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North Wapiti Siberian Husky Kennels
Iditarod 2004 - Tales from the Trail

Iditarod 2004


Nulato to Kaltag

Nulato was pretty much asleep as we ran down the streets of town. The auditorium that served as a checkpoint was abuzz though. Many teams were camped out in front and locals had a big barrel of steaming hot water that they were keeping filled for mushers. That is always an appreciated treat!

Kirstin Roberts was one of the vets here and she was very pleased to see Grover and Crunchie still in the team and looking so well. As before, she had very kind comments about the health and condition of all the dogs.

Everyone fed and tucked in for a nap, I headed inside to do the same (eat and nap!).

The comforts at Nulato are not near what they are in Galena and I grabbed a bit of sleep on the hard wooden bench seats around the gym. There were a lot of other mushers doing the same – a few of them snoring in a BIG way. YIKES!

I was keen to get out of town relatively early, so as to get over to Kaltag without being caught by the heat of the day again – so just before 4am, we were off.

The run to Kaltag has always traditionally been one that the dogs started slow on and then settled nicely into their stride, giving us a really nice trip. Not the case this year – in fact, it was the opposite – they left without hesitation, but never settled into a nice rhythm. A bit of a wind storm on the river made things worse.

This year there were also mileage markers all the way down the river. You would think that would be appreciated, but they stopped me from convincing myself that things were going better then they really were. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to be delusional!!

Finally, Kaltag came into view and the dogs marched up the bank and into town.

Place Checkpoint Time from Previous Checkpoint Rest Time
in Checkpoint
Dogs Layovers
  Kaltag 5:59 6:12 15  24 Hr 8 Hr

Karen's Diary - 2004 Edition

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