Brenda's 2003 Daily Iditarod Coverage
Countdown to Iditarod 2003 Restart — Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
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March 8 , 2004
Yentna Station, Skwentna, and Finger Lake

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 all crashed.

Follow the Action Here: Our good friend's at Cabela's Current Stats and Iditarod's Current Standings. Be sure to look at the "update time" on each. Sometimes one is more timely than the other.

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