I just got a call from Mickey reporting that Aliy called her from Shaktoolik. There is a "ground blizzard" going on there, with high winds and zero visibility. She is there with a number of mushers, but no one else has come in after them for a quite a while now. The dogs are all well sheltered and the mushers are "warm, dry, fed and safe." Aliy concluded that conditions are so bad they may all wait until morning to depart. Thankfully, they've got enough supplies in their drop bags to last them a long, long time!
Allen has just pulled into Kaltag. I'm sure he is happy to get off the Yukon, but he still has a lot of bad weather ahead of him. He's got plenty of supplies there too, of course, thanks to the drop bag ordeal that I'm sure you remember us going through! He dropped a dog back in Eagle Island, but there's been no word yet who it was. I expect to be hearing any minute that some dropped dogs have arrived here in Nome, and I can assure you I will find them and hug the stuffing out of them!
Speaking of dropped dogs, Mickey said that five dogs -- Heeler, Tony, Quito, Kipper and Spicy -- are all safely back at the Kennel with no lingering ailments from their time on the trail. Ray Crowe -- Kaz's husband -- drove down to Cantwell and picked them up on a relay from Anchorage courtesy of the Millers, a family of long-time supporters. Thank you all very much!
It appears that Aliy's GPS tracker has either been fixed or replaced, so that will help going forward. It also looks to me like they've made some good improvements to the data handling in the tracker web window. We can now sort by race mileage and speed... Woo hoo!
Frankly, I've kinda been marooned here in Nome for the past two days. I won't try to describe this metropolis, so just think of a cold, remote, desolate place you've been to and you'll have a good enough picture.
I do have a line on a possible plane ride tomorrow. If at all possible, I'm going to try to intercept Aliy somewhere on the coast, preferably in White Mountain where she will have a mandatory 8-hour rest. Like all things around here -- and in the entire sport of sled dog racing -- you hope for the best and hang on for the ride!