Swenson update:  Swenson was picked up at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Facility in Eagle River earlier this afternoon by our handler helper Chris and his German Shorthaired Pointer dog, Yeska.  We received a call in our office this evening from a friend up in Bethel who asked us if Swenson had been dropped, and had he been at the Hiland facility?  We said yes, and he told us “I saw him on Channel 2 news!”  We haven’t been able to locate that particular clip yet, but did find this video from a couple of days ago when the Anchorage Daily News put together a piece on the facility.  Click this link to check it out:

The women there do a wonderful job caring for the dogs, and we look forward to hearing little tid-bits they may share with us when we pick-up one of our own from them.

Well, Jeff is about 26 miles from Shaktoolik and he and others around him seem to be traveling at decent speeds.  Hopefully some of those strong winds have died down… and maybe they’re just dealing with… calmer winds?

We’ll update you again tomorrow.  In the mean time… Go, Jeff!!