Homer musher plans extended trip to Nome

Posted: Friday, February 09, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A rookie Yukon Quest musher plans a pit stop at Fairbanks before continuing on all the way to Nome to raise money for a man disabled in a car accident.

Dario Daniels, 36, of Homer, is accepting per-mile donations to raise money for Craig Harmon, 43, who was paralyzed in a California car wreck in October.

The Yukon Quest, a 1,000 mile race from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, to Fairbanks, begins Sunday. Continuing on to Nome will add about 830 miles to Daniels' Quest mileage.

Daniels made the decision to race for Harmon about three weeks ago, and has been consumed with the logistics ever since.

After Daniels crosses the Quest finish line, he plans to travel to Kaltag, possibly via the Chena, Tanana and Yukon rivers. At Kaltag, he will continue over the regular Iditarod route to Nome.

Harmon said he hasn't come to terms with Daniels' overwhelming gesture.

''It's very humbling," Harmon said from his hospital bed in Portland, Ore. To be in a position where I need that, it hasn't really all sunk in yet.''

Daniels said the trip will be about perseverance.

''If I can get anything out of this, it's something I want to do for a friend,'' Daniels said. ''That when the going gets tough, that he remembers that we're keeping on going for him. He can't quit because we won't quit. And we can't quit because he can't quit. We can make each other stronger that way.''

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