Tuesday, March 13, 2012

iditarod 2012, Dallas Seavey wins!! (bibs 44-55)

the mushers are coming into nome. the younger seavey came in first. he is now the youngest to win the iditarod. he's 25 years old. doesn't seem that young for many sports, but they do point out it takes time to breed and build a team for this race..and money. so generally people are a bit older when they run this. of course, this seems to be changing a bit. dallas wasn't afraid to get off his sled runners and run aside or use his pole or his power to help move the sled along. he seems to be very analytical and wanted it. wanting it is usually the biggest factor in any success. aliy came in about an hour after him and ramey about a half hour after her. he came close to getting second place. the first in gets just over 50,000 and a new truck. can't recall when the prize money stops but the first 20+ mushers to nome will get decreasing amounts of cash. with the costs to run this race most will not recoup those costs with thier winnings. it helps and it also helps when you have a kennel and do sled dog runs for tourists to have an iditarod under your belt. was hoping for aliy to win as it's been so long since a chick won. they kept mentioning how young dallas is, but this is his 6th run at this race and he grew up mushing dogs. congrats to dallas and his team. congrats to all who finish. still praying for all the dog teams still out there. may they travel safe to nome. a few more teams scratched today. tom thurston of colorado and willomitzer. as i've just looked i think another team has also scratched today. yes..kirk barnum of idaho also scratched. actually looks like it's more fun to come in after the first place finisher. they have to deal with all those official type people, take pictures, shake hands with everyone. dallas seems to handle it all pretty well though. bibs 53-54 and 55 have all scratched. 55 is cadzow, 54 is from norway furtwangler and 53 is zoya denure. above are some of 55's team, obviously i didn't get a his picture. below is furtwangler. when she came down the trail i thought she had a big ol fur hat on but she just has wild/crazy hair. i was thinking she had better braid it or risk it becoming a huge matted mess. like watching the clips of folks coming into nome. the crowds have thinned already since dallas came in though the locals always have thier favorites. may not be many out there for the middle of the night arrivals. i remember being in st george and all the locals had little portable walkie talkies i think. they'd just make little announcements like the grocery shop will be open for 2 hours or the mail has arrived or whatever. there were only 100 residents there. nome is a bit larger. actually it wasn't started as a native village but is more of a leftover gold rush town. the gold rush continues. have seen the new reality show, bering sea gold i think it is. still a whole different world up there. hopefully i can visit one of these days. both in the summer and for the end of the iditarod. would be cool. my drive out to look for northern lights was a bust. they probably came out soon after i gave up and came home. actually got a bit freaked out up there. strange to be in a pitch black parking lot in the wee hours of the night. kept waiting for some crazy man to come out of the woods and smash the window out to kill me. so not much fun. blossom woke me at about 5am and when i let her out to pee i could see the lights were out. if i had had any energy that would have been the time to hit the dark parts of anchorage for a better viewing. attempted a few pictures, but it can be a bit complicated and i was too sleepy to really contemplate how to make the adjustments. watched for a bit then crashed again, only to be awakened again by blossom for her feeding. they are quite demanding.those dogs get fed alot on the trail, i imagine that would get tiresome. you would need a vacation from dogs after that...perhaps a nice week on a beach in hawaii. must be strange to stop after so many days of going. they were saying you are so tired and think you would just sleep like the dead that first night back in nome, but often you keep waking at odd hours thinking it's time to leave again. the teams have come in with energy though which is always a great thing. dallas arrived around 7:30pm and aliy 1 hour later. will try and load the last 10+ bibs tomorrow and then i'll start getting back to my regular exciting life after that. work again starting thursday. didn't get much accomplished again today, just never felt rested after last night. hopefully tonight i will sleep well. it's cloudy out so no hope of northern lights. i think the predictions are down anyway....until the next solar flare anyway. things like northern lights and polar bears on cloudy days in the snow are reminders of my limitations in photography. always more to learn. heard kids calling our asking for booties in nome. this is pretty common request. mushers will often toss out old used booties. tanya and maddie joined me and the girls on rovers run. not sure how thrilled maddie was but she did get rewarded with cupcakes that i'd made for yesterday and she was having a sleepover tonight. she seemed pretty giddy about that. kept her entertained for the first half anyway. she helped me kick blossoms tennis ball and give play by play to rio about the tennis ball activities. i grew up with 5 brothers, the ones just older than me, tom and joel would often copy the play by play they'd heard watching sports events. i think tom was bigger on this. he'd be out playing basketball in the backyard and i could hear him doing the play by play and then i'd hear the "crowds" roar out when he'd score. just one of those memories. another memory is that sound of tennis shoes on a basketball court. very distinct. anyway, since rio (my mastiff ) is blind i will occasionally give her the play by play of the tennis ball activities so i taught maddie this skill. i don't think they watch many sport events in their homes. i remember howard cosell. my brothers were always imitating him.
anyway, blossom brings the ball back, she drops it, maddie gives it a kick, it's rolling, blossom rushes the ball....you get the idea. i'm a goofball. usually, this is something i do in the house in the evening, not really like i'm on the trails by myself doing this. the pilots from new zealand have made contact so we have a boat to take us to round island, next little float planes will get arranged. all the details. this summer is going to be busy. i'm already ready for winter! hehe, just kidding. hopefully aliy will get her chance again next year. they all will. she is the first woman to win the yukon quest. so she is definitely respected. she gotten awards for her dog care and at the finish line (or burley arches in this case) she went through her line of dogs, giving them lovings and thanking them. ramey came from 30th place to 3rd. quite the feat really. he is deserving of a win one of these days. he'll get some change though for 3rd anyway. #52 is matt giblin of juneau. not too many mushers live in southeast alaska. he is in shaktoolik in 38th place. bib #51 micheal williams jr, from akiak. he's doing well in 9th place headed out of white mountain and towards nome. good run for his second attempt! i think his first time out he just took over his dads team when his dad got sick.in general mushers aren't wealthy. it's a sport you do for the love of it. sebastian schnuelle was talking about ramey and the fact that his sled is not some fancy get up. no seat on his sled, like dallas he's one to be running along side the dogs. he sounds like he takes care of his team well. it was mentioned at rests he had old woolen blankets to wrap his dogs in, he was short one blanket so he wrapped the dogs in his own down coat.
