Friday, February 29, 2008

Photo once again by Eric Parsons - along the Kuskokwin River

I haven't seen any points since 1:30pm this afternoon, but Mike is well past the Farewell Lakes, but it still seems to be some slow goings.

I wrote a bit more code in TopoFusion to make legitimate timestamps out of the SPOT points. So now I can do cool things like the following speed graph.

That's for his entire trip thus far. Since the points are 10 minutes a part, at best, and 3-4 hours at worst, the distance on the X axis is a gross underestimate. Mike is at least 30 miles past Rohn, which is mile 210 on the route. So his total mileage is something like 245, not 170 as shown in the plot.

However, the plot is interesting in that it shows the overall trend of speed throughout the trip. The first drop in speed is, not surprisingly, due to Rainy Pass. Things are on the up as of the last few points, but not nearly to the level of the first ~100 miles on the route.

For comparison, here is the plot for racer Brij Portnis who finished yesterday afternoon in McGrath (congrats Brij! and thanks to Carole--Brij's Groupie--for the data). He is missing the first ~30 miles of the trail, for unknown reasons, but otherwise he picked up, overall, a few more points than Mike.

Some higher speeds in there, for sure. What I see, since trail conditions should be nearly the same, is that things are about to get much faster for Mike on the way towards Nikolai, and it should continue into McGrath.

Comparing the two files there are definitely a few "dead" spots. Most notably, the Shell Hills, Rainy Pass and the South Kuskokwin River valley. I'm guessing the fact that Brij got more points, in general, may be due to placement of the unit, but it could be anything.

Here is the latest progress map, including the rest of yesterday's trek.

Conditions are taking a turn for the worse. Winds are already picking up and the forecast is for -45 with windchill in the Kuskowin River Valley tonight. Possible areas of drifting snow as well, through Saturday. Mike has sure weathered much worse in the past, but especially the wind will have an effect on progress.

1 comment:

  1. hey great job with the geospatial blogging. Nice to be able to visualize the course and mikes progress. seems like it might be a service you could sell to a musher or two (or at least their families). keep it up.