Tuesday, March 15, 2011
iditarod 2011, and the winner is....
john baker #53. here are the pictures i took of him and his team in willow. had no idea that day that he would win the race. not only did he win, he did it with the fastest time ever. the trail conditions were perfect for the record breaking run. i think baker is like a work horse, he just kept going. his dogs seemed to respond to him. he didn't seem overly attentive to his dogs as he ran down the main drag in nome. apparently, he had a female in heat that was making thier run a bit rough that last bit. i suspect he was exhausted and overwhelmed as well. he is first inupiat native to win the race. i believe there may have been years ago other native winners, but none from this area of the state.
there were some native drummers on hand to welcome him in. watching the video of the ending i'm thinking nome doesn't look like as much fun as willow. you get to see everyone take off in willow. they may come in in the middle of the night in nome and the temperatures can be brutal. still could be cool to be there for one race ending i guess.
good for baker. he may not be as flashy and fun as some other mushers, but he did get the job done.
he'll be happy to sleep in a real bed and take a hot shower no doubt.
ramey smyth lost time after white mountain rather than gain time. he was still just over 1 hour off of the number one slot. he ran with his dogs down front street.
hans gatt followed a few hours later and then dallas seavey. that was cute as his dad, who was injured and had to drop out, was there to greet him and then spoke very highly of dallas. sweet to see a dad heap such praise on his son. you could tell he was very proud of him as a man and as a musher. they all seemed to average just over 5 mph this last bit. getting tired.
i'll come back to the dogs i missed tomorrow night. just had to sneak john bakers pictures in. after dallas came hugh neff. fun to see kids along the road with cat in the hat hats on!! he is a character and lots of fun out there. sounds like he and sebastian schnuelle spent alot of time together on the trail. he had lots of praise for sebastian and also for his lead dog, who he said led the entire way and is only 3 years old.
shortly after hugh came his friend sebastian. he kept saying he had an older, slower team. he still got them to finish 6th. probably a testament to the devotion the dogs have for him and vice versa. his first act upon stopping his sled was to care for his dogs. i always love to see that. all the dogs that have crossed the burley arch look great. sebastian said he is done with the racing. they asked him if he'd miss it. he laughed and said, "no". he also said his knees, his back and his bank account wouldn't miss it either. not a cheap sport, nor is it for the weak.
this is one of my favorite action spit shots. see the spit flying of the white dog above....?
now you see that it has landed on the black dog. ick!! lots of spit pictures.
ray redington jr has arrived in nome as well. that video clip was cute too, as his little daughter, rushed up for a hug and kiss. he looked pretty happy to oblige!! she was adorable, of course.
denali from long lake with a bald eagle in the tree.
sandra and kristin keep me informed as to which mushers are arriving next. i had to re-focus sandra to her task a few times. perhaps next year, i'll get a few papers so i can secretely have my own.
these are of rick swensons team. he's still hanging in there with his aches, pains and breaks. i'm still making my brother feel like a wimp. a sixty year old can run the iditarod with a broken collar bone, surely he should man up and not whine about his. i'm so mean...but that is what little sisters are for. i saw the clip where swenson went down. he was laid out, but only briefly, like the great musher and dog man he is he was up very quickly, calling for his team. he had fallen off the sled and they just kept running without him. no matter how much pain he must have been in though, one of his first thoughts was his dogs. gotta respect that in a man. he's in 21st place. should be in tomorrow some time...then to get his injuries assessed for real.
peter kaiser, jessie royer and deedee jonrowe will round out the top ten finishers. all three have left safety and will be in nome through the night. deedee has done great!! she is one tough female!! jessie has been in the top ten before as well. girl power. it's been awhile since a female has won...hopefully one of these next few years. lots of competition out there.
i took a walk out rovers run today. i was actually happy to finally see some clouds out there. is that crazy? i mean we've had these amazingly beautiful sunny days and these last 2 days i found myself hoping for a change and some clouds. is something wrong with me? it's all clouded up now. i think you just feel so obligated to get out and be adventurous in that weather. summer is the same. you feel like you have to go, go, go all the time. nice to have a lazy day every so often and get a few things done at home.
did get my taxes done and the cat litter and the yard picked up . it still was a great day outside though. the dogs are happily walked.
