Upon awakening to the second day of Iditarod, we had no clue where
the mushers were or who was winning. Yes, there is internet access
along the river, but everyone was busy with
the large crowd and getting breakfast underway. The record crowd
was gathered in the main room awaiting cheese omelets and coffee.
There was a constant line to the potty, which in bush Alaska, consists
of a honey bucket. The Gabryszaks son, Adam, was assigned the chore
of emptying the bucket quite often. At one point, the line had to
wait until Adam got back from pumping gas because the bucket was
too full for even one more customer.
After breakfast was over, we three musketeers jumped on the snowmachines
and started upriver
towards Skwentna. It was a gorgeous sunny day with lots of traffic
on the river. We saw a couple of eagles but no moose. When we arrived
at the Delia’s home, all the mushers were already gone. The
volunteers were packing up the checkpoint and disconnecting the
stove where they baked pies for the mushers again this year. We
visited with Norma Delia for an hour or so and drank a cup of coffee.
The decision was made to continue on to Finger Lake checkpoint.
It was very good trail all the way. There were only two holes, one
of which Bill drove my machine around and the other I fell into!
My body flopped into the snow and my machine kept on going for another
thirty feet without me. Nothing was hurt and we pulled into the
checkpoint about 4:00PM, having passed only one musher on the trail,
Steve Madsen, who was camped out waiting on the temperature to drop
before heading on to Rainy Pass. Steve had a plastic pink flamingo
with him for company.
When we arrived at Finger Lake, quite a few mushers were hooking
up to leave. We did visit
with Judy Merritt, G.B. Jones, Sue Allen, Melinda Miles, Perry Solmonson
and Todd Denick. Rick Casillo was taking a nap on top of his sled
in the afternoon sun. We saw Pinky, Pony, Priscilla and Crystal
there with Judy. Miss Sport was guarding G.B.’s team. There
were other teams there but we did not approach those who were bootying
or whose teams were sleeping. We hung around for about an hour and
then headed back down the trail. Sunset was beautiful on the mountains.
We stopped back by to report in at Skwentna and even though we were
sore and tired, kept pushing onwards to Yentna Station. We arrived
at 9:30PM after a great day out there on the Iditarod Trail. Dan
Gabryszak was snoring soundly on the couch while the rest of the
family was winding down from having sixty guests spend the night
at their home last night. I know I counted forty-two people partaking
of those cheese omelets earlier today and Dan cooked them all. In
spite of being exhausted, daughter Danielle prepared some delicious
burgers for our late dinner. We watched just enough TV to see the
weather and learn that is a storm brewing. Shortly thereafter, we