Hello Again!!! Wahoooooooo – Team Cordura/Osprey continues to rock along in 3rd place, and at the last checkpoint, we were exactly 2 hours behind 2nd place – Salomon/Crested Butte, and still 4.5 hours behind the leaders. It seems we have been the same 4.5 hours behind OrionHealth for weeks now, but only been three days!!! Looks like Merrell/Zanfel is making a bit of a move to try to bridge up to the three leading teams as they have separated themselves from the cluster of 5 teams that have been together for the past two days. Hopefully our crew can hold them off. As folks may have seen on the PQ website, three checkpoints on the trekking section were eliminated, so now the teams are free to get from Checkpoint 22 all the way to Checkpoint 27 any way they wish, which is about 45 miles, so this should make for some interesting navigational choices and the possibilities for some changes in the standings as teams try to find the best way through Wind Cave National Park and down to the Checkpoint at Elk Mountain, where teams will transition to their bikes once again for a 37 mile dash out of the Black Hills and onwards to the Badlands and Angustora Reservoir for the swimming leg, a lake orienteering section and then the long paddle down the Cheyenne River to the dreaded 64 mile trek through the heart of the Badlands. Gulp!!!
The top eight teams are through the glorious climbing leg and on the long trek to Elk Mountain, with the top three still out front and making their way through Custer State Park this evening and on into Wind Cave NP. Just watch out for the bison!