It was a race against time for us to get to Unalakleet before Aliy! Luckily Doug had gone on an earlier flight so we knew that at least he would be there. As it turned out we got to the checkpoint just about half an hour before she pulled in.
Thanks to a very friendly local, whose name I did not get, who gave us a lift in his pick-up. If you happen to be reading this kind Sir, thank you!
L-R: young Aliy fans; drop bags waiting
When we arrived we hadn’t seen the tracker in some time so we didn’t know what team was going to pull in first so were delighted to hear the news it would be Aliy and her team. They really looked fabulous as they loped toward the checkpoint and we were so happy to see them in the flesh. The Insider videos are great but there’s nothing like seeing them in right in front of you.
There was a huge crowd to greet them and as they arrived, Aliy was presented with the Gold Coast Award given to the first musher to reach the Bering Sea. Jake Slingsby and Scott A Johnson from Wells Fargo presented the award which is $2,500 (about 2oz) in gold and a trophy for the cabinet.
Lots of kids and fans lined the trail to welcome the team and to see Aliy, all of them excited to see her.
L-R: the media scrum; the Gold Coast Award
Aliy spent some time tending to the dogs trying to continue her regular checkpoint routine of snacking, straw, wrapping them in jackets and covering them with fleece blankets. She also did some precautionary massaging and wrapping of wrists - it’s nothing to be alarmed about, it just warms and eases their joints while they rest. She fixed their kibble and meat meal to soak ready for a big meal before they left.
Next she went up to the checkpoint and scarfed down two huge plates of eggs, bacon and toast then settled herself for over an hour of sleep. When she woke she said that was the deepest and best sleep she had had for days and days!
L-R: Clyde wolfs down his meal; Meghan loves Willie
She told us during the run she was determined to catch Martin Buser and she never saw him for the whole run so she was surprised to be the first in to the checkpoint! She had no idea he had stopped and camped at what she presumes was Old Woman Cabin so she was honestly surprised to receive the award.
When she pulled in she had Quito and Waylon in lead, Nacho running with his sister Chica in swing, Willie running alone then Pud and Clyde, Boondocks with Olivia and Mac with Sissy in wheel. When she left she moved Waylon back from lead to run with his brother Willie. She said she’s been doing that out of checkpoints so Quito can navigate their way out and later she will move him back up.
Dropped dog update coming soon… stay tuned!
Tomorrow we will take a walk around the village and see some sights to share with you as we wait for the Black Team.