Eagle Island is a remote checkpoint on the Yukon River. The checkpoint, located on the site of a summer fish camp, breaks up the 120 mile stretch from Grayling to Kaltag on the Southern Route of the Iditarod Trail. 62 miles from Grayling, 62 miles from Kaltag. It's on the Southern Route, meaning the race route passes through only every other year, and that when the mushers do hit the river, it's downstream from Kaltag, into the famous Yukon River wind. According to Don Bower's Trail Notes:
A 1997 musher said that Eagle Island is so remote it’s actually beyond the edge of the planet: it’s as if you've gone to the edge, fallen off, and discovered that the Place Down Below really has frozen over. It’s definitely lonely and always cold. The local wolf packs howl all night to vent their indignation at all of their uninvited cousins intruding on their territory. You can rest assured you and your fellow mushers and checkpoint personnel are almost the only living humans in an area larger than many entire states. If you’re running the race to get away from it all, then this will be your favorite checkpoint. In any case, it’s a welcome respite in the wilderness, and you’ll be more than happy to stop there for awhile. (http://iditarod.com/about/the-iditarod-trail/grayling-to-eagle-island/)
I've never traveled through Eagle Island. I loved the pieces of Yukon River I saw last year; unlike Don Bowers, I never thought it was boring. I'm yearning to hear the wolves howl, and am apprehensive about the Yukon River wind, with wind chills up to -100F. Last year, the wind was strong, but at our backs. I wanted so desperately to see or hear wolves, like my mother did when she ran Iditarod. In the middle of the night, the team trotting smoothly down the river on the way to Galena, I DID hear howling, carried on the wind.... my breath caught & I strained my ears for more... and I realized it was just Monica's team up ahead. Still waiting for my wolf encounter. Maybe this year!
Thank you Sally! xx Lisbet & Team
Here is a video that shows Eagle Island & some of the Yukon River landscape:
The other checkpoints on the Yukon River are still available for sponsorship: Anvik, Grayling & Kaltag ! Your donation will help us fill our drop bags with quality kibble and meat snacks for the dogs, handwarmers and meals for the musher, and defray shipping costs to the checkpoints!
Checkpoint sponsors will recieve a signed 5 x 7 picture from the race and an official certificate of sponsorship, signed by Lisbet & lead dog Ruby.
Sponsor your checkpoint here: http://lisbetnorris.blogspot.com/p/store.html#!/Checkpoint-Sponsorship/p/37532205/category=9807739
Thank you for your support! xx Lisbet & Team