Hi all. Cole’s into Mcgrath for her mandatory 24 hour layover, although it looks like a lot of other teams went ahead to Takotna, so her placement in the final standings is a bit decieving at the moment. She likes Mcgrath better because of how many teams aren’t there. The dogs get better rest without all the crowds and so does she since there are less mushers in the room snoring.
She was able to get a call out and had the usual mix of good news and bad news that omces with 1,000 racing. Some of you may have noticed she dropped two dogs. One was Cyder who she said just wasn’t keeping up and looked a little off. Tough to tell if this is still a post surgery problem or him just feeling his age…he would be more than 70 in humans years, and this is a tough workout for a dog that age, especially this year. The snowconditions have been better than reported, but Cole said she has still had some rough trail and had to break it out in places. Nothing worse than we did in training this serason though, she added.
Going thrugh one of the deeper patch of rough stuff, Cole said Woobie took a bad step an hurt his shoulder, so she had to leave him behind too. This are both big blows to the teram, since both dogs are two of our largest and most powerful pullers, and Cyder tended to be one of her leaders 700-1,000 miles in when a lot of other leaders are getting to tired to pull the other dogs out of a chekcpoint.
Adding to hjer bad luck, when Cyder was looking compromised she picked him up and carried him in the bag, so having another 55 pounds of cargo for 50 miles really slowed her down and of course wore the other dogs out more than if Cyder had been on his feet.
In other bad news, Cole passed a sleeping team that had pulled off the trail ,but with the deep snow, not quite as far as they likely would/should have in a thinner snow year. As she passed by, the dogs in the other team woke up startled and several attacked Cole’s front end. Penny was bitten in the legs and Wold in the face and neck, so now she is worried about possible being down two more leaders before the end of this thing.
Also, Cole had a bit of other bad luck, Quigley is one of the most voracious dogs we have ever seen and if allowed will eat his dinner and that of every other dog near him in the team. He then gets sick on the runs from too much food. Knowing this Cole has been moving him back and tying him to her sled, so he can only eat his dinner. But, as teams nearby pullout and discard any food there dogs don’t eat on the ground, there is a lot of piles of meat and kibble. When attempting to leave the last checkpoint, she asked a checker to help hold her team out until she could pullout, which is quite common, but the checker was too wweak to hold them out and just before leaving Quigley pulled over to several piles of food and gorged himself. Cole said he then promoptly puked severalk times on the way to the next checkpoint, which is very dangerous beucase the dogs can aspirate, breating the food or puke into their lungs while running, and then develop pnuemonia. Cole had the vets listen to his lungs sat the next checkpoint as a result and will continue to do so from here on out.
Other than these mishaps Cole said the runs have been good and the trail pretty safe, with the exception of the Farewell Burn (pic above) of course. She said she had the roughest run of her life thorugh it and actually hit a stump so hard she was body slammed to the ground and was only able to hang on by one hand. She said there was much sled parts and gear in this section, so she knew other people had strugled too, and when she got the next checkpoint, she heard another musher we know had lost his team in the same spot. They ran for 3 miles without him, through the dagnerous stumps and down trees before a lose snowhook finally caught something, but the dogs in a tagnle then chewed his gangline and half of them tried to take off again. A dog’s neckline was the only thing holding them back and this dog got stretched pretty badly, but was lucky to not have been killed by having either his neck broken or his windpipe crushed.
Thankfull this person dogs, and all of Coile’s made it thorugh safely. Hopefully they will continue on without anything else so dangerous. I’ve also attached a few pics to this for anyone who is following from another state. They are not of Cole, but at least show the beautiful scenery where she mushed yesterdqay. Enjoy. More soon.
I think the above is Rainy Pass.
The way to Rohn.