Brenda's 2003 Daily Iditarod Coverage
Countdown to Iditarod 2003 Restart — Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
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March 5, 2004

Late Start to a packed day, Race less than 24 hours away

See the live Web Cam of the START of the 2004 Iditarod here

This morning was mostly taken up with mundane chores such as getting a new hot water heater installed and picking up our snowmachines from Big Lake. Once the water heated up enough for showers, we got cleaned up and headed up to Karen Ramstead’s Open House at the Norris’s kennel. Karen is from Alberta Canada but moves her team to Alaska near Iditarod time. There were Canadian flags everywhere. Karen trains all 100% Siberian Huskies, those beautifully marked show dogs from North Wapiti Kennels. Right about the time we arrived, a busload of Siberian Husky Club members from Chicago arrived. Everyone ooohed and aaaahed, photographed the pretty faces and grabbed a few doggie hugs.

Next stop, Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennels. Most of Martin’s Open House was over but he graciously invited us in with the last few fans that were there. Bill had a few discussions with Nikolai and Rohn’s daschund-with-an-attitude, Lucky. This little guy was not happy to have more strangers in his house. Martin took us up to his study, which was totally decorated with Iditarod trophies and memorabilia. There were lots of neat photographs, framed mail cachets, posters and other remembrances from his past championships. On our way out, we got a quick sneak peek at Martin’s new sled design.

Later in the evening, we enjoyed the Idita-Support Group dinner, arranged by Jlona Richey, at the Sourdough Mining Company. We shared a table with Bob and Maureen Morgan and had fun meeting up with other members of the group from all over the country that we had only known by their email screen name previously. Many members who could not attend were represented by spirit signs and Flat Stanley cut outs. These little paper-people had quite a good time. Dinner was yummy with halibut, ribs, corn fritters and finishing up with an ice cream sundae bar. Entertainment by some Russian folk singers and Mike Campbell, a local singer who has written a great new Iditarod song, made the event quite festive. Bill was the speaker for the evening, giving a talk on his 2002 running of the Iditarod as a rookie from Georgia. He told tales of G.B. Jones on their first race together, the 2001 Denali 300, as well as gave lots of credit to Bob Morgan’s wonderful support and advice. I was totally overwhelmed when June Price presented me with a Paw and Hand statue donated by Bonnie Lundberg!!

Our last stop of the night was to deliver 16 new collars to Judy Merritt in Eagle River. She is staying there with relatives tonight to be closer to town for the 10AM Ceremonial Start on Saturday. Bill Merritt loaded Judy’s extra gear in our pickup and they will retrieve these items at our place Saturday night when the final packing of Judy’s sled will occur. And on the way to our place, I typed this update on our laptop!!


Click here for    2004 Iditarod Musher Bib Numbers and Start Order

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.

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


Click below for links to CURRENT LISTINGS of

START of the 2004 Iditarod