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Iditarod 2021 – Day 7

Iditarod 2021 MapSled DogPeter Kaiser (3) made the decision to scratch at McGrath ‘in the best interests of his team”. Peter was down to 10 puppies.

Riley Dyche (16) made the decision to scratch at Iditarod ‘in the best interests of his team”. Riley was down to 9 puppies.

Standings at 10:00PM CST (7:00PM AKST):
Beyond Rohn S
1 Dallas Seavey (23)
At Rohn S
2 Aaron Burmeister (36)
3 Brent Sass (21)
4 Ryan Redington (20)
5 Wade Marrs (25)
Beyond Nikolai S
6 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (41)
7 Richie Diehl (6)
8 Michelle Phillips (26)
9 Mille Porsild (28)
10 Jessie Royer (24)
11 Nicolas Petit (10)
12 Travis Beals (33)
13 Jeff Deeter (7)
14 Aaron Peck (2)
15 Ramey Smyth (9)
16 Jessie Holmes (44)
At Nikolai S
17 Paige Drobny (42)
18 Ryne Olson (14)
19 Lev Shvarts (38)
20 Cody Strathe (37)
[

March 13, 2021   No Comments

Iditarod 2021 – Day 6

Iditarod 2021 MapSled DogThis morning half the field is headed South.

Rick Casillo (45) made the decision to scratch at McGrath ‘in the best interests of his team”. Rick was down to 13 puppies.

All of the teams on the trail have finished their 24-hour rest stops, but many still have to take their 8-hour stop, which must happen at or before Rohn.

Standings at 9:30PM CST (6:30PM AKST):
Beyond McGrath S
1 Dallas Seavey (23)
At McGrath S
2 Brent Sass (21)
3 Wade Marrs (25)
4 Ryan Redington (20)
5 Aaron Burmeister (36)
6 Travis Beals (33)
7 Mille Porsild (28)
8 Michelle Phillips (26)
Beyond Ophir S
9 Richie Diehl (6)
10 Peter Kaiser (3)
11 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (41)
12 Jessie Royer (24)
13 Aaron Peck (2)
14 Jeff Deeter (7)
At Ophir S
15 Ramey Smyth (9)
16 Paige Drobny (42)
17 Ryne Olson (14)
18 Jessie Holmes (44)
19 Nicolas Petit (10)
20 Lev Shvarts (38)
21 Cody Strathe (37)
[

March 12, 2021   No Comments

Iditarod 2021 – Day 5

Iditarod 2021 MapSled DogGunnar Johnson (11) was withdrawn at McGrath for a positive COVID test.

Christopher Parker (19)R made the decision to scratch at McGrath ‘in the best interests of his team”. Christopher was down to 8 puppies.

An “S” after the checkpoint indicates the teams headed South to the finish.

Standings at 11:00PM CST (8:00PM AKST):
Beyond Iditarod S
1 Dallas Seavey (23)
2 Ryan Redington (20)
3 Richie Diehl (6)
4 Peter Kaiser (3)
5 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (41)
6 Wade Marrs (25)
7 Aaron Burmeister (36)
8 Brent Sass (21)
9 Travis Beals (33)
At Iditarod
10 Aaron Peck (2)
11 Mille Porsild (28)
12 Jessie Royer (24)
13 Michelle Phillips (26)
14 Nicolas Petit (10)
15 Ramey Smyth (9)
Beyond Ophir
16 Jeff Deeter (7)
17 Jessie Holmes (44)
18 Lev Shvarts (38)
19 Ryne Olson (14)
20 Cody Strathe (37)
[

March 11, 2021   2 Comments

Iditarod 2021 – Day 4

Iditarod 2021 MapSled DogBrenda Mackey (15)R made the decision to scratch at Nikolai ‘in the best interests of her team”. Brenda was down to 9 puppies.

The run to Flat has been cancelled as all of the snow that was missing on the Burn has been dumped on the trail between Iditarod and Flat. The teams will now turn around at Iditarod.

Standings at 9:15PM CST (6:15PM AKST):
At Iditarod
1 Brent Sass (21)
Beyond Ophir
2 Aaron Peck (2)
3 Mille Porsild (28)
At Ophir
4 Ryan Redington (20)
5 Aaron Burmeister (36)
6 Ryne Olson (14)
7 Jessie Holmes (44)
8 Michelle Phillips (26)
9 Cody Strathe (37)
10 Paige Drobny (42)
11 Martin Buser (34)
Beyond McGrath
12 Dallas Seavey (23)
At McGrath
13 Peter Kaiser (3)
14 Richie Diehl (6)
15 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (41)
16 Travis Beals (33)
17 Wade Marrs (25)
18 Jessie Royer (24)
19 Nicolas Petit (10)
20 Jeff Deeter (7)
[

March 10, 2021   No Comments

Iditarod 2021 – Day 3

Iditarod 2021 MapSled DogAliy Zirkle has scratched at Rohn after an accident just outside the Rohn checkpoint. She suffered a concussion and serious upper body injuries and was medevaced to a hospital in Anchorage. She is in stable condition. Her team was not injured and is being cared for at Rohn pending transport back to Anchorage. Aliy announced her intention to retire from racing after this Iditarod.

