Wednesday, March 10, 1993

Iditarod Trail, Alaska III

The first miles of the Iditarod route, its status as a National Historical Trail notwithstanding, have a distinctly urban flavor. First there's the gauntlet of bars catering to the monosyllabic set, then past the parking garage and the boarded up strip joints you hang a right at that big vacant lot and fly down Cordova hill. Hard left at the skating rink, past the Cal Worthington's used car lot and you're off into the woods. Do watch for traffic while crossing all six lanes of Tudor Avenue, though.

Thirteen miles later, it's Eagle River, Anchorage's excuse for a suburb. That's it for day one. Everyone packs up their dogs, sleds and the piles of survival gear, puppy chow and fish head snack-ems and drives 50 miles up the road to Wasilla, where the race begins in earnest Sunday morning. From this point on, with a brief stop at Knik Roadhouse, the race doesn't cross pavement until Front Street in Nome.

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