Sunday, March 3, 2013

ceremonial start, iditarod 2013

 woke up early to go downtown.  didn't get moving as fast as i had hoped, but i figured that could happen. i wasn't meeting anyone so i could make all sorts of mental excuses. it gets crowded downtown, but it still is a fun atmosphere to take some snap shots in.  tomorrows prep is much more serious.
loved this sled dog chilling on a camp chair.  such a cutie!!  i think i remember him from last year.  most sled dogs don't have this much fur.  i'm sure hundreds of people got this same picture...maybe not in black and white i guess.  hopefully, i will do better getting moving tomorrow morning.  katie is driving out to willow with me so that should get me more motivated!
 this guy is a rookie from norway.
 i left downtown soon after the first musher left, that musher was buser.  i then headed up to the area around university lake and the native hospital to  watch the mushers go past.  it's crowded. i love watching the kids out there, but they also drive me a bit nuts so i only stayed for about half of the teams.  i was ready to pick up the dogs and go for a walk of my own.
 a few more of the lounging dog from when i first got there...see no booties yet.
 love checking out all the various doors to the dogs little kennels.
 it takes awhile to get them all out on the trail.  today they just go 11 miles through anchorage.  it's an 11 mile long party here.  the mushers have iditariders on board.  they bid in an auction for the honor and this raises money for the event.  most of them looked to be having a great time.  it's kinda spendy i think, but it would be a blast i think.
 a few young "handlers".  they had a bag of dog booties filled with candy to hand out to people on the street. the musher is known as the "mushing mortician" and lives in anchorage.
 would be fun to be a handler i think.  not sure how much down time they all get for taking pictures, but it does get you inside the fences which would be fun.
wonder where they hand out press passes.  haha.  had to put this one in as she is from ketchikan, where i lived for 6 years.
 the jacket belongs to another anchorage musher, lives on my side of town.  her first try at this race.
 liked this young musher by the sled.  the sleds will be packed tomorrow with gear for the trail.  they usually are out there for 9-15 days. i'd need 3 sleds for that if i was going. i'm not known for packing light.
wore my new fur fingerless gloves out there and they worked great...even got a compliment on them.  will be sure to take those out to willow.
 did a lot of walking today really. i'm sore tonight.  walked all over downtown twice. first in the morning for the dogs and then later in the afternoon with the dogs in an attempt to watch the "run with the reindeers".  place was packed though and i was there on time, but just barely.  the line up to "run" went for at least a block it seemed that was my best view of the event.  just another reason to dress up.  there are many reasons to dress up these past weeks and alaskans love to don costumes.  i'm begining to think many of them must have a spare closet just for costume materials.  tonight is the miners and trappers ball, another costumed event.
so the reindeer event was lots of people in costumes sorta half jogging down the street with about 15 caribou who seemed to know they just needed to jog along and get to the other end.  they got led back down the road for 3 races.  i'd seen enough.  the dogs were enjoyed by many though.
 took the dogs after walking at the beach from kincaid to the sledding hill just to check it out.  we ran into lots of tourists from various countries. they couldn't get enough of the dogs...just a continuation of the dogs from this morning.
 always amazing how many people across the globe follow this race.  the one was from switzerland and she said they have sprint races for dogs, but nothing long like this.  so i'm sure many folks in town this week living out a dream they've had for years...just attending the event.
 no pictures of the run with the reindeer...i'm not tall pictures were just crowd and maybe a few antlers here and there.  everyone out and having fun it seems though.
 there are two mushers here on some racing beringia project?  not sure what that is, but one is from russia and one is from norway.  their studies include time spent on runners of a dog team somehow.
 king flew past me, but some kid had moved right in front of me at her mothers request to get pictures. the kid even looked at me and asked, "am i in your way" to which i responded that she was...she just turned around and took pictures.  at that point i moved to another location rather than get more and more annoyed. people are so inconsiderate at times.  the mother had come in after everyone was settled and stood in front of another guy with his kids.  he'd asked her to step back so she should have been fully aware.
there were these two adorable toddlers behind me.  the one kid did a faceplant in the snow on purpose. then she was in like downward facing dog position.  i was cracking up.  lots of families out there, kids sledding between dog teams and such.
 this is a kupsuk on someone out there.
 i think this is buser.  i made pretty good time getting from downtown to this spot.
 here he is downtown.  this guy has the deepest dimples i've ever seen.  his son rohn has run before, but is taking a break this year.  he's so into the iditarod that his kids all have been named after various checkpoints.  i remember him becoming a US citizen after one race in 2002 in nome.  sled dogs have been good to him and he to them as well.
 there was fog downtown this morning, it was clear at my end when i got to native, then when i returned to kincaid it was still foggy.  it was clearing some by the time i headed back downtown.  fog is fun though. i'll have to post all the usual dog walk shots after i finish with the iditarod shots for the year.  i generally take loads of shots during the restart in willow so i hope you like dogs...if not you may want to take a few weeks break.
 polar bears will remain on the threatened list.  they are apparently the first animals to be listed based on future global warming threats.  i'm happy with it.  i'm a fan of polar bears and walrus, whose numbers are both really hard to get accurate counts of due to their huge territories and the difficulty of getting out there to count them.

