Mike and the dogs are making the overland crossing from the Yukon River to the Bering Sea Coast. This is a historic portage trail, which connects these major waterways. The trail leaves Kaltag and climbs up through the trees. By about half way to Unalakleet, the geography changes and the trail enters the open tundra. I expect Mike to take a rest, before this change, at Old Woman cabin. He will use this to break up the 76 mile run.
I noticed that Mike arrived at Kaltag , mile 697, at 2:45 pm today. This is almost exactly 7 days after he left the starting line at 2:44 pm last Sunday. Knowing that he took a 24 hour break during this week, it means that he and the dogs have traveled 100 miles a day since leaving. I just cannot wrap my head around the athletic talents of these dogs. Their ability and desire to run continues to impress me.
One of the things that has been really fun for me, while watching the race, has been seeing how many teams are using gear designed by Mike. Mike and I have worked really hard to create things that are right for the dogs and the mushers. Mike designed harnesses and dog jackets and many of the teams in the race are wearing the jackets. I am really proud of all that Mike has done. It is pretty amazing to watch him run a team of dogs we raised from puppies, wearing gear we designed and created, using a gangline setup Mike developed, driving a sled he built. I hope he is feeling this same pride and satisfaction as he travels the trail with our dogs.