Welcome back, race fans!! Today, we raced day 2 of the race about 35 miles from Lander, Wyoming, at the Louis Lake Road parking area. We were at the top of South Pass. I will include information below on the history and importance of South Pass.
It was still dark when the mushers and crew pulled into the parking area. South Pass is known for the "w" word; it is the word that we don't say on beautiful days. You guessed it, wind!! We were lucky enough today to not have any! The mushers quickly started their morning activities. Mushers visited with each other about yesterday's race and what today's trail might look like.
Each musher must attend the mandatory musher's meeting every morning about an hour before the first team leaves the chute. At this morning's meeting, Remy Coste was given the yellow bib to wear during today's race. During the meeting, the race marshal discussed the trail, the required equipment, and the events that would take place each evening.
Today's mushers meeting.
The first team left the chute according to yesterday's time. Remember that we do a reverse start time each day. The last musher to come in will be the first to leave the next day. Our first musher out was Chris Adkins. Chris is lucky enough to have a whole crew helping him get to the starting line and taking care of the dogs while he is on the trail. All of the starts went great. We had many Lander community members help the race timers count down and send them down the trail. While mushers were on the trail, spectators visited with the handlers while they tended to the dog jobs and visited the race's concession trailer.
Racer Sarah Tarlton and her team on the trail.
It took mushers a little over two hours to start arriving. We watched as they came into view. The temperatures were very warm, which is not ideal for dog mushing as it creates unfavorable trails, and the dogs get too warm while working so hard.
It took a little over two hours for teams to start arriving back. We cheered as they came into view. After the last musher crosses the line, the race timers do their "magic" and compute the times to see how each racer is placed for the day. The musher with the fastest time today was Anny Malo. This means at tomorrow's mushers' meeting, Remy will pass on the yellow bib to Anny.
We are now headed to Pinedale, Wyoming, where we will race Day 3 of the race at the Upper Green River Lakes Trailhead. We will be treated to a meal provided by the Boulder Buckskins 4-H group. We are excited to meet all of Pinedale's race fans!!
The mushers are always having a good time! Laura and Sarah are the best!
Now for your history lesson. When the emigrants were traveling on the Oregon Trail, South Pass was the only place in the Rocky Mountains where they could get safe passage through the mountain range. Between 1841 and 1846, it is thought that 350,00 to 500,000 people crossed South Pass on their trip west. Check out this link to find more information: https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/south-pass. Also located in the area close to South Pass is an old mining town called Atlantic City. It is home to the Carissa Mine. It is no longer a working mine but a historical site. You can visit and learn all about mining in the mid-1800s and early 1900s. Check out this site to learn all about the fantastic history of the area. https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/south-pass