Today has been a day of checking in with the tracker and watching Jeff’s progress from Grayling to Kaltag. He departed Grayling last night at 19:53 after staying eight hours and completing his mandatory rest along the Yukon. Once again, we were up in the middle of the night and took at peek at the tracker, and Jeff was 40 miles into the run and resting. He rested along the trail for about five hours before getting going again this morning after 06:30. He stopped the team for another rest, staying for just under three and a half hours, making a total of about eight and a half hours rest for this long 102 mile stretch.
We haven’t seen or heard much in the way of trail reports for the teams that are currently on this run, however this section of trail is often windy, and there’s not much to see except for “islands, sandbars, sloughs, bluffs, and river bends probably also see a few stretches of windblown sandy trail in the last 20 miles before Kaltag.” – from the Don Bowers, Jr. trail information.
Historical Note on this section of trail: The original Iditarod Trail never ran on the Yukon. It went directly from Iditarod to Kaltag across the marshy maze of the Innoko Valley. Old-time mushers on the way to Nome only saw the Yukon when they crossed it to Kaltag.
In between checking the tracker, our crew did the daily chores, went to brunch, walked the puppies and took out a team and ran them around the Homestead. It was a nice weather day here, crisp and clear overnight with sunshine today, but the clouds have come in recently and there’s a flake or two falling from the sky – and it’s still light out!
Here’s a link to an Anchorage Daily News piece with some photos of Jeff! https://www.adn.com/slideshow/outdoors-adventure/iditarod/2018/03/10/photos-from-the-grayling-checkpoint-a-stop-before-a-long-run-on-the-yukon-river/
We have found a couple of articles that we think are worth the read. Iditarod veteran Bryan Bearss wrote an article: “No musher has ever died on the Iditarod trail.” He talks more about the weather that Jeff faced this year on his run from Ophir to Iditarod.
Jeff is continuing to close in on Kaltag, and is about 11 miles out! Jeff will undoubtedly stay for a while in Kaltag, and we hope to hear some updates from there at that time. Stay tuned Armchair Mushers!