Koyuk is a beautiful, peaceful village. Under bright sunshine, the river ice sparkles. During the night, we stood outside and spotted headlamps coming across the ice. During the day, we spotted the teams, dark caterpillars moving along the trail. Children played near the checkpoint and people visited inside. When John Baker was there late at night, people quietly visited so as not to disturb his, or other mushers’, sleep.
Sunday I left Koyuk ($18 for a 22 quart container of Tang at the Native Store) for White Mountain. Flying into White Mountain, I got this aerial photo of John Baker coming to White Mountain.
White Mountain is where all mushers take an 8 hour layover. As they do every time they rest the dogs, mushers spread straw, removed booties, and fed them before coming into the White Mountain checkpoint. Faces red from wind and sunburn, the sleep-deprived mushers slept for part of their layover, leaving wakeup calls with the volunteers working Comms (communications). Crowded with mushers, volunteers, and vets, people slept all over the floor in the library, the gathering room, and in chairs.
Native Alaskans are very proud of John Baker’s win, a native Alaskan. At the finish under the burled arch, drummers wearing native dress celebrated with songs of their culture.
Price a 22 quart container of Tang where you live. What is the difference in price of it and the Tang in Koyuk? Is it twice as expensive, or more than that? How many containers of Tang can you buy where you live for $18?