A quick check of the tracker in the middle of the night showed that Jeff and his team of 13 had arrived into Shageluk at 00:53 and were resting there. He was back on the move after resting 5 hour 45 minutes, and has just recently gone through Anvik on his way up to the checkpoint of Grayling. This is the first leg of the trail that is on the mighty Yukon River, and teams are required to take an eight hour rest somewhere on the Yukon. With Eagle Island not an option this year, they are left with: Shageluk, Anvik, Grayling, or Kaltag. Several of us are not the betting type, but our crew is putting all our money on Kaltag as Jeff’s stop for his mandatory eight hour rest.
The weather report for Grayling shows current temps at 4°, with a slight wind, making it feel a bit cooler and perhaps more comfortable at -7°. While we may enjoy temperatures above zero, the dogs actually prefer it below zero… their fur and their super metabolism helps to keep them toasty warm.
Here in Denali it’s a gorgeous morning! Zig and Barnum made it home last night and are both doing well! Barnum appears to have caught up on some of his sleep, and is ready to go! We’re waiting to hear from Iditarod in regards to Swenson, and will send someone south to pick him up when he arrives in Anchorage. Our friend Maren told us that it had been difficult to get anyone or anything – let alone drop dogs – out from Iditarod with the weather over the past two days, so if he doesn’t make it to McGrath today he may head the other direction and beat Jeff to Nome after a stopover in Unalakleet. Now wouldn’t that be something? Swenson making it there before Jeff – haha! (Shhh! Don’t tell Jeff!) No matter where Swenson goes, his drop dog paperwork will travel with him, and vets in any checkpoint will be able to keep an eye on that odd heart reading.