I arrived at Freddy’s check station, 52 miles into the race, on Saturday afternoon, January 28. It was amazing! As I pulled into the check station, the officials who were there to check my time and my dogs and make sure that I made it okay were making a big fuss about my arriving there. And I thought, “Well, this is really strange. But boy, what wonderful people. How cool is it that they’re so excited about my coming in second-to-last!” I didn’t know that some of them had been placing bets that I wouldn’t make it!
So, now it was time to put the dogs down, feed them, get ready for the night, and enjoy the three or four hours of downtime I had or however long it might be. It takes about an hour and a half to get the dogs down, get their booties off, get them on the stake line, cook the food for them, get them fed; and then I had maybe two hours left.
I had to keep in mind that I had to get up and re-harness, re-bootie, get them off the stake line, get them hitched to the sled, and get ready to go; and that was going take 45 minutes to an hour. So how much downtime did I have? Oh, I had an hour. Well, this was exciting; I had an hour to sleep.
So, I grabbed my bedroll and went over to the check station to find out if there was a place for me to sleep. I walked into the building and there was a great big, huge generator running. No sleep!