Sunday, February 28, 2010

anchorages fur rondy....

fur rondy sprint racing has been going on since the start of the fur rondy back in 1935. the purse is around $80,000 so not too shabby. i took these pictures out at my "secret" dog mushing watching spot out of n. bivouac trailhead. these dogs love to run. you can't hear them coming really. just occasionally you will hear the mushers commands. as they speed past you you hear the dogs breathing and a whoosh of them. it's a pretty amazing thing to watch actually.
the teams seemed to have 12-18 dogs and they run at about 20 mph and take up to 50 feet to stop.

hard to catch that speed on film. i put it in action mode and just figured i'd see what came out.

these dogs love to run. it's amazing how much power they have.

as i got settled in on my little hill the first musher came was jeff king. he is known for winning the iditarod and will no doubt be racing that next weekend, but for today he had always wanted to do this fur rondy race. it was just me and famous jeff king out there and he gave me a smile and a wave. i think the mushers that went by mostly ignored me, i think a few were surprised by the well behaved dogs...their dogs generally didn't seem to notice us either. we were blocked by a few tree's which probably helped.

blossom and rio were both really good about the dog teams running past. they suggest you not bring dogs near the dog teams, saying they get scared, blossom seemed to really like watching the teams rush past. she seemed fascinated by it all. we were up this little hill where i go to watch the local sled dogs run. it's about a 2 mile walk from the n. bivouac trailhead. i think that is enough for blossom to be a bit tired out. she'd watch a team rush by and then turn and look toward where the teams come out of the above.

this mom moose and her baby were on the road as i drove to the fur rondy. alaskan's needed a way to deal with cabin fever and thus the fur rondy was created years ago. there are tons of events over the next two weeks. this snow sculpture is one of the events.

sandra, my friend who joined me for the rondy today, is friends with the designer/sculpter of this one. love the native kayak design, very cool. sandra seemed skeptical when i said i was bringing the dogs along. in the end the dogs brought us so much attention she now says we are taking them everywhere. where ever we walked you could hear people talking..."look at those dogs", "that's a big dog"...we had many requests for pettings and photographs. sandra had no idea what it was like to be out in a crowd with dogs. of course, my last dog, huey, would have gone nuts in this setting, but blossom and rio do really pretty good. they are both totally exhausted now and i hope i didn't strain rio's knees too much with the stairs coming up from the railroad tracks.

the main event we were headed downtown for was the outhouse races. groups creat funky outhouses, put them on ski's and then race them on 4th avenue. it's pretty funny. here are two teams at the turn-a-round and headed for home.

before the races they line up and do a little parade. some of the teams and team names are quite imaginative. i don't remember many of them, but this one obviously is the flying duck farts. cute dog i thought.

this one looked very alaskan, and even had the extra-tuffs. i'm sure peta wouldn't approve. lots of fur everywhere.

i can't read the signs on the dogs but this one is called "going rogue" so i suspect it's a bit negative about palin...i also suspect she'll be on her twitter whining about it later.

blossom was terrified of these horses and slipped her leash. scared me as we were trying to pass the horses to cross a busy street. we had to get her back on leash and then loop totally around the horses. not sure why she got so spooked, but there it is. i guess if you're a dog they could look pretty scarey.

part of the fur rondy celebration is the snow sculptures. they are still working on them, which was kinda cool to see. i guess this is the 75th year of the fur rondy. that's a pretty long running event.
sandra in front of the annual fur auction. well, hide and horn auction i think. they sell of hides that were taken from illegally poached, killed in self defense/accidently or from animals that became a threat and had to be killed. i think the proceeds from those kills go back to fish and game or whatever.
they have the full carnival going and there was this ski/snowboard hill. looks pretty flimsy and unsafe to me. i guess they ride down this and up another little hill and then over the road. wonder if the hospital will fill up. they weren't all wearing helmets.

polar bear on ski's. looks like the coke bear a bit. well, as usual it's getting late and i am getting tired...and hungry. kept skipping meals today and just grabbing whatever, whenever. i annoy friends as i frequently forget i was hungry and move onto other stuff. apparently, it's not normal to forget to eat. i was getting hungry doing my laps tonight. i squeezed in my 30 laps (60 lengths). i'm excited as i finally have a new swimsuit for tomorrows laps. i have pre-written my lap days on my calendar and have not missed one this whole month...yeah me!!

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