with over 20 years in this amazing place. it's never dull. i hope to enjoy years of exploration here.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
iditarod...the saga continues.
i think as you get further up the trail the conditions are improving. many have no made it past that first part. strange this year on the iditarod site it's not really stating why someone has scratched as they usually do. hmm. anyway. we are up to 15 scratched teams. ramey smyth is out.
in the front of the pack the last i checked was Martin Buser, closely followed by Aily Zirkle. i like them both, but i've been wanting Aily to win for some time. we are due for a woman to take it and everyone likes Aily...but then everyone likes Buser too. they have both taken their mandatory 24 and 8 so the standings will begin to be more clear. still many more miles to go.
i believe above is cindy gallea and below is cindy abbott. they are both out of the race. was happy that abbott didn't try and stick it out beyond her abilities as she did last year. was reading an article that seemed to be applauding her performance and perseverence from last year. she'd injured herself very early on in the race and by the time they told her she needed to scratch she was crawling around on her hands and knees to care for her dogs and had been in one spot for way too long. she was still determined to go on. at some point you are just being selfish in my opinion. rather than put your dogs at risk and put people at risk who now have to come rescue you, one should be sensible and throw in the towel.
she has medical issues which she is trying to persevere through, i can applaud that. you just have to be careful that your noble cause doesn't put others at risk. it inspires many i suppose, but it's a risk that ultimately can be a bit selfish. that early trail was a bruiser on very experienced mushers so it wasn't one to take on lightly. she is smartly wearing a helmet. a few of them are or were, at least for the most dangerous sections.
i'm off of 3 nights of work. all in the ER. place was hoping. last night they mostly had me as a float. people kept thanking me for all my help but really i felt like i was hardly helping out at all. guess i did the tasky things that take up so much of your time as a nurse. seemed like a week of kidney stones and extremely large folks. urine stuff...strange how ER's do tend to come in runs like that.
got my massage today. actually fell asleep. i've still got soreness at the base of my skull. i suspect i torked the ligaments there and that is knotting me up. a bit of a whip lash. when i banged my head the first thing i felt was my neck. not too bad, livable, but i got enough knots without any added help. so massage felt great!
we got to talking about how morbid obesity is becoming more and more accepted as the norm. there seems to no longer be any shame in being severely obese. it occurs to me that now society is paying aids to help these severely obese folks with day to day cares. people unable to wipe themselves after they use the bathroom. i would be mortified, but it seems so casual. i don't wipe cause my arms are too short and can't reach. we were created with the ability to manage such things as a general rule...there are exceptions, but our arms are created long enough for such tasks...the fact was it wasn't the length of the arms but the girth of the body that prevented this seemed to not enter the equation.
additionally in society you can't say what i have just said as it's not politcally correct. we are to go around pretending that obesity doesn't exist. if we say anything then clearly we are being mean. i have no wish to take on the roll of someones longer arms to get to places on their body that one should be able to get to themselves. this is not to say that i have no sympathy for those who are so obese. i feel very bad for them. this sort of obesity impacts every aspect of these people's lives. it's sad to have lost the ability to really get out and live life.
one patient did seem to attempt to pick up on me. this doesn't happen to me very often. while i did not return the affection i must admit that the fact that a male noticed that i was female was appealing. often it seems i've been completely forgotten by the entire male population of the species.
this is Marcelle Fressineau, originally from Switzerland and currently a resident of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. she's toward the bottom of the pack in the race, but hanging in there.
bog yesterday, university lake today. one moose there today.
coughing is kicking in. virus....bronchitis, that is how it goes.
did pretty well at work though. brain feels much better.
a woman leaves her newborn baby in a park in winter months to die rather than leave it with anyone and states she didn't know about the "safe surrender" law. what selfish idiot thinks that killing their baby is a best option? do anything else over killing the kid...we are surrounded by nut jobs!!
this is Travis Beals out of Seward. was talking with a friend about how highly educated most of these mushers are. this guy is only 22 and so he's actually one of the rare mushers that doesn't have a degree. of course it can be a pretty spendy race to run if you aren't somewhat set up via relatives so that may explain why it appeals to people who maybe are adventurous with some means.
above him looks to be Ray Redington, Jr. grandson of the Iditarod co-founder out of Wasilla.
above is twin Anna Berington. she and her sister have made a few runs together. they live in Kasilof.
one of the teams from Norway, he's also brought his dogs from Norway for this race. he's friends with Sorlie, had won the distance races available to him in Norway and came over to give this a shot. i'm wondering what these folks from Norway have thought of our snowless mushing trails this year. he's just out of Ruby at this point so i don't think he'd be in contention here.
loved these booties..so bright and happy. the dogs all seem to be doing well.
the teams generally start with 16 dogs and i believe they must have at least 7 in town as they pass under the burled arch in Nome...the burled arch is wheeled onto the streets of Nome for the race. went there this past summer the was unable to locate the arch which had been rolled off to get spruced up. oh well...i did try and find it.
i believe this is Ramey Smyth munching on a hot dog. these are still all from the run through Anchorage. i'm still looking through my restart photo's. will be tons of dog shots. focused more on getting the mushers for this day.
