Aliy and the Red Team are currently on the trail to Koyuk. They left Shaktoolik at 9:15 pm AST, 12 dogs still in harness. Dallas Seavey went through Shak, but appears to have stopped at a small cabin right before the trail heads out over the frozen bay. He too is under way again about 2 miles ahead.
At this point in the race, the strategies have all been played. Now it is time to see how they worked. It is all up to the dogs' and mushers' training and force of will as they make their way to White Mountain and then on to Nome.
A video of Aliy and the team out of Shaktoolik was posted on Aliy's Facebook page. Thank you, Sandra. Here is the link:
Ryne is in Kaltag, having made excellent time down the Yukon. Derek flew over her, poling down the river and waived his wings at her. She waved back heartily. Hope she knows how much we are thinking of her and cheering her on.
The Portage Trail this evening will still be cold for her, but Unalakleet is a light in the tunnel for her. I expect that she will begin to race a bit more seriously once she gets there and with the amount of rest her dogs and she have had, she could easily start passing people.
I spent the day emailing strategy with Randy Chappel yesterday. His first Iditarod's schedule was very similar to Ryne's (Aliy's influence there too) and he began "picking teams off" once he hit the coast. A good omen for Ryne!
The SP Crew in Unalakleet reported seeing Bonita in the dog drop area, having been flown over from Kaltag. It was indeed Bonita and Scooter that Aliy dropped there.
Now my biggest worry is if my flight will get me to Nome in time!