Brenda's 2003 Daily Iditarod Coverage
Countdown to Iditarod 2003 Restart — Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
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March 4 , 2004
Musher Meeting and Opening Banquet - Iditarod 2004
All race participants gathered at the Musher Meeting held at the Millennium Hotel today. This is where trail conditions were discussed in detail and all rules reviewed with the mushers. The mushers also had lunch with their IditaRiders. We were still on our way into to town while this was going on. It snowed all night last night and the roads were very slick. We saw seven cars in the ditch and two of those were belly-up. We also spotted a group of four moose in the Palmer Hay Flats, which were very close to the road, enough for us to pull over and take a few snapshots.

After the Musher meeting we met some more ladies from Georgia who were on their first ever Iditarod visit. We helped them round up tickets for the banquet tonight. A brief stop at REI and Fred Meyer were the only break in the action as the Banquet crowd started gathering about 6pm at the Sullivan Arena. With a record number of mushers on tap to draw their bib numbers, everyone expected to be there a very long while. Actually many mushers, rather than thanking every single sponsor, simply walked briskly by the microphone and gave a quick one word, “Thanks!!” This drew loud applause, as everyone wanted to move through the list quickly and get home to get some rest. Others did give longer talks and Jeff King gave his speech in the form of a catchy little poem. Jeff drew number 13, which is said to be the winningest bib number in the race. Judy Merritt who has the Cool Dreams dogs will be bib number 10 on Saturday morning. By drawing #10, Judy will have to stay 26 hours and 36 minutes for her 24hour layover. Last bib to draw was Vern Halter who’ll go out of the chute first behind the honorary musher, Terry Adkins. The full line up will be in the Anchorage Daily News, so please click on the link and find your favorite musher. Earlier in the evening, G.B. Jones and Perry Solomonson each won a chain saw and thousand-dollar gift certificate from Cabela’s. We saw lots of friends from over the years of being Iditarod volunteers which is one of the great things about coming back each year for the race. The festivities ended about 11:30 and the drive home was again very slippery.

Top Headlines from the Anchorage Daily News

See the Cool Dreams Photos Page for more 2004 Jr. Iditarod and
Iditarod Photos

Check this page often for daily updates.

2004 Iditarod Pre-race Coverage will begin
  here on March 3rd.

Full 2004 Iditarod Sled Dog Race Coverage
  begins here with the race start on March 6th.


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START of the 2004 Iditarod