January 18th was quite a day at Angstman Law Office. The Kuskokwim 300 started at 6:30 p.m. that day, with Myron scheduled to leave home around 5:45 to make it to the starting line. The office was open all day, and business was hopping. Two modest cases settled by mid-day, a slip and fall case in Kotzebue and a rear end collision in Bethel which we defended. At 4 p.m. ALO learned of a major settlement involving three young female clients who were the victims of sexual misconduct. The terms of that case are confidential. ALO has additional clients with claims against the same defendant, and negotiations continue.
With that out of the way, it was on to the dog race. next to Jessica Klejka, Myron had a smooth run to Kalskag in fresh soft snow, which meant slower times for the first 100 mile run. After a six hour break, conditions went downhill, as powerful winds swept through the Kuskokwim Valley. Most of the wind was either headwind or crosswind, and exceeded 50 mph much of the time which made for tough going to Aniak and around the Pike Lake loop. The wind was so heavy at Pike Lake that checker Eric Hoffman couldn’t be heard from a distance of five feet. Now that’s a lot of wind. The breeze continued all the way back to Aniak when it finally subsided. In the process the temps had warmed into the 40's near Bethel, and most of the snow had melted, creating slushy trail to Tuluksak. The racers were warned of water on the trail, and the final fifty miles of the race left everyone’s boots well washed, with several water holes more than knee deep. Read more about the race from the Anchorage Daily News. For full results visit K300.org. For 11th place, Myron got $2900 and the Best in the West award, which is two free tickets on Alaska Airlines for being the highest finisher from the local area. New York City is the likely destination. Other unofficial awards: Top finishing elder, top finishing amateur, and most snow machines sunk by kennel helpers. This last award involved Andy and Dean Painter sinking two machines on the last night of the race 9 miles from home in about three feet of water. They were a lonely looking pair standing in the middle of the river at about 4 a.m. Monday. After a brief conference with a couple of mushers who came by, the pair walked to Bethel. Total tally of sleep for the 2 1/2 day race: 20 minutes of restless sleep in Aniak. Minnesotan Dave Price, who helps with the elk farm, made the trip to Aniak and back by snowmachine, and decided dog races, and racers, are nuts. He could be right. To read accounts of the race from other racers, see these racers websites, Jeff King, and Martin Buser .
Post race, more business was conducted. An oil spill case in Steamboat Slough near Bethel was settled for a confidential amount. This was the second installment of that case, and involved 18 people who were not included in an earlier settlement two years ago. Finally, this office represented a local plumber who was sued by a cab driver for a rear end collision. Witnesses observed the cab slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a drunk pedestrian in front of the AC store. My client was observed to lightly tap the back of the cab at the same time. The cab driver claimed he had injuries, which closely resembled injuries he had in a previous accident a few months earlier which resulted in a settlement for him. This office suggested no payment this time, but the insurance company finally agreed to pay $5,000, a small fraction of the amount requested earlier. For those of you who keep track, we call that a win.