 there are 66 teams this year and most teams start with about 16 dogs so a total of over 1000 dogs running around 1000 miles.  it's actually less than 100 even though all the signs and stuff say 1049.  one also gets $1049 just for finishing i believe.  it can cost nearly $50,000 to run from what i've read. i'm sure it's a bit easier if your family has readily available dogs like the seavey's and busers.

 another young handler out there this morning.
 deedee signs autographs.  she's run over 25 iditarods.
 love all the colours, the sleds, booties, lines, harnesses, very fun!!
 sebastian schnulle. i'm totally sure i misspelled that one.  he's not running again, perhaps he's done doing the race. he writes a blog and was out there taking photo's today.  he's hard to miss with that mop of hair.
 that fur will probably cover the iditarider for their ride through town.  i think many of those guys are from out of state or even out of the country.
 more sleds and colour!

 can always spy a few fun license plates.  i htink it's cool that as a finisher you can get the finisher plate.

 so a few finishers in here. fast dog, mush girl and snow hook...!
 the scene of downtown this morning with the fog.  last year it was snowing.  just hope it's nice for the restart.  it usually is it seems.  it's like the rose parade! they always seem to come up with blue skies every year.
 liked this one with the dog looking out.
 more dog kennels.  many are heated.  they have straw in for warmth though as well.

 one of the npr shows on while i drove around had people come up with other things horses could turn up in...a spoof on the horse meat in europe thing no doubt.  one said, they will use them in nascar to save on gas, another said we'd see one on the roof of romney's car and a third said we'd see horses in shampoo commercials which i liked because of it's randomness.
some would say, who cares about the horse meat, meat is meat, but if it hasn't been raised for consumption you don't know what stuff the horse has been given or exposed to.  could be bad.
 can't say 100% but i believe this may be the musher from norway's truck?  very cool and unique.
 there was a lot of barking and activity downtown as you can imagine.  we are a fairly large city, but for the second weekend in a row many streets downtown were closed to any traffic.  nobody really seems to mind this inconvenience. locals seemed to be out in droves enjoying all the festivities.

 my dogs were going crazy sniffing when we went back in the afternoon.  1000 dogs leave a lot of markings. the dog news coming from all over was overwhelming i'm sure.  rio is snoring away.

 a few more of the dogs and such.  this are pretty blended.  i just started at the top and worked down on the pictures i loaded tonight.
 dogs are fun subject matter for photography in my opinion.  not as many cool coloured booties out there this year.  perhaps at the restart.

 these dogs are termed "alaskan sled dogs".  they are bred, but not accepted as an official breed.  you won't see them in the AKC.  they are not big dogs really.  somewhat tall, but i think most are like 50 pounds.
 this guy was an iditarider turned musher i guess.  this is his rookie year.
 loved this guy's face. so cute.

 more dogs waiting...they don't seem to like being kept waiting.
well, i think i shall crash for the night so i can get an early start again tomorrow.  would be fabulous to get the dogs walked before i take off.  we shall see how ambitious i feel in the morning.  back to work tuesday night. i think i'm supposed to orient to the emergency room. will be happy when i'm feeling more confident in the various units/positions.

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