All three teams are back on the trail now for the 72 mile run from Chistochina to Meiers Lake. The temperature has dropped to around -10F which is great news for the teams as it will hopefully “set” the trail which up to now has had a soft snow covering.
I caught video of all three teams as (or just after) they arrived in Chisto, again, as I have a little more time I will upload and share with you. The handler crew is all at Meiers Lake Lodge now waiting our respective teams. As the run is a long one we expect to be able to get a few ours rest ourselves!
After the team arrived Allen snacked them and set about melting some snow (left) to make a kibble meal which he fed about an hour before they left. He carried on his normal routine of setting straw out, removing booties and putting jackets on or blankets over those who wanted it. The temperature was still hovering around 0F at that point, with light snow, which is not cold for these guys but keeping them a little warmer when they sleep helps them to stretch out and also expend less energy as they rest.
I asked him specifically about Felix as he is the most inexperienced dog on his team and he said he was doing really well. He is running next to his Dad and learning the ropes of mid and long distance racing from one of the best! We had a very graphic display of the difference between experience and youth as the team camped. Towards the end of their stay as Allen set about booty-ing and removing jackets Biscuit remained lying down, getting every last moment of rest he could whereas Felix was up and jumping about. As Allen said: there’s a lot of wisdom in those eight year old bones and hopefully Felix will pick up on that during the race.
Allen had built Aliy her a new sled this season also and she was excited about running it - so far so good. Her team rested and ate really well (right) and she left swiftly with Rambler and Beemer still in lead.
At the time we left Chisto Meghan was still resting so I am uncertain of how long she stayed but I can see from the tracker she is on here way here. She will have started on the run to Meiers Lake checkpoint expecting to stop and camp for a few hours along the way so please don't be alarmed if you see her tracker paused.
Thanks to the crew at the Red Eagle Lodge for their hospitality and great cinnamon buns. We're going to get some sleep!