WHITE MOUNTAIN, Alaska -- Longtime Montana resident Jessie Royer is poised for her highest finish yet in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Royer pulled into the eight-hour mandatory layover at White Mountain in third place, behind only Peter Kaiser of Bethel, Alaska, and Joar Lefseth Ulsom of Norway. She was a little more than four hours behind both but as of 10 p.m. (MDT) was the only musher in White Mountain, which is 77 miles from the 998-mile race's finish line under the burled arch in Nome.
The only remaining checkpoint is at Safety, 55 miles west of White Mountain.
Royer's highest finish in her 16 Iditarods is fourth, in 2015. Royer, who grew up near Ennis and has lived in Philipsburg, White Sulphur Springs and Darby as well, has finished in the top 10 five times. She owns the second-fastest time ever accomplished by a woman at the Iditarod.
The Idaho native now splits her time between Ennis, where her parents live, and a home outside of Fairbanks, Alaska.
The only other Montanan in the race, Brent Bruggeman of Great Falls, dropped out.