Thursday night, the Ruby checkpoint temporarily became a gourmet restaurant, as Jeff King’s prize – for being the First to the Yukon River – was served up.
The musher’s special meal was as much a media event as it was a meal, but that’s largely because the meal was so lavish: an Alaskan seafood stew, bruschetta, an arugula and shrimp salad, filet mignon and fried oysters, and a creme brûlée tart. And, as a second “dessert,” a cash prize of $3,500.
Update: an audio interview with Jeff King is posted below.
Just a few moments after finishing his award dinner in Ruby, which he called the “best meal I’ve ever had,” Jeff King spoke with KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen.
With Laureli, Jeff reflected on the race so far, which he described as “spectacular and memorable” but “tainted” by the fact that so many of his mushing friends and colleagues didn’t make it through the tougher, earlier sections of the trail.
For King, it’s largely luck that’s kept him in the race while causing others to scratch. “It has nothing to do with my experience… I could have been the one to go home with a broken sled and a broken heart.”
As for the race ahead, King says he’s happy with his split times coming into Cripple and Ruby – but, at the same time, acknowledges that it might be a faster-than-normal race for many of the other mushers, too. Still, he’s happy to be moving down the trail with a well-rested team:
With 14 dogs, Jeff King departed the Ruby checkpoint at 8:27am. He is currently in 8th position.