Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Aaron Burmeister claims the Gold

As predicted there has not been much movement today with most teams on their  24 hour rest.   Five teams moved between Ophir and  Cripple  with Aaron Burmeister arriving first and winning the $3000 in gold.  John Baker was among the  five, making a big move through Takotna last night.  How that  tactic pans out won’t be known  until tomorrow when  all the teams are moving again.

Martin Buser left  Nikolai after completing his rest, and is moving well.  Last year   he  lost speed  by blasting out of the starting line to Rohn.  This year he seems to have preserved his speed.  At this point  he seems to be a solid contender for  the top spot.

Other teams who seem to have been moving well before resting were Zirkle,  Sorlie, both Seaveys and of course Jeff King.   King provided a rare glimpse of  how it feels to be on a sled descending  Rainy Pass.  His helmet cam video is posted on Iditarod Insider and is scary to watch.  I did the same trail with  a primitive sled with no brush bow, meaning I didn’t  glance off trees as well as I should have.  That was a  long time ago, but that video brought back intense memories of the  run down, my first ever steep drop on a dog sled.

Most teams, including Katherine Keith, stopped at Takotna to rest. Pictures of the food spread there are easily found on  various media sites.  Meals are made to order, and homemade  pie is always  available.  I don’t know when that tradition started , but there was  a time when the checkpoint  was  located at the Takotna tavern (now closed)  It was an old time place, with a small bar that seated about 6 people, and a larger back room for dancing and card playing.  When I raced,  there was a local guitar player, a guy making sandwiches, and one free beer for each  racer.   I stopped  at -30, and it was hard to leave.

Part of my description of Takotna hospitality was deemed to  racy for publication.  If you bump into me anytime, ask me to tell the story.  It’s a good one, and of course its true.

Tomorrow evening it will be time to pick five teams from which the winner  will emerge, but  because that will be hard to do, it may expand to  8, and I still might be wrong.

1 comment:

  1. It is so good heard that every one is doing well. Lock to all the hero on the trail .