Sunday, February 24, 2013

rondy, dogs and outhouses

 78th annual fur rondy!! always a popular anchorage event.  i enjoy the festivities more with each passing year.  it began as a way to get the folks out and about and stave off cabin fever.  there are collector pins from decades ago, i guess they made pins in those early days to use as "tickets" sorta.  the events were begun to coincide with the influx of trappers and miners who came into town to sell their stuff.
 originally children raced dog teams down main  street.  now a fairly well known sprint race for mushers.  i missed it my paper this morning and yes, they did change the route. it's a wee bit shorter because of it.  they had trail issues someplace out there in the section where i was yesterday.
 so today i walked the dogs at campbell airstrip. we walked rovers run to moose meadows...they i put the dogs in the car and headed to the airstrip itself.  the teams would all  be coming through.  most of the viewers are downtown i think.  but like here, people line up around the route to watch the teams rush by.  i think there were only like 15 teams.  they race fri/sat and sun before someone is crowned winner.  there were several people at this site by the time the dogs came past.
 didn't take many photo's on the is one.  these are all with the canon rebel today.  i will have to add the others later from the little powershot.  fun shots in there as well.
 a husky team.
 still love everything a wee bit better in black and white.
 both the dogs are happy and tired tonight so the loop around rovers must have been sufficient.
 the winner of these dog races gets $70,000...not bad for a few days of work. okay, running a kennel is a 365 day a year job.  some people hate dog mushing...there will always be some people who mistreat their dogs and admittedly  there will occasionally  be a dog that dies in an event.  still, these dogs are born and bred to run and most are treated quite well.  they considered part of the family for many of these mushers.  you gotta watch em run to really appreciate them.  the power is amazing.   many are fine with sprint races and just are against the endurance races.  things keep improving and i think those who have spoken out about racing and dog treatment and care have helped make it a better sport for the dogs and so i can appreciate that as well.
 bought fur rondy pin/button today.  met sandra downtown to hit the outhouse races.  she seems to always get me to spend money. haha.  the pin had an owl on it and the booster button had a polar bear.  how could i say no.  the money helps to fund the rondy so it's all good.  i have not been a collector of the fur rondy pins, but they are kinda fun i guess.
 lots of dogs downtown today.  i have occasionally taken mine there as well.  today i figured they'd had enough and it takes some extra attention to deal with them in the crowds.  can't go into any stores and blossom gets scared of the big horses with the carriage rides.  they are magnets for attention though.  the first time i had them there with sandra she was quite amazed at how much attention the dogs got.  she was begging me to bring them again the next year almost.
 gotta say my body is sore.  between all that shoveling and snowshoeing yesterday and the walking and swimming today...i did hit the pool. it was warm, but the room was totally cold and then there was this haze in the water.  it's usually super clear.  hope that is improved by the next time i go.
 may require some ibuprofen tonight.  when i am out kayaking i premedicate for the days activities with ibuprofen.  in general i tend to just not think to take anything and just push the pain out of my head. bit of a headache this morning from all the knots that build up on my back/neck and behind my scapulas and such.  headache gone, knots, not so much.
 gotta love these dogs!!
 it's good practice for me for next weekend and the iditarod. we shall have to see what the weather is like for that.  today was in the 20's at least.  a bit chilly sitting in the snow.  on the trails i was stripping down.  may be getting some hot flashes or perhaps i have some horrible cardiac disease that i'm unaware of.  could be aids or tb too...hmmm.  that is the problem with having any sort of medical background.  you get hot and suddenly you come up with several life altering/threatening things it could be.  i may have just gotten hot out there.

 seems like nearly all the rondy events involve costumes.  people seem to enjoy dressing up to relieve cabin fever.  it's also a "fur" rondy so one must be prepared for the many furs that can be spotted about town.  this is the week to wear every sort of fur anything you have. PETA would not be happy here in anchorage this week.  saw many hats with wolf heads as the hat.  there were some travel nurses who were asking which rondy events they want to hit.  i warned them that there would be an abundance of furs out there at any and all events you attend.
 it gets cold up here.  trappers still roam the hills of alaska and people still buy furs. those are the facts of life in the 49th state.
 we also call snowmobiles, snowmachines.  it's just a different place up here.
 the rondy brings out the silly in everyone.  next weekend the iditarod will start and will overlap with the fur rondy.  i haven't attended the running of the reindeer yet.  another dress up event.  the caribou are released and people run with them.

