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March 1978:The Iditarod

(Irene and Kids in Nome – Babe in Anchorage starting the Iditarod) Irene’s Diary

March 4

The (Iditarod) race is starting today and snow is expected in Anchorage. We heard Babe on the radio. He said he’ll be here in 14 days. I sure hope so. I started a scrapbook. Cold out.

March 5

Babe and Eep are ahead, hope they stay that way. We went to see JoAnn Kost. The kids had lots of fun.

March 6

Their going to Rainy Pass, they are still in the front 10. I started a letter to Mom. Floyd got 2 top eye teeth. I worked on a scrap book.

March 7

We heard they are going to Rohn Road House. Must be having trouble. We visited Berda Longley.

March 8

We moved out to Irene Merchant’s for a few days. Babe at Farewell, I called Pudden. She told me of Babe’s son, Todd, and how he looks so much like Babe.

March 9

Babe got to McGrath at 2:55 p.m. I wish I could see him for his 24-hour (layover). He sounded tired, we heard a radio interview on KNOM of Babe and Eep. It sure blows out here, so windy.

March 10

Talked to Babe. He left McGrath at 3:55 p.m. Called Isaac about a race sled and ordered petex. Trudy went to a movie with with the Michael’s. She came home late. Jan called from Kake.

March 11

Babe is on his way to Ophir. Irene and I are going to the Sitnasuak meeting.

March 12

Babe and Eep at Ruby. Eep first one there. I am tired, homesick-ish. The phone didn’t work at Ruby when I called. We had crab at Clara’s and watched tv.

March 13

Babe at Galena going to Nulato. Trying to get a sled and got one from Richard Burmeister. Kids ok. Floyd seems sick. Babe first at Galena.

March 14

I talked to Pudden and Goog. Got Goog his hotel rooms at Nugget. Talked to Isaac, he will come to Nome when Babe gets to Shaktoolik. Trude spent the night at Wendy’s. We ate crab at Clara’s.

March 15

Babe got to and left Kaltag, doing very good. I got the sled sent to Shaktoolik. I gave Thelia a perm. We saw Esther Craft and played Monopoly – I won. Got medicine for Floyd and me.

March 16

Teams going to Unalakleet. Earl, Irene and I play Monopoly. I won. The kids are sure rough.

March 17

Pudden, Clara, and I went downtown. Came home about 8 and had a dinner at the Bering Sea. We moved back to Clara and Carl’s.

March 18

Went to White Mountain with Kay Hansen. Sure good to see Babe, he came in 1st. It sure was beautiful out too. The teams should be here in the morning.

March 19

Got back from Solomon. Babe scratched. I sure was scared, the weather was terrible. We went to the Roadhouse for dinner and saw everyone from McGrath.

March 20

Downtown all day. Irene and Earl too. Sure had a good time but worried about the race rules. Had a big argument with Al Crane! Sure good to have Babe here.

March 21

Brought Trudy to the hospital on her back. Then Clara and I brought Mom up, she’s sick. Babe babysat. Trudy has to go to Anchorage for more back x-rays.

March 22

Went downtown all day. Had lunch with Gail Phillips, she’s on Babe’s side with all these race rules. Babe flew to Solomon for his Cache’ but couldn’t find him. we were downtown tonight.

March 23

Banquet Night. Babe got a Galena Trophy and shared a Cripple Creek Trophy. Babe was awarded the Gold Harness, 2 of them. He gave one to Ken Chase.

March 24

We flew to McGrath – a long trip. Stayed overnight at Mom’s. It was a beautiful day anyway.

March 25

Trudy went to Anchorage and we got home (Nixon Cabin). Sure is good to be back. We had pizza and went to bed early.

March 26

Easter Sunday. We hid eggs outdoors – Sonny found most of them and we made a basket for Trudy and Floyd too. Herman Gates and Chuck Ort came up for an hour. We had a ham dinner. Nice.

March 27

Babe went to McGrath to get gas and the rest of our stuff. I washed sheets and hung them outdoors. They sure smell good. I cleaned house. We miss Trudy.

March 28

I made bread but it flopped. Pudden and Eep came to visit. We were sleeping when they got here, Babe and I changed the curtains in the front room, we put drapes up. He got the generator working.

March 29

I made bread again. It was ok. Buck Gates and Lucky Egrass came up. We drank beer for awhile.

March 30

Babe and I washed a lot of clothes – the generator worked & so did the washer. Sure was nice. Floyd is everywhere in his walker.

March 31

Babe and I washed again, so nice. He’s been running his pups with Blackie leading. They’re doing ok. I went to McGrath to see about getting a loan. We need $10,000 for junk.

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