The weather has been warmer in Alaska the past week than it has been here! The warm weather is making the Iditarod trail soft and slow. Zack Steer's dog team hasn't seemed to coalesce like last year. After being one of the front runners he has dropped back to 18th.
From the Anchorage Daily News today:
"This is a neat race from a spectator standpoint," Steer said. "There's a lot of different things happening this year."
Steer pointed out that his kennel partner, Robert Buntzen, could crack the top 30 with their puppy team. Steer expects the 57-year-old doctor to pass him in the next couple of days.
"He's no spring chicken either," Steer said.
Steer, 34, is running with dogs from three different kennels. He admitted Saturday in Galena that he doesn't have the chemistry of last year, when he finished a career-best third. He carried Antelope for 30 miles on the Farewell Burn and Dori for 50 miles out of McGrath.
He's right when he says it has been a neat race for the fans! Early in the race it was very hard to keep track of who was leading. Now it seems that it is a race between Lance Mackey and Jeff King but anything could happen down the trail!
Robert Bundzten is currently at Galena, on the Yukon River, in 37th place and has only dropped one dog. Right behind him is Clint Warnke of Ridgeline Kennel and I've been following his race at their blog. Into Galena after Clint was rookie Molly Yazwinski who will be moving to Ithaca after the race to attend Cornell Veterinary School. Sue Allen is still on the long stretch between Ophir and Cripple. Mike had to pick a musher to follow for school. He choose Ryan Redington and unfortunately Ryan scratched yesterday. I don't know how that will affect Mike's school project.
I have had fun learning a little about many of the different mushers. There were 96 at the start of the race and there are still 87 racing so I haven't been able to read up on everybody but the ones I have are all interesting with different backgrounds and strategies. The leaders are closing on Nome but there should still be some interesting racing left!