Mike left Takotna this afternoon after his 24 hour break. I was really pleased to see that he kept all 16 dogs with him. I heard via Jeff King that Mike's team look great as they arrived at Takotna on Wednesday. This is a testament to Mike's ability to care for the dogs and his intuitive understanding of what they need. His decision to put the needs of the dogs first was noted in the Anchorage Daily News.
Mike made the 21 mile run from Takotna to Ophir and passed right through. He is now resting about 30 miles further down the trail on the way to Cripple. This is a long stretch of trail. I expect him to camp for several hours and then continue on to the checkpoint. Mike most likely picked up straw for the dogs in addition to some extra food to feed them during this break.
Here in the kennel this evening, I saw some of the most spectacular Northern Lights I have ever seen. There were beams of green stretching all the way to the peak of the sky, not just low on the horizon. They lights moved rapidly and showed reds, purples, and whites along the edge of the green. I hope that Mike is sitting with the dogs watching the same amazing show.
Tomorrow will bring more long miles. I cannot imagine having the athletic ability of these dogs. Their ability and desire to run for hours on end, day after day is unmatched. The chance to witness their accomplishments is part of the addiction of sled dogs.