was not a dog-filled day but a rather uneventful drive up the Parks
Highway to Fairbanks. Many of the dog teams traveled up on Saturday
afternoon and night, after the ceremonial start, and some early
on Sunday morning. We only passed a few dog trucks but did pass
one unfortunate young fella who had swerved into the snow bank.
He must've been new to Alaska as he had no tow rope, no chains,
no shovel, no survival gear at all. Bill keeps all of these things
in our pickup truck so we stopped to help drag him out of the ditch.
We didn't even get his name nor he ours but I think he was glad
The weather was mostly good for the drive. We passed many rivers
that still had open water flowing. There was one section of the
highway where we encountered heavy snow and other sections where
there was NO snow at all. The temperature varied from +44 to about
+32.5F. There was black ice in areas. Having studded tires helped
and we had only one time of sliding before a stop.
We found our hotel in downtown Fairbanks and then set out to connect
with the Plettner Kennel gang as Bill brought her some waterproofing
spray for her mushing pants.They were in the dining room of the
Westmark Hotel. Finney, First Teacher on the Trail in 1999, and
her daughter were there. Lynda and Ellen Halverson both left the
table early to do last minute planning and turn in early. Our next
stop was the Pike's Riverfront Landing, Restart Headquarters, where
there were many fans and officials still out and about.
We found Kay Ramos and Marilyn [bottom photo on the left] who are
our on-the-trail photographers for Unalakleet and Nome.
There was a really neat ice carving of a dog team out in front
of the hospitality tent. It was raining as we left Headquarters
to get some rest. The entire town of Fairbanks seemed to be geared
up for the crowd and very happy to have the Iditarod Restat come
to their town!!