Out of Takotna 3.10.11

 Temperature in Takotna, 8 a.m., -12°F, no wind 

Mushers left last night beginning at 2200 (can you convert that to a 12 hour clock?) with Martin Buser. A few mushers who had taken their 24 hour layover in McGrath blew through Takotna and headed to Ophir. All the mushers have to declare a 24 hour layover during the race and McGrath and Takotna are popular places to “24” as they say in race lingo. Trent Herbst, a 4th grade teacher, reached Iditarod, the halfway point of the race first and won $3000 in gold nuggets. See the video at Iditarod Insider—Trent has a big grin under that beard! I bet his class and family are proud of him. I’ve had lots of “firsts” on this trip—landing on frozen rivers, flying with race dogs in the plane, collecting urine specimens from dogs, seeing the Northern Lights, eating blueberry pie in Takotna, riding in the snowmachine sled packed in with bags of Iditarod Insider gear.

Jeff Schultz, the official race photographer, has super photos on http://www.iditarod.com under Images (right side of the page and scroll). He caught me walking a dog during specimen collection time. Check it out.

Before I flew out of Takotna this morning, I saw Kristy Berington and Justin Savidis leave for Ophir. Enjoy the shots.