Iditarod Update - 03/08/08, 10:45 AM AST

Doug in Ruby

Yesterday morning Aliy's Dad, Doug, flew to the Ruby checkpoint, on the Yukon River. His plan was to meet with both Aliy and Allen before flying back to Fairbanks this evening.

We received a call from him yesterday saying that the checkpoint was very busy, very warm (about 32 degrees F), and lacking easy phone communications. A generous Ruby resident let him use their home phone.

Doug saw Lance leave Ruby...both he and his dogs looked well. He also saw Jeff King arrive at Ruby. His dogs looked fantastic... alert, happy and eager.

Doug was assisting at the checkpoint, keeping a lookout for incoming teams , raking straw and directing teams to their resting spots. He had reserved a 'bed' in the local school for the night. That means he gets a cot in the library in exchange for a small donation. That's much more comfortable than sleeping on the floor of a tent at the checkpoint.

We suspect that Doug did not sleep much. Aliy and her team of 13 arrived at Ruby just after midnight. She rested there for 6 hours and departed around 6 AM with a team of 12 Therefore, she dropped another dog there.

We hope to hear from Doug this morning with a report on her mental and physical condition.

Meanwhile, Allen departed the Cripple checkpoint at 3 AM AST today. He rested there for over 13 hours. He dropped another dog, so he continues with a team of 12. We can only speculate that the run to Cripple was challenging enough that he felt a long rest was necessary. It will probably be 12 to 17 hours before we see him in Ruby.

Dropped Dog Newsflash: All SP Kennel dropped dogs (with the exception of the 2 dropped in the past few hours) are safely back in Anchorage, under the diligent care of Margie, our dropped dog volunteer. Thanks so much, Margie!