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In White Mountain: Ramey Smyth, Making Final Assessments

audio by Laureli Kinneen; text and photo by David Dodman


Quiet Front Street

Only a few cars and visitors were found on Nome's Front Street Monday night, but the finish-line chute and its "burled arch" stood ready for the Iditarod 2011 champion, whoever that will be.

In White Mountain Monday night, Ramey Smyth’s dogs were happily eating their food. Hungry dogs eating well are always a good sign, but Smyth didn’t seem over-confident.

His dogs “gave everything they had to get here (White Mountain),” Smyth said to KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen. He feared that his dogs wouldn’t have “much in the gas tank for finishing up.”

Smyth was full of respect for his closest competitor – first-position musher John Baker – and conceded that the “reality” may not be on his side. Nonetheless, Smyth said he would still try his best to overtake Baker in the final push to Nome.

Hear our feature interview – our last from the trail! – with Ramey Smyth in White Mountain. Laureli reports:

As of late Monday night, both John Baker and Ramey Smyth are finishing up their mandatory 8-hour layovers in White Mountain. Baker will be eligible to depart at 12:03am and Smyth at 12:54, at which point Iditarod 2011 could get very, very interesting.