Mike and the dogs have made it to the end of the stretch of the Yukon river traversed by the Iditarod trail. Mike made the good decision to give the team a long rest in the afternoon sunshine. I could see on the GPS that it was 26 degrees (above!). Resting in the heat of the day is very relaxing for the dogs. They are able to stretch out and be comfortable. Mike could no doubt see the benefit to his team as their pace picked up following the rest.
From Kaltag, Mike will head overland towards the Bering Sea coast. The trail follows the Kaltag portage. There are a couple of BLM cabins along the trail, most well know is Old Woman Cabin. These cabins are open to all and stocked with firewood. They offer shelter to travelers who may encounter the fierce coastal storms. The legend is that you need to leave something at the cabin for the Old Woman so she will not chase you and bring you bad luck. When Mike when through the area in 2008 he left a bag of goodies made by our good friend Tom Farbo. Tom included his best sewing needle and thread. I hope that she remembers and brings Mike and the dogs good luck on their trip through.
It is 75 miles to Unalakleet. This will be another long run for the team. Mike is doing a wonderful job of caring for the dogs and keeping them happy and healthy on this first trip to Nome. They have traveled 624 miles in the last week. When they reach Unalakleet, they will have 236 miles until they reach Nome. While they are narrowing in on the end, the run on the coast can be challenging and brutal. I am glad that Mike has traveled this part of the trail before so that he can know what to expect.