SKWENTNA CHECKPOINT CONT.
“Dog traffic.” That’s the start of the Communications (Coms) report from the Skwentna River to the cabin at the top of the hill. Martin Buser was the first musher to arrive at 8:45 PM. He stopped briefly to snack his dogs, then he was off down the river. Mushers soon arrived at intervals through the night although at one point 9 arrived at once. All mushers made it to this checkpoint and all moved on to the next one. Some went on through, some stopped briefly, and some took full advantage of the hospitality the Skwentna Sweeties provided; a quick nap and a delicious meal were enjoyed by all who decided to take advantage.
Once the last musher left the checkpoint, people started to pack up. Planes started flying in early to haul out volunteers and dropped dogs. Leftover drop bags were gone through – things will be collected and donated.
From Skwentna I was picked up by pilot Phil Morgan and brought to Anchorage. There I boarded a plane to McGrath. We arrived around 2:00, were picked up, and dropped off at the cafe. Here volunteers are gathered to find out if they will stay or move up the trail. All around me there are conversations of past races and life on the Iditarod Trail.
The first musher usually comes in to this checkpoint Tuesday night, but they are expecting an early arrival this year because of the fast pace set by Martin Buser. The 2013 Iditarod is proving to be competitively exciting. Check out the GPS tracking at iditarod.com for updates on your favorite musher.