The trail today had a good base with about 3 inches of loose snow on it. 80% of the trail you could hook down. The weather was overcast and in the twenties. We went with 12 dogs led by Billy and Cheyenne again. Everyone looked great and were eager to go in the chute. However, about 2 miles out Bruce had a dog start hanging her head. He left her in team due to the severe climbs up ahead. After he reached the summit he bagged her and then they started moving decent. Then a 2nd dog started going down and he had another huge climb ahead. He got to the top and put the 2nd dog in the bag and by this point the team started to shut down. He labored his way in from that point and watched nearly everyone go by. There were a few teams coming in with dogs hitching rides; most likely a result of yesterdays abusive trail.
Meanwhile, I waited at the finish line watching teams come in. John Stewart’s team had a great run and looked fantastic coming in, but not good enough to change his 9th place position. Sam came through when the pressure was on and secured 4th place. Joe Gans and Aaron Peck are 8 minutes apart going into tomorrow. The pressure is on Joe not to have anything crazy happen.
Dogs started/finished; Buddy (10/9), Lina (10/10), John (12/12), Sam (11/11), Aaron (10/10), Jerry (11/11), JR (12/12), Joe (10/9), Mike (11/11), Bruce (12/10), Kate (11/10), Stacey (10/10), Debbie (11/10), Dennis (12/12), Barrie (8/8), Chris (12/12)
The two dogs Bruce had to bag were both hounds and both were cramped up. One was coming off a day off and the other was on his 5th day. They looked great in the chute, were well hydrated and had no injuries. So we just have to get through tomorrow without a major disaster and we’ll go home with a respectable 6th place.