What The first musher will experience in Nome
Danny’s take on what The first musher will experience in Nome:
…Dallas said in White Mountain “I have never had so much fun mushing dogs as I have in the last 9 days.” #iditarod
I first said it a couple days ago, but enjoy it Dallas. This is what it’s all about. Not the finish, not the next week, not the year as reigning champ. Right now. From 8 am to 6 pm Tuesday, March 13th, is going to be your best mush ever. This is when you get to run that incredible dog team down the most famous trail in mushing. Where Balto and Togo became famous, and you’re about to. Over the hills, through the blow hole, and down the beach. You’re going to experience the most extreme emotions that you ever want to experience. Those dogs will bring you to tears I guarantee it. Then under that burled arch. You get to make your family proud, win your daughter that truck, but most of all, know for yourself that you are the best in the world at what you do.
That’s a hack of a feeling. … On one hand you can’t wait to get there. Everything for the past 8 months has been about getting to Nome as fast as possible. It’s about time.
On the other hand, you don’t know what to do if this is over. Your system is in a rhythm. It’s been you and the dogs for two weeks, 8 months really. Every time you stop, there is a checklist of chores that only you know. Diesel needs a wrap on his left wrist. Guiness has a sore on her back paw that needs Povidine. Don’t forget to give Elim his pills. Your muscles have memorized the motions, they have to because your brain can never remember it all.
When you come down Front Street in Nome, they mount a camera on your sled. There are flash bulbs popping, people screaming, dogs barking, snow machines revving, and sirens wailing. It’s really loud. Especially compared to where you’ve been. There are cars parked in the trail, because the trail is a paved road. It’s the worst trail you’ve seen in days. Then your lead dogs get confused at the chute, and there is a cop car in the way. You eventually help the poor dog figure it out, and cross the finish line. In a relatively benign moment, it’s over. But you don’t get to enjoy it.
Many mushers have ended up back in the dog lot, where they belong. My brother Tyrell went missing after his 16th place finish a few years back. We lost him in the middle of the night on the way to our host’s house. Aaron Burmeister found him curled up sharing his sleeping bag with his lead dog in the dog lot.
I have a feeling Dallas will make the paper on Wednesday…”
Here is the link for the unabridged version: