Archive for March, 2010

3-20-10 9:30 pm AKDT Trail Update

March 21, 2010

Just had some dinner with Dave – he’s getting some much needed sleep now.

Interesting fact: This was the 38th Iditarod. There are only 817 people to have ever run in the Iditarod. We are so incredibly proud of what Dave has accomplished!

Enjoy the photos. We have very slow speed internet here. More photos when we return to St Louis.


Dave on the trail about 6 miles from the finish in Nome.



3-20-10 5pm AKDT Trail Update

March 21, 2010


We’re sorry this update took so long. There has been alot going on!

When Dave was just a few miles out of town we were invited for a car ride to see Dave on the trail with his team. It was an amazing sight to witness. Musher Mom and Dad were truely blessed to be able to ride literally side by side with Dave as he drove the team home to Nome. We were so engrossed with the ride that we ended up having to run to reach the finish line before Dave and team, flagging down the police car that escorted him the last 2 blocks in town then running down the chute to meet him there at the finish line. Whew! We just barely made it! Lots of excitement! Dave had a shower (first in 2 weeks) followed by a pizza from Airport Pizza then it was off to the “Meet the Musher” for autographs! Right now he’s giving his sample for the drug testing then we’re off for dinner. Then his nap!

The vet who stitched Dave’s finger was here. She said it is healing nicely. Yea!

Photos updated later this evening…


3-20-10 8am AKDT Trail Update

March 20, 2010

It’s 8 am and still dark outside. We’re waiting for Dave to arrive. He left White Mountain at 3:45 am. He is almost to the Safety checkpoint but he is not required to stay there. He only needs to sign in. He told us he had no intention of staying there any longer than necessary. He’s in a hurry to get “Home to Nome”! At his current location he is 35 miles from Nome and traveling 8.3 mph. We expect him around noon. Please remember this is 3 pm St Louis time. You may be able to watch the finish from the web cam:   If anyone knows how to record the web cam so that I could see it later I would appreciate it.

We’re off to a Nome Girl Scout fund raiser, a pancake breakfast, then waiting at the finish line……………..


3-19-10 10:20 pm AKDT Trail Update

March 20, 2010

Surprise visit with Dave at White Mounmtain checkpoint


We got t0 see Dave this evening and he looks great! Musher Mom and Dad, Musher Girlfriend Carrie Skinner and our new friends from Utah, Bob and Tracy Brown flew into White Mountain checkpoint arriving shortly after Dave had arrived. It was so wonderful to see Dave. He looked a little tired but otherwise very good. His face was pretty red from windburn but not blistered or frost nipped which I was very happy to see. Dave had a little mishap with his pocket knife yesterday in Koyuk. There was alot of bleeding but the wonderful vet who was there on duty, Dr. Carolyn Witten, put 4 stitches into his thumb, gave him some antibiotic cream and sent him on his way. All his fingers are swollen but that is normal in all the mushers.

Dave told us the trail to Rainey Pass was the toughest. He said it was -50 and he just couldn’t get warmed up.

Dave is taking his final 8 hour mandatory break and is anxious to arrive in Nome tomorrow. We expect him sometime between noon and 2 pm. After he takes care of the dogs we’ll celebrate at Airport Pizza (really good food)  then it will be sleep time for Dave.

Thank you again for all your support, prayers, good wishes and encouraging messages. We all appreciate it.


3-19-10 10:30 am AKDT Trail Update

March 19, 2010

Dave arrived at the Eliam checkpoint at 3:30 this morning with 11 dogs. Current temp in Eliam is  26 degrees. Next check point will be White Mountain where he will take a mandatory 8 hour break. 111 miles left to go!


3-18-10 10:00 pm AKDT Trail Update

March 19, 2010

After an extra 12 hours of rest in Shaktoolik, Dave and his team began the 42 miles for Koyuk. They arrived in Koyuk at 1:12 this afternoon. Current temp in Koyuk is 27 degrees. We expect he will be leaving soon for Eliam which is 43 miles down the trail. Eliam has a population of 281.

Dave has approxmately 154 miles to go. We expect he may be arriving in Nome Saturday evening. Musher Mom and Dad are getting anxious!

Nome has a population of approx. 3500. It is a much larger city than I expected. And very friendly. There are 2 roads which lead out of town but only go about 70 miles. The only way to get into Nome is to fly in or by boat in the summer. Last night we went to St Josephs Catholic Church to see Native Alaskan dancing. It was wonderful. Today we went for a helicopter ride to the Safety Checkpoint which is the last checkpoint before Nome.  It consists of 1 building, a bar/roadhouse where Tom serves up microwaved cheeseburgers and drinks. Nearby there are a few fishing huts which are used in the summer. While there Jay and Tracy came in. They were on day 18 of a bicycle race on the Iditarod trail. The tires on their bikes were heavily treaded and about 6″ wide. One musher came in, signed in and then left again. We saw him cross under the burrled arch later this evening. We also saw a small herd of muskox on the return flight to Nome. We have found that the warmer the temp gets the faster the wind blows. The wind chill is awful !

