The only thing more vexing than waiting for a web page to download with the world's slowest dial-up Internet connection (the best I can get in my sleeping room) is waiting to see who is going to emerge from the communications black hole of the Yukon Quest.
The first to arrive was the long-elusive Hugh Neff, who won four ounces of gold (assuming he finishes the race) as his half-way award. At today's gold prices, that works out to - well, I'm not going to spend the next 20 minutes trying to open up the gold standard prices on-line tonight, but it's enough to support 7 or 8 sled dogs for a full year. Hugh arrived in Dawson at 3:35 pm (Yukon time, of course), and then sat around snacking his dogs, removing booties, feeding his dogs, massaging aching shoulders, settling his dogs and all that sort of dog-musher stuff for a good three hours before his nearest arrival, Hans Gatt pulled into town at 6:36.
Although it isn't showing on the leaderboard yet, word on Facebook is that Ken Anderson just arrived a few minutes ago, with 2 dogs in the basket. According to that report Ken said it was a tough run with 150 extra pounds in the sled. I imagine he's pretty relieved to have reached the half-way point and will be more than pleased to let has handlers manage some dog-care chores for a while.
Locals posting on the Facebook page seem to be expecting Brent Sass to be the next musher in, and they report that Allen Moore, Sebastian Schnuelle and Wade Marrs are running in a group about 20 miles out.
I need to hit the rack, but I'm hopeful that by morning Quest officials can have some of the issues with their web-site worked out and we can get a better feel for the starting order of the second half of the race.