Diehl Versus Tree On Trail

Mar 7, 2019

Musher Richie Diehl showing off his souvenir from a run-in with a tree.
Credit Zachariah Hughes

Every Iditarod musher has a harrowing story to tell, and Aniak musher Richie Diehl has a doozy and a black-eye to prove it. He ran face first into a tree while mushing from Nikolai to McGrath. The impact knocked him off the sled.

“And I dove and caught the sled,” Diehl said. “And then all of a sudden I was standing in the middle of the dogs, and they were all staring at me and there was blood everywhere. I initially thought I had knocked out all my front teeth.”

He cleaned the blood and the wound with tissues and wipes before continuing down the trail. At the checkpoint, medics complimented him on getting his face clean and applied some butterfly bandages to help him heal. They say it will be fine; it just looks bad. It will take more than a tree to keep Diehl from getting to Nome.