Outdoors

Iditarod snowmobile Diary: Day 9

Musher Matt Failor drives his team down the Kuskokwim River after leaving the Iditarod Sled Dog Race  checkpoint in McGrath.  By this point, mushers are well ahead of any snowmobilers following the Iditarod Trail. (Bill Roth / The Anchorage Daily News)
Musher Matt Failor drives his team down the Kuskokwim River after leaving the Iditarod Sled Dog Race checkpoint in McGrath. By this point, mushers are well ahead of any snowmobilers following the Iditarod Trail. (Bill Roth / The Anchorage Daily News)

SNOWMOBILING — Bob Jones of Kettle Falls and Josh Rindal of Spokane are repeating their effort to follow Alaska's Iditarod Sled Dog Race by snowmobile in February and March 2014.  

  • See the complete diary and photos from their 2012 trip — which marked Jones's 14th time on the Iditarod.
  • Click “continue reading” to see Jones's diary from Day 9 of their 22-day 1,400-mile adventure in 2014.

Below are links to each of the other diary posts and photos of their trip on the Iditarod Trail.

Day 9:  (March 8, 2014) Saturday 

McGrath, Steph's Man Cave, -21º at 8 a.m.

Today was a perfect day in McGrath!  The sun shone brightly out of a clear, blue sky and the solar power was incredible.  It probably never got much above zero, but it was T-shirt weather until sunset.  The absence of any wind made for a classic day. 

Steph fixed us moose steak and eggs for breakfast and it was delicious.

Around noon, Josh and about 6 others went for a long snowmobile ride up to Steph’s fall moose camp.  I rode to the Airport Café in search of some effective wireless.

I still didn’t have enough power to send many jpeg photos.  But I got the diaries caught up and sent about 15 low-res photos out. 

The race has moved up-trail and past McGrath already, and the little community is going back into hibernation.  The Airport Café was only open for coffee and to provide a place to get warm to the few Iditarod people who are still here waiting for flights to take them to checkpoints toward Nome.

I completely used up a 100% battery charge and came back to the cabin at 6pm.  Josh and the crew came in just after me, and we went to the house for some of the best tacos I ever ate.

After dinner,six of us came back to the ManCave.  By 4am we had polished off every single beer in the refrigerator while Josh and I listened to the McGrath boys tell their great stories of life in the Alaskan Bush.   The best part about running out of beer was that everybody bailed out of the cabin.  Josh and I were both sound asleep before they got out of sight.  




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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