Standings at 10:45PM CST (7:45PM AKST):
Beyond McGrath
1 Brent Sass (21)
At McGrath
2 Dallas Seavey (23)
3 Peter Kaiser (3)
4 Richie Diehl (6)
5 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (41)
6 Travis Beals (33)
7 Ryan Redington (20)
8 Wade Marrs (25)
Beyond Nikolai
9 Matt Hall (17)
10 Mille Porsild (28)
11 Jessie Royer (24)
12 Nicolas Petit (10)
13 Aaron Burmeister (36)
14 Ryne Olson (14)
15 Jeff Deeter (7)
16 Ramey Smyth (9)
17 Lev Shvarts (38)
18 Dan Kaduce (40)
19 Martin Buser (34)
20 Cody Strathe (37)
[

March 9, 2021   No Comments

Iditarod 2021 – Day 2

Iditarod 2021 MapSled DogAt 4:30PM CST the GPS says that Cindy Gallea is in Anchorage and the Standings say she is the last person in Skwenta. I have doubts that either are correct. The GPS can be flakey and the Standings for the back of the pack are always of dubious accuracy.

Update at 8:40PM CST: The GPS was correct about Cindy. She felt ill this morning in Skwenta and scratched, but that wasn’t reported for 12 hours.

Standings at 9:30PM CST (6:30PM AKST):
Beyond Rohn
1 Ryan Redington (20)
2 Martin Buser (34)
3 Richie Diehl (6)
4 Peter Kaiser (3)
At Rohn
5 Nicolas Petit (10)
6 Dallas Seavey (23)
7 Aaron Burmeister (36)
8 Matt Hall (17)
9 Gunnar Johnson (11)
Beyond Rainy Pass
10 Brent Sass (21)
11 Mille Porsild (28)
12 Michelle Phillips (26)
13 Jeff Deeter (7)
14 Riley Dyche (16)
15 Ryne Olson (14)
16 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (41)
17 Travis Beals (33)
18 Aaron Peck (2)
19 Matthew Failor (29)
20 Wade Marrs (25)
[

March 8, 2021   12 Comments

Iditarod 2021 – Day 1

Iditarod 2021 MapSled DogBecause of the loop I will color checkpoints grey when all of the teams have passed on the way North and then black when everyone has passed to the South. Just an indicator of where the race is behind the leaders.

Sean Williams (35)R had to scratch this morning due to a non-COVID related family health concern. Jessie Holmes (44) is on the trail despite what the standings seem to claim.

At 10:30PM CST the teams are strung out between Yentna and Skwenta. Everyone went with 14 puppy teams and during the run today speeds of 13 mph were reached. The temperature has been in the 20sF, which is warm for sled dogs. The standings are now showing Jessie Holmes again. As I warn in the footer, the standings are official, which is not the same as accurate. They are updated by volunteers, so we shouldn’t be too critical.

Standings at 11:00PM CST (8:00PM AKST):
At Skwenta
1 Ryan Redington (20)
Beyond Deshka Landing
2 Aaron Peck (2)
3 Peter Kaiser (3)
4 Kristy Berington (4)
5 Jeremy Traska (5)R
6 Richie Diehl (6)
7 Jeff Deeter (7)
8 Dennis Kananowicz (8)
9 Ramey Smyth (9)
10 Nicolas Petit (10)
11 Gunnar Johnson (11)
12 Hal Hanson (12)R
13 Anna Berington (13)
14 Ryne Olson (14)
15 Brenda Mackey (15)R
16 Riley Dyche (16)
17 Matt Hall (17)
18 Chad Stoddard (18)R
19 Christopher Parker (19)R
20 Brent Sass (21)
[

March 7, 2021   No Comments

Iditarod 2021

Iditarod 2021 MapSled DogIt’s Susan Butcher Day in Alaska which would normally mean the parade of sled dog teams through the streets of Anchorage. Because of COVID-19 the parade and any events that might attract a crowd have been cancelled.

The 47 teams who are starting from Deshka Landing will head North to Flat and then reverse course and head South back to the Landing. Passing could get “exciting” as sled dogs often have issues with other sled dogs. Things get underway on Sunday at 5PM CST. The last quarter of the moon is today and the new moon is on the 13th, so it isn’t going to be much help at night. There’s more than 12 hours of visible light and it is increasing by about 6 minutes a day.

