Kathi and I have just finished our summer guiding season here in Alaska with back to back trips, rafting the Marsh Fork of the Canning River on the north slope of the Brooks Range and paddling the Savonoski Loop in Katmai National Park. Seems like summer was gone in a flash. Now we go south for a fall MTB guiding season in Utah. Before we know it it will be time to switch from dust and slickrock to ice and snow back in Alaska.
After two years of near perfect conditions I wonder what surprises the Trail holds for 2012. This is year 15 on the Trail for me either competing or breaking trail on a machine. I have been asked why I don't get tired of the same trail. I probably couldn't explain it to someone who has to ask. I have never seen the same Trail twice anyway and that includeds years I rode machines from Knik to McGrath and back to Knik. Something for racers who have only experienced the smiling face of the Iditarod Trail to keep in mind when trimming gear etc. for this years race is ," It ain't always that way!" You never know when we will be wading knee deep river wide over flow at -30 ( had to throw that one in for you Mr.O) pushing bikes over half the way to McGrath in soft snow, rain turning to wet snow with temps dropping to -35 overnight, I could go on and on but I am sure all of you have done your homework and read the reports from past years. Being prepared for a "What if???" can save fingers and toes or even your life. All that said the best stories come out of overcoming adversity not relaxing on blue bird days. Here's hoping this year's race leaves us with a lot of stories to tell and on the right side of the grass to tell them afterwards. We look forward to seeing all of you on the Iditarod Trail.
Bill and Kathi