Monday, February 23, 2009

Leaving warm and sunny Juneau

Date: Feb. 21, 23
Mileage: 25.5 and 19.7
February mileage: 601.7
Temperature: 34 and 36

I fly out Tuesday afternoon with Pugsley and two big bags of miscellaneous gear in tow. I'm going to spend the next several days in Anchorage and Palmer completing last minute prep, giving Pugsley a makeover, mad-rushing to buy gear I've forgotten and generally just getting my head out of the crush of things I have going on here in Juneau. I'm going to miss it here, though, because the weather has been so clear and seasonable and generally smile-inducing. I have been trying to get out for bike rides but haven't had a lot of time. I thought I was pacing myself well this year, but I'm still going to end up packing late into the night tonight.

Weather in Anchorage for the next week also looks pleasant - highs in the 20s and not a lot of snow on the forecast. Sunday's forecast in the Mat-Su Valley calls for partly sunny and highs in the 20s. Skwentna on Monday has a high of 30 and a low of 11. Puntilla Lake on Tuesday calls for snow showers, a high of 18 and low of 2. Nikolai and McGrath later in the week calls for intermittent snow showers, highs in the teens and lows near 0. All in all, a very encouraging forecast. Of course you can't put a lot of weight on long-range forecasts, but I can keep watching them and crossing my fingers than no -40s or 60-mph winds pop up.

I'm sure I'll post again before the race, which starts at 2 p.m. March 1, so I'll post up my SPOT shared page and race updates links then. I wanted to announce that Scott Morris, organizer of the Arizona Trail Race, mapping expert and all-around ultra-mountain-biking geek, has offered to track my progress on my blog this year. Those of your familiar with his coverage of Mike Curiak's 2008 self-supported tour know how thorough he can be. (Incidentally, Scott will be tracking Mike Curiak's ride again this year as well.) He'll probably stay busy with Mike's page, but I'm guessing Scott will provide at least some commentary about trail conditions, splits and other racer's positions along with really cool Topofusion-generated maps. So be sure to check in on this blog during the race.

Also, I won't be available to send out orders for signed copies of my book for at least two weeks. But you can still support me in this race by purchasing the book for yourself or your crazy outdoor-nut cousin using any one of the other Lulu or Amazon.com links in the sidebar of this blog. The eBook is only $8! Your support, as always, is appreciated.

Also, Ultra Rob is again holding a fundraiser for my race. For every item of cycling and outdoor gear purchased through his site from now through March 1, he will donate 20 percent of the commission to my Iditarod effort. If you have something in mind that you were thinking of getting, now is a good time. Check out the wide selection here.

Wish me luck! It's a total lie when people say just getting to the starting line is the hardest part, but it sure ain't easy.