Chris Adkins taking another stab at the the Stage Stop

Hello Pedigree Stage Stop Race fans,

I caught up with Chris Adkins from Sand Coulee, Montana last night. Catching up means in these times, via a zoom call.   It is a bit of an uphill battle to teach this old dog new tricks. I had tried to actually record the Zoom meeting, but not too unsurprisingly I can now only find 40 seconds of that recording. Thankfully Shannon, Chris’s wife, had the patience to work me through how setting up a zoom meeting to begin with. Hopefully by the time the race gets under way I have the kinks worked out a little better.

Chris, what made you come back to Wyoming? ” It is my favorite race “

Why? ” It is fun like Iditarod is fun, but you get to sleep in a Hotel each night “. I sure can relate to that. “And instead of a 4 day drive, it is only a 10 hours drive to get there”.

How many from last years team are back this year ? ” 8 or 9 I think “.

How many did you start training with? ” 38 , then Shannon chiming in: No we had 42 in training at the beginning. And today we are down to the final 16. They all hung really well this year. Usually some are dropping out right away, but this year it took a long time before they started dropping out.”

What were your snow conditions this year? ” I had no snow this year. I was running so many miles on dirt, it was really tough to keep their feet intact. Snow conditions have been horrible this year. To be honest, I have not had them hooked up to a sled yet this season. The best I have done is a snowmobile, having hooked up 16 or 18 to that.  They are stronger than they have been. I got a really good drag mat on that Danler sled. It is going to be interesting to see how that works. They held together really well. By late November early December we slowed them down a bit to run them with boots, and kept going. I let the team pick who is going to go and who is going to stay.”

What is the age group of your team? ” They range between 2 and 7,  mostly 4 and 6 year olds in the core. Way more males than females. Only 3 females in the team “.

What is your goal for this year? ” Having fun is number one. I’d like to finish higher than 14th last year. We run what we got and see where we turn up. I had a crappy year for snow, but a good year for training, if that makes any sense. If this was a long race, I would be really happy right now. I was really bummed that the Race to the Sky cancelled “.

Chris and Shannon are leaving home today. They outfitted their trailer to camp out in it: ” Tonight we camp in the trailer, I got a date with a butcher in Idaho Falls to pick up some beef on Thursday morning. So we camp in Idaho Falls, then go to Alpine and hook them up and see what we got with the sled. I build a platform that goes across the snowmobile. We got an air mattress, a generator and according to Shannon we are going to buy a heated mattress pad tomorrow “.

Safe travels my friends! Chris said that he had bought a new snowmachine and hoped that I and Shannon could go out together this year on the trail. Oh how much I wish!  Instead I have to work remotely from ” Yukon Island “, where travel in and out has become pretty much impossible. Let’s see how much we can make reporting remotely work out, with mushers and handlers sending pictures and videos throughout the race.  Some of the trail heads have cellphone coverage like Alpine, Lander and Driggs. Others like Pinedale and Kemmerer are out of cell range.