with over 20 years in this amazing place. it's never dull. i hope to enjoy years of exploration here.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
iditarod 2013...dogs, dogs, dogs
and a few mushers too! i think i took more pictures of the dogs this year. was a bit lazy and just used my 300 zoom for the days shots. drove out with katie and met friends out at long lake in willow. the big festivities are on the first lake with the official start. a few of my favorites were right off the bat so above is lance mackey and below is martin buser.
another favorite hugh neff isn't running this year. not sure why. last i checked buser was making a bit of an early run for it. his dogs were feeling great and the snow conditions suited his team. it's very early in the race and one never knows what will happen in a day or two. doesn't hurt to get a bit of a lead i suppose though, as long as your dogs are willing and able. buser is known for taking good care of his dogs and knowing them well.
he's taken 29 trips to nome and came in first on 4 of those trips, i'm sure he'd love to add a 5th to that list.
we saw several helicopters out there on long lake. part of that may be a film crew that will be following mackey through the race. supposedly it will be a documentary titled, "lance".
there are only two entries from anchorage. several from the bush, which is always great to see, and a few from other countries. russia, norway, jamaica and brasil are represented, as well as canada of course.
above is the "mushing mortician", who is one of the ones from anchorage. scott janssen. this is only his 3rd run and he's not placed higher than 30th, but not too many morticians race dogs so he seems to have gotten a name for himself. i think us folks in anchorage like having one of ours out there.
personally, i'm up for a female win and ally zirkle is our best hope...go ally!! she and her husband both run, he ran and won the quest this year, allen moore.
this willow group is always out there on long lake with that sign up. must be stored at someones house each year. there were several ski equipped planes out there. they took off as the last few mushers will passing by us. bam, bam, bam they all took off. denali was in view through much of the day...always a treat.
love to catch those long tongues..crazy!
we had a good group for the monday walk today. another beautiful day out there. warm. did spy a few mosquito's out there though. word on the street is that a few bears are waking up out at the conservation center already. it's been relatively warm, upper 30's to lower 40's even.
some mushers i got nice face shots of, others you can just see numbers...the dogs are what i was watching more i guess.
two teams stopped out there. the helicopter hovered with a dude hanging out with camera's. i would not want to be the person hanging off a helicopter with a camera. no thank you!!
when a dog picture doesn't turn out very well, i often will just crop it down to one particular dog or just a paw shot like this. i do love the paw shots with all their booties. supposedly they are required to carry two sets of booties for each dog, i would suspect they carry more. of course, i'm not sure if what all they have in their drop bags at checkpoints...can they have stuff besides food for dogs in those...like extra booties. they seemed to already to falling off several of the dogs by the time we got to them.
do musher prefer to put the boots on their own dogs at the official start and not risk having them all fall off by being poorly put on by rookie handlers? one never knows.
jodi bailey here at number 4. she's done a few and has also done the quest. she was actually the first person to be rookie to both iditarod and quest in the same year i believe. she's bib 4. bib 1 is only ceremonial..nobody wears that. the others draw their bib numbers at a pre race meeting.
there are many pre-race requirements that they must fulfill. they entry fee itself to run the race, non-refundable i imagine is $3000.00. ouch.
i like to get the racers coming and going. the dogs look cool from behind and the snow is plowing behind the team. some musher seemed to be trying to slow their teams down. i'm sure the dogs are totally hyped up to run at the start.
though the temperatures in the 30's and 40's are pleasant for us, for the dog teams that is pretty toasty. they prefer to run at like 10 degrees. often the mushers will rest their teams during the days more and run them at night.
the race now a days finishes up by like 15 days total. if you are lagging behind too much they may scratch you. the first "race" lasted for 32 days i think before the final musher showed up in nome. they have cut back on that vacation racing quite a bit. can't staff the trails with volunteers forever. there are tons of volunteers. always seems odd to me, but many of the volunteers fly in from other states just for this, and have for years.
mackey will probably be too focused on his movie this year to win.
ken anderson has ran 12 iditarods. no wins yet. he lives in fairbanks.
sydney got to toss the tennis ball for blossom a few times. two cheap tennis balls destroyed. even blossom destroys there, they are so cheap. amy r hoofed it around the lake twice...she was pretty happy. soon she may be able to join us on a monday walk. for now, she and lucy came to coffee. i didn't make any treats today. i've been bad about baking this year. i really should get more motivated.
tiffany and aaron got there a bit late, but they made it out there. i was surprised how quickly he got that fire going. he uses the drum of a washer or dryer...? anyway. all those holes are great for dispersing the heat.
i think his buddy rode off after the teams were past on the snowmachine and got it stuck in a creek. they will have to go back for it i guess. what a bother. some other dude flipped over on his snowmachine and i think he got taken away by a team. lots of sirens as we were leaving for the day. we also passed an accident that caused all the cars to be diverted a bit. looked like several snow machines bit it on that one, but hopefully no people. we call em snowmachines up here, not snow mobiles...fyi
love the cool coloured booties!!
and the muscle shirts too!!
off to nome.
mini hot flash. burn. yikes. i head back to work tomorrow night. i orient to the emergency room from what the schedule says. er and peat will be the units that will take the most adapting too. a little different charting/paperwork and flow for sure.
dogs love to cool off in the snow. on "hot" days like this anyway.
these got out of order. the jamaican musher, newton marshall, stopped right in front of us. he finished the iditarod once and scratched another time. he gets a lot of attention due to the jamaica thing. one doesn't really see jamaica as a place for dog mushing. it isn't. but he got introduced to it somehow and came up here to learn.
michelle phillips was bib 7. she is seen leaving above and had the pups with those brightly coloured booties and cool shirts.
she's from the yukon territory, canada, and has done a few iditarods.
nice to have a team stop right in front of you for a few photo ops. a few teams seemed to be headed towards the reindeer dogs that were cooking in our group.
life goes on here in anchorage and those dogs keep running. i read the paper and check in at the iditarod site for updates. the sleds all have gps and it's fun to watch the action on the web site. speeds vary, but i think buser was averaging around 8 mph with his team.
they all take breaks when they feel like it or their teams need it. they also have some required breaks. 2 8hour and a 24 hour break.
and newton is on his way...
i will just add more dog pictures, relay what i've read and heard. enjoy and please comment....all i am getting is spam and that is annoying.
finished my jodi picoult book. they are easy reads but the details and facts are always a bit frustrating. poorly investigated or she's one who cares less about such details. oh well. i better go sleep. i think i'm still tired from all the weekends activities.
have lived in alaska since 1995, lived in ketchikan for 6 years and here in anchorage since 2001. it's a wonderful place and i enjoy getting out nearly daily for a walk/hike/stroll or ramble. enjoy the pics