John Baker is out of Kotzebue, pilot and musher. he won this race a few years back. he was the first Inupiat Native to win the race and also the first person from Alaska's Northwest to win. i'm sure a proud moment for many who know him.
above is Elliot Anderson of Big Lake. below is Kristy...of the twins.
chuckling as none of todays mushers really are of the highly educated categories despite my bringing that up...not that getting multiple degrees makes one wiser or smarter. i've met my fair share of highly educated idiots....if there is a big quake or something...those degrees don't always help much. some have an amazing education in the basics of life and when the crap happens they are exactly who you would want around because they are capable and sensical.
Hugh Neff is always a favorite of mine. he's out of Tok. always seems a bit rough and tumble and fun. i think his sled was the one that said gypsy musher or some such thing. he always wears his cat and the hat hat...and promotes reading...nothing wrong with that!!
he did lose the tie for the restart. haha!!
the drug addicts and alcoholics are sad to me as well, like those who are morbidly obese...just seems such a sad waste of this amazing life we are gifted with. youngish patient with track marks/bruising all over. so sad...so much potential, just left behind. Neff is out there trying to hopefully reach some kid...it's these sorts of things that seed themselves in a kids brain and you hope down the road they can visualize their own magical potential and choose wisely.
i don't necessarily sleep long but i sleep great. it's a gift.
Matt Failor is running his own dogs this year from his own kennel. always fun. he does a a degree...he worked with Busers young dogs previously. often new mushers will connect with established mushers with large kennels. they do the grunt work and get to learn a great deal from the Iditarod veteran and they frequently run the younger dogs to Nome. many who run this race have no immediate intention of winning, the goal is to complete.
this is Alex Beutow out of Fairbanks, a rookie. another young musher, he's been training with Jake Berkowitz. Jake had to scratch this year.
looks to be having a great time out there. some people just have that life makes me happy look about them.
i'm moving slowly on this post. catching up on the papers and trying to put some pertinent info here.
these dogs burn some major calories. i think they have to eat something like 10,000-15,000 calories per day.
thinking this is Katherine Keith. she's working with John Baker, they have a kennel. she's got a degree and sounds to be very energetic and enthusiastic. so she lives in Kotzebue as well. probably a good mix with Baker as he's more soft spoken...though he does do a fair amount of public speaking. i always enjoy irony.
there are always so many great tales on the trail. can't recount them all. i'd suggest the iditarod site as well as Anchorage Daily News and KTUU for more stuff.
took the Aussie musher 24 hours longer to get the 75 miles from Rohn to Nickolai than it took him to get from Austrailia to Alaska. he had a rough go of it. he lost his brake in there and then the line snapped. he's working with Dallas Seavey and running some of his dogs. above is Danny Seavey.
Karen Ramstad out of Canada has the most beautiful dog team. all huskies. so beautiful to see coming and going. she has also scratched this year.they are all papered dogs.
popped over to a friends to help with her sick dog. i used to work ER for dogs and cats so i grabbed my bag and headed over there. pup had perked up though. always stressful when your dogs don't feel well.
my pile of papers seems to be a bit smaller. my to do list is getting longer though. i really should get some crap done on this stretch off. i know, i always say that!!
Ken Anderson has run some races as well. he moved up here after getting a degree and giving in to his mushing bug.
kikkan had a better week at the worlds. too bad she had a crap week with olympics. sometimes that pressure can be too much. her other races it's just her against herself really, when you are doing the olympics i would imagine you feel that responsibility of skiing for the entire nation. i imagine you try not to look at it that way and see it as just another race, but i can't imagine it's really possible.
above is Wade Marrs out of Wasilla
more pretty dogs...supporting immunization of Alaska's kids
i am beat and it's gotten way too late..last musher for the night. Mike Ellis. almost done. sure i skipped a few in the middle there. sorry.
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