Thursday, March 16, 2006

There's No Place Like Nome

The big news is that Hugh and the team arrived in Nome just after 8pm last night in 21st! In Nome after 10 days 6 hrs 22 minutes on the trail and just out of the top 20, but these are all just numbers. The real story is that 10 dogs made the long trip to Nome and were happy to be there. A great experience for the dogs and musher. This year's trail was much improved from last year, but this year the struggles were the weather. New snow along the early stretches, strong winds along the Yukon River and the Coast, bitterly cold temperatures, and bright sun. All the mushers coming in look weather beaten with bright red faces from long days in the sun and wind. I've just found out the final list of dogs. Friday and Snow were dropped in Ophir and Cripple, Darkie in Ruby, Dozer in Nulato, Blondie in Unalakleet, and Sally in Safety. This means the list of dogs to complete the entire journey was: Omen (who brought the team to Nome in single lead for the second year in a row), Nova, Mertyle, Maestro, Flame, Blaze, Colby, Mahoosic, Titan, and Shyela. An amazing group of dawgs! Besides Sally (who made it all but the last 20 miles) the other five dogs are new to our family this year. These five were sprint dogs up until this year and the therefore pretty amazing that they could switch gears so quickly to run between 500 and 700 miles so quickly. In only means great things for them next year.

Congratulations to Mike Jayne for getting Rookie of the Year! He arrived in 25th place and finished strong to obtain this position on the last day. His dad is our vet and Hugh took Mike on his first dog ride many moons ago. In fact their first dogs at Chandalar Lake were former Quest dogs from Hugh.

Also thanks to those that e-mailed telling me about an interview with Hugh at McGrath. Check out this website and scroll down the list of interviews they did this year. The volume's a bit low but I found with headphones I could hear. Something about ravens eating his beaver meat at a bunch of checkpoints.

Anyway, so Hugh is in Nome for a few more days. The banquet is on Sunday night. The dogs are in the dog yard in Nome but apparently it is very windy so they are going to bring the dogs to where Hugh is staying so they can rest in a big tent. Hopefully he'll take some photos. I'm stuck in Whitehorse, at home looking after the other dogs. I'm not sure when we'll see Hugh again - he hasn't firmed up his schedule yet. :) Hugh has promised though to write a blog soon. When I last talked to him he was falling asleep while talking so it may be a little longer until he surfaces.
-- Tamra


At 8:27 PM , Blogger Laughing Eyes Fan said...

Oh Tamra, How very exciting! I think those dawgs and that cute guy of yours are a wonderful team! I spent the money and joined the Iditarod Insider and when I checked it tonite I found an interview for the 21st place finisher! I was soooo excited! Hugh looked great and smiled so much! It was such fun to watch over and over! I loved the "There's no place like Nome" sign on the big gate! Not many people there, but they hooted and hollered "Hugh, Hugh, Hugh". Those "baby" long distance dawgs must have made him proud. Great addition to the "veterans". When he wakes up, please tell him how proud we are of him and how excited, too!
Thanks again,
PS Sally is a "finisher", too, in my book!


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