Brenda's 2003 Daily Iditarod Coverage
Countdown to Iditarod 2003 Restart — Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
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March 2, 2003

Driving to Fairbanks

Today 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 we stopped.


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!!







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