Internet service here is very slow…pictures to be updated later.


3-18-10 9:30 AM AKDT Trail Update

March 18, 2010

Dave arrived in Shaktoolik yesterday at 10:35 am with 13 dogs. He left at 5:30 pm after resting himself and the team. We saw that shortly after leaving Shatoolik he turned around and went back. The 42 miles between Shaktoolik and Koyuk is primarily across the frozen waters of Norton Bay. Since there is nowhere for him to stop en route we are guessing that he must have seen something in the dogs that warranted additional rest. He did leave Shaktoolik this morning at a approx. 8 am and is well on his way to Koyuk. Dave is traveling at a speed of 8.1 mph. The current temp 18 although with the high winds in this area it must feel much colder.

Koyuk has a population of 258. Mushers can breathe a sigh of relief as most the trail from here is on land.

As of this posting there have been 32 mushers arrive in Nome. 15 have scratched. 24 mushers are en route.


3-17-10 7:40 am AKDT Trail Update

March 17, 2010

Trail marker

Musher Dad with one of 4 signs welcoming mushers into Nome

It’s 7:40 am. The sky is pitch black with lots of bright twinkling stars. It’s so quiet. When someone passes by outside we hear the snow crunch with each footstep. Last night we had daylight until after 9:30 pm. Today promises to be another beautiful day. Our current temp in Nome is 13 degrees.

The mushers have been arriving all night.  When a musher is 1 mile from the finish an alarm sounds. It sounds like our tornado warnings in St Louis. This gives notice that a musher is on the way in so we have 10 to 15 minutes to get to the finish line to watch. When Lance and Jeff arrived yesterday afternoon there was so much press/media/photographers that it made it difficult to see anything. It was still very exciting!

We’re looking forward to meeting Jeff King and his crew for breakfast this morning at the Airport Cafe. We can’t wait to hear about his adventures from the past 10 days. Jeff shared with me that he had spoke briefly with Dave at 2 different checkpoints. Dave is doing well and was very happy with his race.

Dave is on the trail this morning headed to Shaktoolik. Dave is traveling at a speed of 8.1 mph. The current temp is 15 at his gps location. Shaktoolik is one of the windiest stretches of the trail. Next checkpoint after Shaktoolik will be Koyuk which will be 42 miles.


3-16-10 8:35 pm AKDT Trail Update

March 17, 2010

Jeff King just crossed the finish line!

A happy Jeff King!

Finish line and new Dodge truck for the winner, Lance Mackey.

At Nome Iditarod Headquarters prayers are said daily for every musher.

2 of Jeff's sleepy dogs

Wow! What a day! Lance Mackey was the first to cross the finish line this afternoon. A little later Hans Gatt arrived in seco0nd place. Jeff King placed third. It was a close, exciting race!

We just learned there is web cam at the finish line. You can go to to watch what’s going on in Nome. We expect Dave to cross the finish line Friday evening around midnight and will keep you posted when we have a better idea of the time.  Remember, there is a 3 hour time difference between here and St Louis.

Dave just arrived in Unalakaeet where the temp is a balmy 27 degrees. After resting the puppies there he will head down the trail 42 miles to Shaktoolik. This is one of the windiest stretches of the trail. Shaktoolik has a population of 179.

Musher Mom and Dad are having a nice visit in Nome where we have met old friends and have met many new friends. This is a very friendly city with lots of fundraisers through out the week. There is a craft sale at the church with lots of beautiful native crafts for sale. There are bake sales and soup sales. Musher Mom had a bowl of caribou soup for lunch this afternoon. It was surprisingly good. Friday a chili tasting contest. We’re keeping very busy!

The first half of the race Dave had great run times second only to Jeff King. Because of the age and inexperience of his puppy team he took extra rest time to ensure their wellbeing. He is running a very cautious, conservative race.  At this point over 20% of the mushers have scratched for one reason or another.  Dave is truly in elite company!

The current temp in Nome is 11 degrees at 9pm and still very light out!


3-16-10 9:30 am AKDT Trail Update

March 16, 2010

Dave left Kaltag at 5 am en route 75 miles to Unalakleet with 13 dogs in his team. Dave is currently traveling 8.7 mph at a temp of -7 degrees. If our calculations are correct and Dave continues his past pattern of travel speed/rest stops we calculate that Dave will arrive in Nome late Friday evening.

Unalakleet has a population of 882 and is the largest village on the Iditarod trail. It is located on the Bering Sea. From here mushers can expect sudden storms and an ample supply of wind.

Lance Mackey has left White Mountain with a 2 hour lead. It is his race to loose. We expect to see him cross the finish line later this afternoon. We’ll keep you posted!