by Kevin Wells
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
MCGRATH, Alaska -- Last year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race ended up taking a slow pace because of deep snow, and while this race began on a firm pack, snow accumulation was a major factor the first 200 miles.
Mushers are adapting to the changing trail conditions during the early days of Iditarod 38. On Monday morning teams were greeted by several inches of fresh snow at Finger Lake, and mushers were forced into a low-risk approach.
"Keep the dogs fresh. We've got so far to go, there's no sense in burning out a team right now. I think a lot of people are thinking that. I don't think you'd normally see this many teams here at Finger Lake," racer Zack Steer said.
By Tuesday afternoon things were considerably different. Seventy-eight miles up the trail, Rohn offered a picture worthy of a postcard. While leaders were long gone and off to Nikolai, the checkpoint played host to mushers like Dave DeCaro of Denali.