The way is clear, the snow fell yesterday well packed, I go for it. Additional motivation, the pure blue sky returns, the day promises to be radiant. My morning moods are forgotten. I go forward, I go forward, I go forward.
In the middle of the afternoon, I do a technical stop to wax my skis and eat a hot meal. With the return of good weather, the cold returns. The almost flat track, most of the time on rivers, is pleasant. Many elks live in the area. I always watch these imposing creatures warily. They stay off the track, and I wisely stay on it. The day passes quickly, the kilometers pass by.
A skidoo joined me at the end of the afternoon. To let it pass I put myself on the side, fall and find myself buried in the powder, entangled with skis, sticks and pulk: a turtle unable to get up. The driver pulls over and gently comes over to give me a hand to get me back on the track in a good way. Unfortunately, after its passage, the snow is chewed, my progress drops suddenly: I sink and must make my own trail.
The sun sets in front of me. How lucky to see such a magnificent spectacle. I enjoy the moment despite the sharp, biting, penetrating cold that comes with the night. At the “McGrath 20 miles” sign I decide to take the track that follows the Kuskoskwim river. I read in the accounts that this passage is freezing due to the wind which goes up this corridor. This is confirmed, I have to take out my down jacket and for the first time my over-vest. It is literally a wolf cold. Like this animal, I feel trapped. I want, I have to stop to bivouac. Impossible, dangerous in this place. My thermometer tells me -30 ° C, it is certainly colder. It does not descend lower. I don’t prefer to know.
I go forward, I go forward, I go forward. The track goes up on the bank, cutting across the twists of the river. I spot a cramped place in the forest to set up my bivouac. It takes a long time to unpack a small area away from the track. The rules are formal: it is forbidden to pitch your tent on the trail. A skidoo passing in the middle of the night could be fatal. I’m very cold, especially on my feet. I get into my down as quickly as possible. No question of taking out my stove. It is 1am, still about 20 km. I fall into a bad sleep.