At Deshka Landing
1 Aaron Peck (2)
2 Peter Kaiser (3)
3 Kristy Berington (4)
4 Jeremy Traska (5)R
5 Richie Diehl (6)
6 Jeff Deeter (7)
7 Dennis Kananowicz (8)
8 Ramey Smyth (9)
9 Nicolas Petit (10)
10 Gunnar Johnson (11)
11 Hal Hanson (12)R
12 Anna Berington (13)
13 Ryne Olson (14)
14 Brenda Mackey (15)R
15 Riley Dyche (16)
16 Matt Hall (17)
17 Chad Stoddard (18)R
18 Christopher Parker (19)R
19 Ryan Redington (20)
20 Brent Sass (21)
[

March 6, 2021   No Comments

Iditarod Trail 2021

Iditarod 2021 Map

Checkpoints Distance between Distance from Distance back to
Checkpoints Anchorage Deshka Landing
Deshka Landing N to Skwentna 67 83 785
Skwentna N to Finger Lake 40 123 745
Finger Lake N to Rainy Pass 30 153 715
Rainy Pass N to Rohn 35 188 680
Rohn N to Nikolai 75 263 605
Nikolai N to McGrath 48 311 557
McGrath N to Ophir 41 352 516
Ophir N to Iditarod 80 432 436
Iditarod/Flat/Iditarod Loop 20 442 416
Iditarod S to Ophir 80 432 336
Ophir S to McGrath 41 352 295
McGrath S to Nikolai 48 311 247
Nikolai S to Rohn 75 263 172
Rohn S to Rainy Pass 35 188 137
Rainy Pass S to Finger Lake 30 153 107
Finger Lake S to Skwentna 40 123 67
Skwentna S to Deshka Landing 67 83 0
Total 852

While the trail runs by Yentna and Takotna, they will not be checkpoints due to COVID-19 concerns. Using Deshka Landing as the start/finish, rather than the nearby Willow is for the same reason. The final 8-hour stop is at Skwentna on the run South. The other 8-hour stop has to be taken in the loop from Rohn to Rohn. The 24-hour stop must be take on the run North at or before Iditarod.

The Dalzell Gorge and Stepping Stones on the way South should be “interesting”.

March 4, 2021   No Comments

Trail Weather 2021

March 3, 2021   2 Comments

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant

flag of Wales

flag of St. David

It’s Saint David’s Day, and, as he is their patron saint, it is a national holiday in Wales. The Welsh wear leeks or daffodils [called Peter’s leek in Welsh] on this day.

March 1, 2021   15 Comments

They Don’t Change

Many people assume that the current Republican Party is the worst it has ever been, but let me disabuse you of that notion.

On Brian Williams’s show he noted the abuse Newsmax host, Greg Kelly, directed towards the Bidens’ senior dog, Champ. First off, I grew up with German Shepherds and Champ looks like a normal elderly male Shepherd in Winter. In the Spring he will shed his undercoat and become sleek. Like most older Shepherds he has mobility issues. On the show, Williams used a clip of another Democratic President dealing with a slander against his dog. The Campaign dinner address of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the Fala speech) in September of 1944 at a labor union event covers not just Fala, but a list of attacks against his administration by the Republican Party. That link goes to the audio and the text. Bipartisanship has never been a big thing with the Republican Party whether the nation was in a World War or a Pandemic.

The other incident that really annoyed me was Sen. Tom Cotton on Fox News calling a content warning on the Muppet Show a Mickey Mouse move. Yo, Cotton, it’s coming to the Disney+ streaming service. The Mouse is very cautious about labeling adult material to protect its brand. Once you leave the Sesame Street muppets, “adult themes” can slip in to Henson’s work.

Some of Henson’s advertising work involves muppet violence, and people who watched the first season of SNL were treated to Henson’s The Land of Gorch. Jim Henson wasn’t shy about double entendres coming from the mouths of muppets.

February 25, 2021   4 Comments

Shrove Tuesday

Mardi Gras

The last day before the beginning of Lent on the Gulf Coast that once belonged to France, it is Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday”: Laissez les bon temps rouler!

It was first celebrated in Mobile, Alabama, but the big show these days is in New Orleans, and it is a holiday in the state of Louisiana, because people wouldn’t show up for work anyway, so why fight it.

The tradition is to serve King cake, which is a circle of cinnamon bun dough with a white frosting on top sprinkled with sugar colored purple, gold, and green. If that weren’t bad enough, they put the figurine of a baby in the dough, and whoever finds it in their piece is supposed to be lucky. Actually if you find it and don’t choke on it, I guess you are lucky. You should use a small ceramic figurine, as some of the cheap plastic versions melt in the oven [yummy].

In Britain, Ireland, and many of the Commonwealth countries Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as Pancake Day.

This year, no parades, no booze, no beads – Quel dommage! There are Mardi Gras houses to soothe the pain.

February 16, 2021   6 Comments

Presidents Day

When I was a lad we had Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 and Washington’s birthday on February 22 as holidays. Groundhog Day and Valentine Day weren’t real holidays, with schools closed. Then Congress got upset at the number of holidays people had, so they created this bogus holiday to apparently honor all Presidents. Not going to do it. We can all agree on Washington and Lincoln, but James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Warren Harding, Richard Nixon, and the last Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. —- I don’t think so.

February 15, 2021   Comments Off on Presidents Day