It's the big names in front this morning as I'm having my first cup of coffee. The three have made it as far as Boston, which I believe refers to Boston Creek. Next up is Council, some 80+ miles from the Nome finish.
King has the lead, according the the All Alaska Sweepstakes website, but I really can't tell you much more because there has been such a low press interest in the race.
I've tried getting some info on KOTZ radio, but haven't managed to catch an update. And the local radio station, KNOM radio, doesn't stream its broadcast. But I bet they are covering the heck out of this.
Part of the quiet may be logisitics - in the Iditarod and Yukon Quest, which are well-established with tons of places and means from which to communicate, while most of the route of the Sweepstakes goes through some pretty isolated country.
The News Miner at least got another story up on their website from Kevin Klott, even if doesn't have a lot of insight into what is going on out there. Klott, I believe, is an ADN reporter, but the ADN didn't have anything up online this morning.
It doesn't look like he has much in the way of transportation (snowmachine) or informants who are tied in with the ham radio operators communicating from the checkpoints. It's a little disappointing, but I'm getting the impression the ADN had neither the budget nor desire to really cover this one. But geez, couldn't a news outfit just hook up with some locals to drive you around out to where the race is happening? It is only a few hundred miles, which is nothing in good weather on a snowmachine. Get a couple of photos?
If I were living out there, I'd take any excuse for a snowmachine trip and a promise that later on, my bar tab was covered in Nome. But that could be a budgetary issue, too. We're talking about Nome.
Our only print guy filed a story from the Safety Roadhouse checkpoint, 20-some miles out of Nome. It's not a bad feature on some of the characters out there at Safety right now - a place where I misspent a little time back in the day. One thing though: there is no such thing as Cougar Rock Road.
There is, however, Kougarok Road.