While everyone else seems to be enjoying some sort of spring Nome temperatures were -17 this morning. Blah. On the plus side with solid hardpack the snow machine options are endless, possibly a little caribou hunting this weekend or some crabbing.
Well the ITI finally finished as Marco arrived in Nome early yesterday (wed) morning around 3 am. Hanhah and Sarah have been sick so I couldn't ride the snow machine down the coast the previous evening to find out where he was. Though it probably wouldn't have mattered since a 3 am wake up would have been difficult. Poor Marco ended up not knowing where to go after standing under the arch in Nome and wound up in the bank atm entrance since it was heated. The police swung by picked him and drove him to the volunteer shelter. He said they were very nice and seemed to know who he was and of the ITI. I have been sending out many messages to the Nome community about his arrival so there did seem to be more awareness of the race.
I had some coffee with him this morning before driving to the airport for his return to civilization. I asked which parts seemed the most difficult and he answered most of the trail was soft snow so he used his snow shoes frequently... but particularly the trail between Elim and Golovin he was caught in a blizzard. The visibility was so poor he couldn't see his sled behind him and for 8 hrs battled to find his way by crawling on the ground to see the trail looking for snow machine tracks. He said he almost felt like he was losing his sanity as if he were two people, one person wanted to just give up and the other to go on. Some of this might have been lost in his limited english but I do understand the emotional states that you go through are so extreme it is something not easily explained. What a tough year and what demons to fight to get to Nome.