It looks like a classic dual between two champion Iditarod Mushers Lance Mackey and Jeff King, with a pack of other teams bearing down from behind.
Mackey pulled into Unalakleet (mile 673) early this morning, winning the Wells Fargo $2,500 prize and trophy. King pulled in a few hours later. Mackey has 12 dogs and King 13 from the 16 they each started with. Dogs are dropped, or left behind if showing signs of stress. Dropped dogs are flown to Anchorage and picked up and cared for by volunteers until the mushers can pick them up. Temperatures are a brisk -29 degrees Fahrenheit at the Finish Line in Nome (mile 908), and Mackey’s dogs were wearing special coats as they pulled into the coast town of Unalakleet. All the dogs wear booties which is a race requirement, to protect their feet against frost bite. Twelve mushers have scratched (quit) most commonly citing medical reasons or for the best interest of their team. By the time I wrote this blog Mackey pulled out of Unalakleet in the lead and is headed for the next check point (there are 6 to go).
There is still plenty of racing ahead, and there are teams spread out along the trail for hundreds of miles, each with their own story. I considered flying up to Nome to catch the finish, but the time and expense was too much, considering other upcoming events I have planned. So I am staying closer to home, doing little adventures with camera in hand.
This is yesterday’s Halo I caught when I was down in Turnagain Arm.
A Halo today keeps the blahs away!