Friday, March 25, 2011

ITI 2011-workin' on it!

I am compiling stories, pictures and workin' on gettin' it together to share. Many people ask what the highlight of my trip was. The truth is there are many highlights, I remember being so happy and smiling A LOT! So to start I'll say some of the highlights were gettin' to the start, waitin' to start is hard. Sleeping outside by myself in -30 temps and fixin' a flat tire at -30 gave me confidence, good thing the wind wasn't blowing. Getting to McGrath and meeting up with Jay was very exciting since I knew this is where the vacation began and knew we would have a great time together. Finding the trail from Ophir to Iditarod was packed down was EPIC! I told JayP I had called "the people" and asked them to take care of it, glad they followed thru! The NEW shelter cabins are beautiful, I hope this encourages people to use the trail, even though it's in the middle of nowhere, guess thats why it's so beautiful. Spending 2 days in Oasis Iditarod in the mushers cabin, and the people that we meet and helped us there was a real treat, so glad we didn't have to camp outside for 2 days. Gettin back on the trail was a relief. The interview in Shageluk was neat. Becoming friends with the trailbreaks was great! Winning the pizza in Unalakleet and the breakfast Nita made us in the checkpt was amazing and very generous of her. Gettin welcomed to Shaktoolik and meetin' up with our friend Rick Swenson was a happy time. Cuttin JayP loose was a huge relief. When leaving Shatoolik, preparing to travel the sea ice of Norton Bay solo in the dark, a man by the name of Phil directed me to the trailhead, then asked if I had ever traveled the sea ice before, it was liberating that I could tell him yes, I have.

Inspiring a mushers to walk the last 10 miles of sea ice whose dogs were running in circles and was going to scratch, I heard he gave me props when he finished. That was very special to me and gives me chills. Meetin' the people of Koyuk, and interactin' with the kids was fun, they asked a lot of questions. Heading to Elim, I had the wickedest tail wind ever, I was just sitting on my bike and the wind blew me to Elim! I passed a musher which was really wild, I also saved a musher from going to the wrong way. Elim was great and to me is the prettiest of all! The ocean and sea ice just does something to me. I got to see JayP briefly and spent some time eatin' and sleepin' in Elim. It was also where I had the BEST piece of musher cheesecake ever. Golovin was a quick stop, but I was greeted by 2 kids and 2 women, who invited me into their house for coffee and bread. I also ate a ramen. Gettin' to White Mountain was bitter sweet, as I knew I was nearing the end. Jack, Joanna and Liam openly welcomed me into their house like it was my own. I had a wonderful diner cooked by Joanna, took a shower and got way more rest then I had intended. Going over Topkok mtn was amazingly stunning, it was hard to keep movin at times b/c I had it all to myself, beside a couple of ravens and really just enjoyed it. Safety was cool cuz there were people there and my friend Dustin the trailbreak, his wife and friends were all amazed by my accomplishment, which felt really good. Last miles into Nome, I had a tail wind, I didn't get caught in the blowhole and knew JayP was waiting for me.

I plan to follow up with a gear, food and detail stories.

I can't help but think of next yr already. This race is the most EPIC adventure I have ever, ever done.

Til next time!


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