Martin Buser has a 22 mile lead over his nearest rival Mitch Seavey as of 11:15 Friday. Seavey is moving a bit faster, but that’s about three hours of trail time at current speeds, and that is not a trivial amount. Speeds vary from hour to hour, and no one should count Buser out of winning at this point. Zirkle, Berkowitz and Burmeister are the others in the mix right now according to my fool proof analysis. By fool proof, I mean there is no proof I am not a fool.
John Baker moved up a bit more with some serious non- stop pursuit, and he is nearing Anvik where he will likely take his eight hours. That will put him something like 12 hours behind Buser, and in need of a storm to tighten things up.
This morning Buser said he thought his dogs were a little sick from drinking the swampy yellow water at Iditarod. Of course that reminds me of a story . When I pulled into that checkpoint I was more than thirsty. In those days, no one carried bottled water, and my thermos bottle had been empty of coffee for a day. It was the middle of the night, and -30. The checker pointed me to the water hole in the ice. There was a small metal dipper laying nearby. The first order of business was a drink of water. I dipped into the hole with the extremely cold pan and got a pan full of yellowish water. In my headlight, it looked like it might still have some Iditarod gold in it. There was no option. Bottoms up. It went down with a swampy flavor, tinged with a metallic overtone from the cold pan. It was so bad, I had another pan full, and then put some in my thermos. I don’t doubt Buser’s dogs are a little sick.
Myron Angstman, lawyer, pilot, and dog musher, lives in Bethel, Alaska. Read more about dogs, law suits and rural Alaska gossip by checking http://www.myronangstman.com/