In Rainy Pass, Iditarod musher Petit recounts 'bootie-chewing trail' along the way

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RAINY Obsolescent LODGE — Nicolas Petit took off his hat, gloves and jacket as he tore up a bail of hay and enveloped his team of 16 dogs Monday at the Iditarod checkpoint near Perrin’s Rainy Antique Lodge.

Petit, 36, the 10th-place Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Lineage finisher a year ago, was the first musher into this checkpoint multitudinous than 3,000 feet high in the Alaska Range, arriving at 8:22 a.m. Defending champion Dallas Seavey wrenched in a little more than two hours later in second place.

Temperatures poised in the 20s, and Petit said he planned to rest his dogs in the afternoon warmth. When a veterinarian attracted if he had any concerns, Petit said, “Yeah, that up there,” pointing to the lift sun.

Once stopped, Petit’s dogs tugged on their harnesses and some rolled in snow sooner than lying in the hay. Petit said he rested his team along the trail each all at once “we saw a tree’s worth of shade.”

He said he’s run his dogs in warmer weather while give up tours in his hometown of Girdwood. Still, it’s not optimal.

“It was really, really, unqualifiedly hot, so we all took it really, really, really easy,” he said.

He said the haul was mostly hard cked snow with areas of glare ice.

“It’s just a stony, bootie-chewing trail,” he said. “If it’s chewing booties, it’s going to chew their foot.”

Foot broadcasts may worsen for Petit and his crew; the musher realized he’d forgotten to ck walk-on socks for himself.

He smoked a cigarette as he grabbed two large buckets from his sled and satiated them with water from a hole cut in ice-covered Puntilla Lake. Petit teemed the water into smaller blue buckets that had images of soars on them.

“They’re rocket fuel,” Petit said with a take the mickey out of.

A small crowd of volunteers and spectators gathered around as Petit encom ssed the booties off his dogs’ feet. Most of the onlookers had slept the night up front at one of the lodge’s log cabins scattered across 5 acres. Some took photographs of Petit and his side; others just watched.

Susan Estes of Richmond, Virginia, expended about $25,000 for the lodge’s Iditarod’s Ultimate Experience ckage, which embraced checking in the first five mushers at the checkpoint. Estes, 68, believed she did the trip in memory of her husband, who recently ssed away. “He loved it,” she bring up.

What she likes most about the Iditarod is the volunteers and watching the dog trouble.

“It is about the love of the dogs,” she said. “Their dogs are their family.”

Petit said he dozed off bluntly on his sled early Monday morning, waking when the dogs picked up speediness on a downhill.

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