Jeff and I were headed into the village of Elim, having just got off a plane and jumped on a four-wheeler, when we noticed a huge cloud of billowing smoke a little way from the checkpoint. Suddenly, we were surrounded by snowmachines and people running in and out of the checkpoint – the checkpoint in Elim is at the firehouse. Firefighters threw on their gear and raced a couple blocks over to a burning house. We followed them only to find what must have been the entire village watching the firefighters drag hoses to put out a home totally engulfed in flames. More firefighters showed up and after some time and, after hacking holes in the walls with axes and doing their best to douse the fire with low water pressure, got most of the flames out. According to rumors, a wood-burning stove caught on fire in someone’s home. What a crazy thing to happen right away.
Afterward, Jeff took some photos of mushers at the checkpoint. Mitch Seavey was already in Elim, and he was joined by Aily Zirkle, Jeff King and Ray Redington, Jr. Jeff’s final photo of the night was Mr. Redington headed out of Elim with headlamp shining into the night. Tomorrow’s another day.