dallas seemed pretty excited about the new ram truck. aliy mentioned that she was really hoping for that truck. many mushers live worse than thier dog teams. i remember hearing about a woman who had heat and water put into the barn she keeps her dogs in, while she went without heat and running water. that is dedication, especially in the environment we live in up here.nice looking team.have been catching up on a few national geo issues. love that magazine, but it's so hard to give them up even after you've read them. they seem to just collect in the house. i know i should just go with the online issue, but it really is a great magazine. don't get too many real mags anymore, but still like my alaska magazine and occasionally i'll get readers digest. there was an article about dog breeds and how most of the breeds we have today have only been created in the last few hundred years. dogs are amazing in how you can vary their looks in just a few generations. something that hasn't been done in other species. pretty wild what variety is out there. the dna shows 4 main groupings, wolflike, herders, hunters and mastifflike.
a group of scientists studied a group of naturally created dogs...the vagrant in villages in rural/remote areas of the world.they wanted to use these dogs to see if they could get a better picture of the domestication of dogs. more of a natural selection process.taking that to the humans...i've often philisophied that we are breeding ourselves out of existence, at least in this country. i often say in the united states it is often more survival of the least fit. we save everyone. this may be to our disadvantage down the road in the big picture. i know that sounds cold, but eventually, we will have more people to take care of than to fight battles and such. we will be easy fodder for any enemy. it will be our downfall. years after i'm gone, though we are headed that way quicker than the general public knows.
the sanctity of life is a good thing, but it may be our undoing. i often wonder if the real test from the gods is what we do with those we love who are ailing. do we let them pass with respect and dignity when their time comes or do we selfishly hang on. so far, from what i see, it is frequently the later.
an oregonian passed away this week. he was a physician who fought for the rights of those with terminal illnesses to chose to end thier lives. the law passed in oregon and he was able to use that to pass away at the time of his choice with his loved ones around him.
#50 above is brent sass, he's a rookie for the iditarod but has several quests under his belt. he's in 13th place in white mountain...so doing well.bib #49 is bob chlupach. his team is siberian huskies. he's not new to the iditarod. has started at least once in every decade the race has been run. he's in the red lantern position at this time. he's left nulato, headed for the coast. he's like 64 years old. i can only hope i am up for something this impressive at that age.pretty team of dogs. huskies are not known for thier speed to nome, but they sure look pretty! i wouldn't want to own one no matter how beautiful they are. they are pretty headstrong and i always laugh that on walks you are more of a pick up/drop off service. i like more of the lab personality where you are thier world and they stay close by.there was also this article about these kittens that they are using to try and prevent hiv/aids. cats get a similar virus and so they are being used in study. they had put a jellyfish luminescent protein in with the antiviral...not sure how it all works, but the kittens glow. kinda cute. wonder if that would catch on. glow in the dark pets. could be a disadvantage in a cat fight i think? how can you toss a magazine like that. my gramps got it for years, probably since the first time they were published. when he was older he would mostly just look at the pictures. honestly, it's a cheap magazine for all that is in it. amazing stories, amazing photo's.bib #48 is hank debrun. another husky musher. he's from ontario canada. scratched his other iditarod, so far this year he is bib 48 in 48th place. he's left unalakleet. these guys are all with bib #47, kirk barnum, who scratched.it was another beautiful day out there. did rovers, but no eagles or moose sighted.debated a drive down the turnigan or a ramble on the coastal refuge, but in the end i was sleepy and hungry. naptime and reading time called to me. always favorite activities.had many sleepovers in my day. mostly with the next door neighbor marie. we met at age 5 and were besties through much of grammer school. we were back and forth to each others homes constantly. lots of sleepovers. we taught each other to ride bikes and ran around all the time. stole flowers from neighbors, made little bouquets and sold them on the street. she chilled with me with multiple litters of puppies and kittens trying to find them homes at the local grocery store. not sure why my parents didn't just get them fixed. back in the day though it took much less to be considered a good pet owner. my pets are all fixed. did get told a thing or two by some adults back then. i was like 7, what did i know of neutering? kids just had way more freedom to come and go. we wandered around where ever we wanted, just had to be home before it got dark.bib #46 is ryne olsen, a rookie. looks like she was having some issues with her team from the start here, but she is still in the race. she is in 24th position in koyuk. looks good. so nice to live in a state where having insects infest your home is a rarity. i'm eating some raisins...i am a grazer and always have snack items nearby. i wouldn't eat raisins for years after finding bugs in a box i'd already half eaten as a kid. ick! alaska has it's share of summer mosquito's but for most of the year...no bugs!! also no snakes, which i don't miss either.bib #45 is ed stielstra from michigan. in 23rd position. so not doing too badly either. lastly is the next guy to come into nome tonight. aaron burmeister. he is out of safety. should be in nome anytime. he's actually from nome originally so i'm guessing there may be a nice welcoming for him out there tonight,no matter how late. have more bibs to post and will continue to try and tell what i can read up from the trails a bit. most should be in within the next 24-48 hours. the pack was pretty close this year. off to read more interesting articles and get some solid sack time.

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