There’s a saying in the Iditarod, you can have the greatest day of your life and the worst day of your life all within in one 24 hour cycle. Playing on that I thought I’d bookend this post with two photos of Cole. The top one if her smiling and the team looking fresh, and the one at the bottom of her in Mcgrath, trail weary and worried about sending home so many of her core dogs.
Some of you have already asked about her leaving Mcgrath with 13. Apparently Keno was starting to sound a little wet in terms of his lungs and breathing, possibly a side effect of breathing up snow dust while breaking trail. This is something that can quickly turn to pnuemonia, so now Keno will join Cyder and Woobie on a return flight home.
This is seriously bad news for Cole. While she has several lead dogs left, Penny, Cyder and Keno are three of her strongest late stage dogs. Around 700-900 miles in many leaders stop wanting to lead, but these three have never given her trouble. Being down to only Penny, and having her injured from the dog bite a few days earlier, is weighing heavy on Cole’s mind.
It would be an understatement to say she has not had fun the last few days, but that is part of 1,000 mile races, they’re a bit like long hikes. Once your home and rested you remeber all the scenic views and the smores around the campfire, but once you repeat that hike you remeber how heavy the backpack feels, how bad the blisters on your feet hurt and all the mosquitos that buzz and bite.
Cole’s next two runs are also two of the longest in thje race. It’s about 72 miles from Ophir to Cripple, then another 70 to Ruby. She’d like to split the runs up to give the dogs more rest, but with the day time temperatures being at or aobve zero, it’s just to warm to do anything besides move at night, so she wasn’t sure if she’d camp these two runs, breaking them into four runs, or just push them out in two long legs. She was going to let the trail and the dogs attitudes decide. So stay tuned.
Also, since she has been having such a rough go this year, I’m hoping to surprise her in possible Ruby or Galena, so if I don’t get a connection I may not blog for a day, but I haven’t forgot about all of you following her race. I’ll update as soon as I can. All for today, except to say, the local newpaper is taking a poll of which musher you’re rooting for. If you feel like casting your vote for COle, here’s the link to their page: http://peninsulaclarion.com/ and thanks for voting.