It's 9.00pm Alaska Time.
Aliy and the Red Team left Rohn at 5.22pm and are currently sitting in second position. This early in the race and before anyone has taken their 24 hour mandatory rest it really is too early for that to mean anything too significant. It just means everyone is running their own race and her schedule happens to put her in the front two at this point in time. Basically, what I am saying is - there is still over 780 miles to go and anything can happen!
We watched an Iditarod Insider video of the team leaving Rainy Pass earlier this afternoon looking great. We saw Olivia getting a belly scratch as she was bootied and an adoring look on Clyde's face as Aliy tended to him. The dogs all looked sleepy lounging in the sun until they were lined up ready to go and they were lunging on the line. It looks to us like she has moved Waylon back to run with Scruggs and Quito is running in single lead.
The run from Rohn to Nikolai includes "landmarks" such as the Buffalo Chutes and the Farewell Burn. The Buffalo Chutes are so named because a local herd of several hundred wild bison that wanders through the area and grazes in some of the small pothole marshes and lakes in the woods. The Burn was the site of one of Alaska's largest forest fires, a million and a half acres in the summer of 1977. In this Anchorage Daily News article is a fantastic picture of Martin Buser's team crossing the Farewell Burn - there is not a scrap of snow on the ground!
Allen and the Black Team are on their way to Rohn after a 4 hour 47 rest in the sun at Rainy Pass. Resting in the sun is great for the dogs because they can stretch out and really relax all their muscles. We haven't seen any pictures or videos of the team yet, we hope to soon!
We've just watched a weather forecast and it calls for widespread persistent light snow tomorrow and overnight temperatures around -8F.
UPDATE: Scout is very happy. He's just eaten a big dinner, had a walk around the nearby park and is now sleeping in a big straw bed in the truck. Thank you to all the volunteers who looked after him and to Dr Lee Morgan, a volunteer vet from Washington D.C. who is using up a week of his vacation time to be here and worked with Aliy and Scout in Skwentna.
Dana, one of the Iditarod Dog Dog Volunteers with Scout at the Millennium; Meghan and Scout