Sunday, February 21, 2010

The drop bags made it out on the trail today.

Today was the day to fly the drop bags to Fingerlake and Rohn, as well as our tent, food into Rohn and food into Puntilla.
Bill called me from Willow from where we fly with Denali Flying Service at 3:00 PM that they made it in and out of the checkpoint locations on the trail.
This is great news. We are always sweating this every year if the weather cooperates for flying in the week before the start of the race for flying.
It is still warm out there on the trail, it was 42 F in Willow today.
The Irondog snowmobile race started today in Big Lake.
They go to Nome and then to Fairbanks.
More trail reports when Bill gets back this evening.

Friday, February 19, 2010

trail update February 19th

Hello All,
We just got back from a 5 day winter bike school based out of Flathorn Lake. Trails were a little soft during the day and with the warm temperatures all the normal places were starting to overflow on the lakes and rivers. With temperatures up to 40 degrees and rain in the Susitna valley things are getting a bit soggy. Word from Shell Lake they got 17 inches of fresh wet snow. Olene Petruska said her grandson had been moose hunting from Nikolai to Farewell Lake and that there was not enough snow to see a moose track. There is a fresh burn between Rohn and Egypt Mountain that has left deadfall all over the trail. The Iron Dog has punched a trail around it and back up the Post river . Not sure yet if it will work for us so don't forget to pack your saws.
There is a production crew making a reality show for television about the Perrins boys at Rainy Pass Lodge. They will be there when we go through and ask about filming all of you. I told them they could not bother any of you but if you wanted to be a star I had no problem with it. If you don't want to be bothered do not hesitate to say no thank you. You will have to sign a release to be on TV.
Craig Medred will be reporting from the trail so don't get caught doing anything you don't want someone to read about. He doesn't need a release. He has also said he will pitch in and help with trail breaking chores if needed. Journalist/Trailbreaker are not 2 words you would expect to see together. We are glad to have Craig back on the trail with us.
Phrase of the day, "waterproof to the knees"
More after I fly the drops

Bill Merchant
Race Director

Monday, February 1, 2010

trail update February 1, 2010

Hello All,

In just 4 weeks many of us will be at the starting line for the 9th annual Iditarod Trail Invitational. The trails are hard and fast here around Chickaloon and so it seems everywhere else too.

Michael Schoder sent word that Iron Dog racers have made it to McGrath and said there is very little snow on the Burn.
Kathi has contacted the village schools beyond McGrath and it has been a low snow year so far all the way to Nome with gravel bars showing on the Yukon.
Nick and Olene Petruska have just told me they will be our checkpoint again in Nikolai despite Nick still being weak from his fight with bladder cancer. They have opened their home to us since the race began welcoming trail weary, smelly racers like they are family. Thanks Nick, Olene and Stephanie. It wouldn't be the same without you!

Craig Medred the Outdoors Editor for the Anchorage Daily News for many years is now writing for the Alaska Dispatch. If everything comes together he will be on the Trail covering our race and Iditarod. He will be using a sat phone and data link to Tweet and Peep and whatever else modern journalists and networking buffs do. Craig has written dozens of articles about the race and even helped break trail one year. He should be able to do better than most covering the race from the trail. Craig asked me to pass this on to all of you: "but as a test-run, i'm trying to get to go for full on coverage of the invitational. along those lines, it would help if you all sent the racers an emailing saying we're hoping to cover and Twitter the race from on the course, and if any of them have any contacts at publications or websites -- especially in Europe or Outside -- that would be interested in coverage, send them to".

For the third year Greg Matyas and the gang at Speedway Cycles are hosting a pre race party for all racers. It will be held at Speedway Cycles (Home of the Fatback snow bike) on Friday, February 26th at 6:00 PM.
Thanks Greg for getting everyone together before we hit the trail.

Drops are due at Alaska European B&B by noon on Saturday, February 20th.

The Pre Race meeting will be at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 27th at the Golden Lion Best Western.

We will begin loading bikes at 10:30 AM and the bus loads for Knik Lake at 11:00 AM at the Golden Lion. Just a reminder GPS trackers such as spot,etc are not allowed in the race. Racers may use Sat phones and or emergency locator beacons as well as gps devices designed for navigation not tracking.
Enjoy your last few training runs, rides, skis.

Bill and Kathi