 haven't looked outside for a bit, but it was snowing pretty good awhile ago. will i be shoveling tomorrow?  i have done more shoveling this month than i have the rest of the winter.

 the teams curve around where i sat down. then i think they head back to town.  i don't really follow the sprint races other than just to take pictures of the teams and watch.

 luckily no teams veered off course and ran through me.  they do seem fairly close.  most of these i took with the macro lens.  there was that one big open area of blue skies...otherwise it was all grey clouds.  we were lucky today i 'd say.
 sitting down to gain speed.  there were a few teams that were close and one team passed another on the straight away after they passed us.  trail didn't look wide enough for two teams, but if you want to win you have to take some chances.
 24 miles racing with a team will probably be tiring.  it's not like the mushers just sit there on the sled and the dogs just do all the work.  that is what is kinda cool about my little secret spot that i tried yesterday.  it's so quiet out there.  first you hear a few sounds of the musher calling out commands, eventually you see the team come out of the woods.  then it's the sounds of the dogs, paws pounding, focused on the task ahead.
 this is a closer look at the blanket used in the blanket toss.  looks like it's pieced together from leftover hides.  originally i think the natives used the blanket toss for fun,but also it's very flat land  up there.  it was a way to get someone up to have a look around.  a person can be flung pretty high.  like i said i have pictures of people being tossed up so i'll put those in tomorrow
  a few wolf hides and a wolverine hide for sale. i think they were going for about $500 each.  the wolverine may have been more spendy?  not sure or i can't remember.
 another closer picture of the blanket.  everyone grabs the handles and that is how the thing's human powered.  people love to gather and watch the blanket toss.  sandra and i both got grabbed in to take a hold and help out.  that was pretty fun. i've never been tossed on the thing, but there is always a line and i'm not keen on heights so i may just stick to helping toss others.
 blue skies at campbell airstrip
 a few more dog shots with the zoom lens. the others above were all macro.
 just tried to change it up a bit.

 this guy was really covered with snow and spit.
 this little girl was at the outhouse races.  she was on her dads shoulders and he was taking pictures.  there were people in tree's trying to get a good sighting for the outhouse races...always a very poopular event!! hehe. she just looked cute in her fur...see everyone is wearing fur out there.
 downtown...the old theater is currently boarded up. someone did a snow sculpture of it this year. i think i posted one of that yesterday.
 humpy's a local bar and grill always seems to enter a team...liked this guys skirt and legs.  men really should wear skirts more often...the scottish have that right!
 these really speak for themselves. we watched the parade. we actually got great spots at the end. i'm always on the sidelines battling it out.  a few girls came and stood next to us, then this rather large pair of women pushed their way up in front of those two girls, then she looked back and was all, is this okay.  her arse was totally blocking the view of the one girl who had sat down. i know it's all not politically correct to notice that people are larger than they should be, but it would help if they would at least be realistic as to the limitations they have due to their size.  standing right in front of others is one of are large and people can't see around you lady!!  i kept thinking more people would rush the area we were in once the races began, but they really didn't.
 this one had a pooh bear theme.  poor poo poo bear!
 of course, sandra and i had some idea's for future that they should all be required to carry a honey bucket loaded with candy bars in hot cocoa and then after the race they should check for spillage.  time could be deducted.
 we didn't stay for all the heats of the races.
 we'd seen some baleen that was scrimshawed that i think we both wanted to get back to before the place closed for the day.  when i went to churchill the scrimshawed baleen that hung over my fireplace fell down and butch went to town on it. that one had a dog team on it and this one did as well.  so i finally found one that i felt i could replace the old one with. it was a painful loss, but the loss was put into perspective due to the fact that my plane almost crashed returning from the trip.  things like a chewed up baleen just don't matter when you were afraid you were going to die.
 all the teams looked to be having a good time and the kids love it as they all seem to have loads of candy to throw out to the crowd.
 this guy is actually doing just that and not sharting.
 the duck farts are always a crowd favorite.
 there have been a few spills over the years, but i don't believe there's been any hospital admits due to the race.

 anyway...everyone seemed to have a great day.
 not sure what i'm up to tomorrow. dinner with friends at some point so that will be fun!!
 for today, i shall retire and read a page or two of my book before i crash.
enjoyed my day and all the fun events. bills.  i know which will win...but i will have to balance that bank account tomorrow. gotta as there is that native craft sale coming up next week at the dimond mall and mama needs a cool piece of art to hang in the guest room!!

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