Official Start & Skwentna 3.7.11

Temperature 3.6.11 in Skwentna, 25 degrees F, calm wind

Temperature at 7 a.m. 0 degrees F, calm wind

On a gorgeous day, the 39th Iditarod got off yesterday and mushers went through Yentna and Skwenta during the night and early morning. The Iditarod Air Force busily flew volunteers to Skwentna and points further along the trail. Iditarod Insider film crew members loaded gear to capture the race for you.

The Skwentna Sweeties are at Skwnenta as they traditionally are, cooking and welcoming volunteers and mushers. They arrived on Friday to begin preparations in the checkpoint building. Mushers can even get hot towels to refresh faces and hands here.

It’s a small world, too. Within 15 minutes of my arrival yesterday, I met 2 vets from North Carolina, one from the town my parents live in. I toured the post office in Skwentna; Joe Delia has been the postmaster for years and, this morning, was connecting sleds behind his snowmachine to pick up mail from the plane.

DeeDee Jonrowe arrived first in Skwentna last night, followed by numerous other teams in quick succession. This early in the race, the mushers have not had time to spread out yet, so a lot of volunteers work at Skwentna to handle the arrivals. The “river crew” parks teams at bales of hay, explains where to get hot water, HEET and to leave their supplies they want to mail back home.

Next stop for me, back to Anchorage to catch a flight to McGrath, AK.