General Discussion, Monday, March 14, 2022

Blue Bonnet season coming to Texas some time soon!

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29 Responses to General Discussion, Monday, March 14, 2022

  1. Pa Hermit says:

    Mornin’ all. Coffee tastes good today.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. auscitizenmom says:

    Mornin’ All. Really overcast and cloudy here with the waves pounding the shore. It is a little cool, but will get warmer soon. The sun is trying to come out and I think will make it soon. Our plan is to play carpet golf when they open. It could get rainy this afternoon. Maybe we will go down to the Jacuzzi when we get back. Everybody have a great day.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. WeeWeed says:

    Happy Monday kids! What fresh hell this week….

    Liked by 7 people

  4. czarina33 says:

    Well that’s gorgeous!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. deaconmike51907 says:

    Good morning all. I hope every one is well at the start if this new week. Better weather is on the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. stella says:

    Hi everybody! Weather is gorgeous today – 56 degrees and sunny. Supposed to be in the 50’s and 60’s all week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Tundra PA says:

      Gorgeous here too today, though a bit cooler. Sunny and 25* with crystal clear cloudless skies and the mountains magnificent in their thick robes of new sparkling white snow. What a glorious sight! After weeks of cloudy horizons at best and seemingly endless snow falling, this is such a treat. Thank you, Lord, for showing us your handiwork! Have a joyous day, everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The Tundra PA says:

    Day 8 is winding down (Iditarod days begin and end at 2 pm Alaska time, because that is when the race began) and the news when I checked in this morning could not have been better. Brent Sass has maintained his lead on Dallas Seavey overnight and has now reached the White Mountain checkpoint more than 2 hours ahead of Dallas. An 8 hour rest is required here before the last 77 miles to the finish line in Nome.

    The general wisdom is that the order of teams into White Mountain will be the same as the order at the finish line. Historically the only exceptions are (1) catastrophic weather blowing in (not predicted at this point); (2) disastrous event to the team which is unpredictable (such as the sudden appearance of a moose which stomps the team or a drunk snowmachiner who attacks the team, as happened to Aliy Zirkle a few years ago); or (3) two teams arriving at WM very close together and the following team being able to “reel in” the team ahead to move up one position. With Brent having more than a two hour lead at White Mountain, only a sudden disaster will prevent him claiming the championship in Nome this year. GO BRENT! GO DOGS!

    Dallas arrived in White Mountain about 10 minutes ago, so Brent is already nearly 3 hours into his rest day. Though checkpoints are usually a mob of activity, these two mushers and their teams will have the place all to themselves. The entire rest of the field is 85 miles or more behind them. That’s 10+ hours away, so the first two will be gone long before any other teams arrive. In the 23 years that I have followed Iditarod, I can’t recall such a massive gap between two leaders and the rest of the pack.

    When an intense rivalry is underway and the two mushers must spend an extended time in the same checkpoint, the hub-bub of other teams is a buffering factor. In this case that buffer is missing, so I can’t help but wonder what the emotional climate will be with Dallas’ arrival. Both men will be focusing on dog care and getting as much rest for themselves as possible. Where each team is parked is a decision made by checkpoint volunteers. In a crowded checkpoint, multiple teams are side-by-side, which is not usually a problem. Most of the mushers know, like, and respect each other and have a general camaraderie together. In this case I’m hoping the volunteers give the two teams some distance from each other for the layover.

    With first and second place all but decided, the next question is which teams will round out the top 5 and the top 10. Seven teams are resting at Koyuk with four more only a few miles from arriving there. These teams have been leapfrogging each other since reaching the Bering Sea coast back at Unalakleet. My friend Pete Kaiser is in this pack and I’m hopeful he will be able to reel a few in to improve his finish position.

    The disappointing news this morning was that my other friend Josh McNeal scratched on the Yukon River at Galena. When a team scratches, the only official reason given is either “for personal reasons” or “in the best interest of the race team”. Either of which can mean pretty much anything. I’m sorry Josh didn’t make it to Nome. He finished his rookie year last year, but due to covid the race didn’t go to Nome. The trail was an out-and-back to the ghost town of Iditarod which returned to the start line at Willow. Josh really wanted to go to Nome. Maybe next year.

    The Red Lantern position continues to be Lisbet Norris and her Siberian team. She is now 350 miles behind the leader, which is a typical spread of teams in most years.

    If all things continue according to plan, Brent should arrive under the burled arch in Nome about 9 am tomorrow. He will be able to leave White Mountain at 7:05 pm ADT tonight for the last 77 miles. His dogs looked strong and energetic coming into White Mountain; a long rest and two hot meals will put more gas in the tank for the final push. It is all up to Brent–who is exhausted, as all the mushers are at this point–to hold it together. I have every faith that he will. Go Brent! Go dogs!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. The Tundra PA says:

    After watching numerous video clips of interviews with the mushers arriving in Koyuk, the explanation for that huge gap between the two leaders and the rest of the pack has emerged. A big blizzard blew into Shaktoolik after Brent and Dallas departed. Temperatures were below zero with a 40 mph wind and blowing snow. The rest of the mushers got held up by the weather for a good 8 hours and it was brutal. It is a classic Iditarod development on the Bering Sea and more than once has determined the outcome of the race. This type of blizzard is dangerous, not only because of frostbite injury, but also because often you can’t even see your lead dog, much less the trail markers coming up which tell you where the trail is in a flat and featureless environment. When the wind is hitting the dogs from the side, it is easy for them to get pushed a bit sideways instead of keeping the straight line you need, and you may not be able to tell that it is happening. By the time they departed Shaktoolik this morning it had all blown out and was gone, giving them an easy run into Koyuk. I’m sure they are all wishing Brent and Dallas had been held up with them. That would have made it a whole different race. Not to say that the two leaders didn’t get some of it last night; they certainly did. This is Dallas coming in to Shaktoolik.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pa Hermit says:

    Thank you Tundra, enjoy reading about the race!


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