Tuesday, March 4, 2014

iditarod, rough trail out there....

 6 have already scratched.  that is a lot.  several others haven't scratched but are hurting. these are from ceremonial start.  above team went into crowd.  he came out with that child on the runners. he let the kid ride a bit them stopped the team and told the kid to run on back to his parents.  that kid was so excited!!
 above is Linwood Fiedler from Willow, he's one of the scratches. he's done 16 iditarods.  DeeDee is also out...as is Guenther, Gallea,Santo's and Jim Lanier, who's run many races.
 Lanier heard a pop as his achilles tendon went out.  many mushers have been beat up on this trail or lack of trail.  i suspect there will be some talk that maybe they should have opted to take the northern route after all.  for some the steps went well, for others not so well.  sounds like some of those more dangerous bits they had done some serious trail work on to make it passable.
 some of it will just be planning and hanging in there.  i think Buser changed his runners many times over, thankfully he had spares as the trail or lack of just went through those things and tore them up. different sleds are made of different materials and for some this trail is going to just prove too much for them.  the reports i hear are that the dogs themselves are managing the trail conditions no problem.
 the musher just have to make sure they stop and water them more often.  the dogs often just grab snow on the fly to help keep them hydrated and that hasn't been an option out there for much of the snowless trail.
 # 30 above is rick casilla out of willow as well.  he's done 4 iditarods but hasn't been out there for several years.  he and his wife work with wounded vets.  below is the one who picked up the little kid...this is his team in the crowd.
 he is Paul Gebhardt of Kasilof.  i think he's done at least 15 iditarod races.
 Burmeister sounds like he dislocated his knee.  extremely painful. he came in to the next check point asking if they could look around for a brace.  amazing that hasn't taken him out.
 i think the trail is littered a bit with gear and bits of sleds that have fallen off.  it's a rough ride and the mushers get bounced around.  washboard driving on a sled.
 Justin Savidis of Willow above has been in 3 iditarods.
 several teams are settling in for their mandatory 24 hour break . they can take that when they wish i think pretty much.  several teams are doing so in Nickolai.  thankfully, it's looking like some snow is coming, at least to our end.  the trail may improve soon.  not soon enough for the teams i suspect though.
 Karen Hendrickson, above, is out of Wasilla.  grew up in California, has done a few of these races.  she looks happy above...someone was handing out girl scout cookies to the teams.
 i'm trying to rest today as this cold bug is really annoying.  hate that sinus feeling.  the headaches and the snot...it really is hell, but i keep reminding myself there are way worse things to have so i'll just try to chill and survive my nights of work. 3 nights to go.  wish me luck with that!
 Martin Buser, above, again took off this year to get a quick lead. he lives in Big Lake.  he's originally from Switzerland.  he became a US citizen under the burled arches, he won the iditarod and is hopeful to win again.
 we will have to wait and see if his plan to get an early lead works out better than it did last year.  a lot will depend on the continued trail conditions and how beat up the teams behind him are.  he's beat up as well.  big bruise on his ankle and his knees were hurting.
 Lanier, out of Chugiak, has scratched as i said.  he is 73...this trail would be tough on the young ones...i can imagine how painful all that extra bouncing could do to a body with a few more miles on it.  he's a retired pathologist.i think this may be his first scratch.  it sounded like he pondered it long and hard.
 it was suggested that he may want to drop.
 he's run an Iditarod race at least once in every decade the race has been run.  that is 5 decades and he was hoping to make this run a 6th decade run...he'll have to see how he feels about a repeat.
 always love the booties.  not as many teams bootied up as it was so warm i think
 last of the day before i head to work...Jake Berkowitz.  he lives in Big lake...you can see a trend as to where the teams collect to live in Alaska.  there are some pockets out there.  i think he had a rough year this year as some people keep dogs at his kennels and when they came to visit their kids were running around visiting the dogs.  one kid got attacked.  not sure what all happened.  in the end the dog was put down.  it is always a risk, so many dogs i guess.  he's a good racer and has won the Seppala Humanitarian award for his dog care which is a coveted award by all the mushers out there.
rio's tummy is really grumbling.  she didn't want to eat breakfast. she's acting a bit hungry now so i have been cooking her some rice.  hopefully, i don't return home in the morning to a nasty surprise.


  1. Love these shots of a little known, very cool American tradition. I need to see it, at least once.

  2. Thanks for keeping us ex-pats up to date. Hope you feel better soon and good luck at work