Buser reached Rohn and in an unprecedented move took his mandatory 24-hour rest there, one of three rests required at their chosen time, where he watched other mushers arrive and leave before departing at p.m. He was the first in and out of the Nikolai checkpoint 75 miles past Rohn, arriving at a.m. Running second was last year's Iditarod runner-up, Aliy Zirkle, who left Nikolai at p.m.
The plane, hardly larger than a minivan, had snapped in half on the mountainside. Raised in upstate New York, the two rookie teachers were still learning about their new home among the roadless hills and tiny riverside towns 350 miles northwest of Anchorage.He couldn't see or hear his two children, Mckenzie, 8, and Donnie, 10. Like many corners of Bush Alaska, this is a place where gusty landings and blinding whiteouts spook even seasoned pilots.Pilot Ernie Chase, 66, decided they had an opening shortly after 7 p.m.Chase grew up in Anvik and had flown the route countless times.Just before takeoff Donald noticed an emergency locator beacon clipped to the pilot's sun visor.
One in three fatal commuter plane/air taxi accidents in the United States happens in Alaska, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Rosemarie bought a pregnancy test at the Mc Grath general store and confirmed her hunch.
The couple had assumed they couldn't have any more children because of an auto-immune disease that Donald suffered.
Don could teach during Rosemarie's maternity leave.
Maybe it had all happened for a reason, she told him.
"Within the first four or five hours after landing, I knew this was it," Donald said. When he arrived at Rosemarie's family party, it was with Alaska plates on his truck. After leaving the military in 2007, the couple settled in Wasilla and studied at Alaska Pacific University to be teachers. They wanted to be in rural Alaska," said Karen Ladegard, then superintendent for the Iditarod School District.