felt bad for my one brother as he posted a video on facebook which showed the tsunami wave surge in japan. it really was horrific. such a force. i'm sure there were many lives lost. that water was just too intense. my brother, unfortunately, used the word "amazing" to describe the video. i know he didn't mean amazing like awesome. i think he just meant he was amazed at the force of the water and the power of destruction. it was probably a poor use of the word and he had a friend rip him a new one over it. for me, the northern lights are amazing, a calving glacier is amazing, a humpback breaching is amazing. a gigantic surge of water that wipes out an entire community is probably not amazing, but just horrific. my poor brother. words can be so misinterpreted.
a total of 14 mushers have scratched now. 3 more scratched this past 24 hours i believe. a few because they just didn't have a dog in the lead position. that is not the dogs you want to have to drop. if you lose the leaders, then it's over.
it may still be another 4-5 days before the race is totally over and the red lantern award has been handed out.
i like the brightly coloured booties as it's great for picture taking. really accents the gaits of the dogs.
some of the mushers had those florescent collars on thier dogs at night i noticed. probably helps make sure anyone else there on the trail can see them coming. usually with hte night photography you jsut see thier eyes reflecting off the lights of the cameras.
#46 is a musher from unalakleet, paul johnson. he passed through his town coming through..im' sure he got a warm welcome. he's a rookie, though i believe his brother has also run the race.
didn't get many good pictures of this guy. he's quite handsome though and forgive me, but that is one cute arse with those big furry gloves on it. sorry i digress.
#45 is sven haltman of fairbanks. he and his girlfriend have a mushing company up there. i think they may do trail runs with camp outs..i think that would be fun! even better that he is pleasant to look at. he seemed to be a fun, nice guy too. he started out working with buser in his kennel, who is also a nice guy, before starting his own kennel.
there he is. now if sandra had let me know he was a good looking musher i may have gotten better face shots for you. hehe.
i'll have to explain the importance of her job to her next year.
leader dog,looking back for directions. cute dog.
this is brennen norden of kasilof on the kenai. seems to be another big mushing community. he has scratched. sven is in 13th place though so he should be in nome soon!!
#43, ken anderson of fairbanks has run the race several times. has hit the top ten before. i think that would be position 10 of 10. he is the first of this next wave of mushers leaving white mountain so will probably end up in the 11th spot. not sure how tight those mushers are in that pack.
love when they have cute little muscle shirts on. jeff kings dogs had those. he was missed out there this year. he's always a fun one on the trail. wonder if he'll be back in any capacity at some point.
this looks like bib 42 if i'm reading right. lachlan clarke from colorado. currently in 32nd position and a ways out from nome.
this is one of my favorite pictures from that day. loved the clarity and action in the picture. i think it may be my facebook picture right now.
micheal williams jr from akiak is bib 41. he was the fastest rookie last year, this year he's in 14th place just after sven haltman. sven is 33 years old, micheal 26. i always love that this competition is open to all. the youngest is 19 this year, the oldest maybe 65.
got lazy and skipped my swim tonight. i've been doing that way too often of late. nobody to call me on it. have to chick up and get out there swimming. i do like it. the only bother part is the shower, clothes changing aspect...
blue booties. love all the colours.
left a bottle of water in the car overnight. tried to thaw it out all day. it's still thawing. took it with me to get the taxes done, but it just leaked from expansion. i'm finally able to drink some of it. not sure why i bring that up. i just felt thirsty and thought i'd grab this bottle. it's been in a warm location since about 3p... really tend to avoid the bottle waters. all those bottles and most don't ever make it anywhere but landfills. still think it's crazy that we are all foolish enough to buy water in a bottle when we can filter it at home. still, good to have some on hand, in the event of an emergency. events such as what has happened in japan do make you think of your own preperation for catastrophe. of course, when you think about it. all those homes were destroyed, water logged, burnt. it wouldn't have mattered what they had set aside as far as survival gear/food or water. it was completely useless to anyone. if my house totaly collapses, any reserve i may have could be useless.
these last ones are of gb jones and company. liked the flag and also his team had cute orange booties.
fun to photograph.
should have at least another day of photographs from my day of willow and then i'll probably start adding back pictures from my walks and wanders. my life as a dog walker goes on!!
break up, if that happens, doesn't offer up many photo ops. it's my least favorite time of year. will be a good time to focus on planning the summer treks. gotta finish making plans for my big kayak trek this summer. the tax money should come in handy for that. still have to make reservations in juneau. thought of making a trek down to ketchikan, but i think i'll be ready to come home. will have to get back down there another time. i do miss my days in southeast. such an amazingly beautiful place, when the sun shines!!