Iditarod 2014 Nikolai to Ruby (2/4)
When we left Nikolai towards McGrath in the afternoon the sun was shining and it was quite warm. Fortunately, it wasn’t too long until sunset and better temperatures for running dogs. The run from Nikolai to McGrath was easy and just about what we needed. We were the last team of the race to leave Nikolai and were greeted by quite a crowd in McGrath. I parked the team, fed and gave them a rest before we continued towards Takotna and Ophir later that night.
We did not stop in Takotna other than to re-supply snacks, and I decided to drop Mira. Her shoulder was a little sore.
The run to Ophir was simply gorgeous. It was cold, -30-40C and the sun was rising over the mountains. One of these fantastic moments to share with your team. We pulled into Ophir in the early morning and I fed and bedded the dogs down in the sun. Ophir was a little paradise in the middle of nowhere, a place where time has been standing still. We stayed for a while before we loaded the sled and continued on our way to Cripple.
We had planned to stop at Carlson Crossing cabin on our way to Cripple. Alex and his team made it to the cabin just before us and he had already started the fire so we could thaw out and dry our clothes. Tommy, Lisbet and Monica arrived shortly after us. I stayed a short while before continuing on our way to Cripple, the half way point of the race!
The run to Cripple was nice, and at the checkpoint temperatures where once again in the -30-40C range. I felt tired and was afraid I might get sick. Slept for a while before we packed the sled and went on towards Ruby, the first checkpoint on the Yukon river.
We camped as planned between Cripple and Ruby along the trail. It was very warm in the sunshine during the day and hence nice to spend a short while resting and give the dogs a well deserved meal. As the sun set we continued towards Ruby.
Running to Ruby in the evening was yet again cold, and it got even colder as we approached the checkpoint and the Yukon River. I was feeling worse and was now running a fever. After I had fed and bedded down the team I went inside to eat and rest. The volunteers and veterinarians here, as in every other checkpoint were very friendly and helped as good as they could. I got some cough pills and something against fever to help keep me going.