North Wapiti Siberian
Iditarod 2001 -
Tales from the Trail
July 10, 2001
Shageluk to Anvik
Shageluk apparently translates to 'Village of the
Dog People" - and that it was! Dogs in yards throughout the
village barked their welcome. We got parked right across from the
'Washeteria' (a very Alaskan term for a Laundromat - but appropriate
in that you can wash people as well as clothes there)! Hot, running
water was a treat we hadn't seen in a long time! I gazed longingly at
the showers, but didn't figure I had the time to dry my hair and such
before I wanted to leave.
One of the checkers was giving back massages to the mushers. Pedro's
groans of pleasure echoed all our feelings at this special treat!
A couple of the dogs weren't eating really well. They were all taking
their snacks (in fact, I still had to count my fingers after handing
food to most of them) and would pick at their meals, but they weren't
diving into the bowls as per usual. I took extra time snuggling,
massaging, and whispering loving words in all their ears. That really
seemed to do the trick, but for the first time this Race, the dogs
left the checkpoint badly. As I had been training all season, I put my
foot down on the brake and let them work through it - just like
training, they popped out of their funk in no time. It seemed like we
were making really good time for the short trip over to Anvik. I was
in a great humor, that is, until I saw a sign that said 'Anvik - 9
miles'. They had to be kidding or just plain wrong. There was NO WAY
Anvik was that far away. As I passed each successive sign counting
down the mileage, it became less and less likely that they were wrong.
By the time I hit the Yukon, fatigue and frustration had taken over.
At one time, I had thought about going right through Anvik, but that
didn't seem wise now - if the dogs were moving as slowly as our times
showed, maybe they needed more rest. I definitely needed a mental pick
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