Sunday, March 9, 2014

last of ceremonial start of iditarod

 last i checked Aily was in lead with Buser close behind.  more and more of the teams have completed their mandatory 24 and 8's.  they'll still have another mandatory 8 at white mountain.
 teams are moving pretty fast from what i read.  they have gps and you can see how fast they are going.  when they are moving you can see speeds of 5-11 mph. that's pretty fast.  sometimes they try and slow them down so they don't tire  themselves out.  they stop often to water and snack the pups.
 this guy is out and there are now i think 16 scratches.  Nicholas Petis from Girdwood scratched today.
 my to do list just keeps growing.  you always think..i'll do that in the winter when there is more time to kill but then the outdoors calls me and i never have that free time.  i'm big on living life and enjoying each moment i can, but that means my to do list often gets neglected.
 today was another beautiful day outside.  i took a chance and asked a friend if she was up to take a walk out on portage lake to the glacier.  it's about 2 miles walking on a frozen lake each way.  i'd never been nor had she. a friend had gone yesterday so i knew conditions were as good as they were gonna be.
 walking on lakes to glaciers is not without risks and upon comparing photo's maureen took yesterday and the ones i took today it is clear that a huge section of the glacier fell onto the lake sometime early today.  maureen said a friend of hers was far back on the lake thankfully when this happened but did feel the lake ice on the impact.
 there were cracks and a guy near us wandered over to where the blue ice was and did report seeing open water over there.  nature is to be respected.  the things we do are risky, but we do them anyway.
 i laugh when people think i'm adventurous.  as i watch those way more adventurous than i take these dog teams nearly 1000 miles across this great state i know that i am not really all that adventurous.  by comparison to other peoples lives in my way i guess i have a bit of adventure.  i try to be cautiously adventurous as i see myself as a wimp really.
 this looks like great fun on the surface.  running a team of dogs across the amazing terrain of Alaska.  watching that video of Jeff King though, no way in hell i'd want to be in that position.  being dragged with a sled fast with stumps and rocks threatening me at every turn.  just risking hypothermia and frost bite getting dogs bootied up and then off.  there is open water and water on top of ice to deal with and the occasional ticked off moose.
 i don't like heights or going super fast so though in my mind this sounds amazing.  it's not something i would be able to do.  i am in awe of those who do and terribly jealous of those moments when they are out there on the trail alone in the night with that quiet sound of the dogs running and the northern lights dancing over their heads.  i'm sure they put up with all the risk and difficult tasks for those moments.
 life is thrilling if you allow it to be.
 i'm often grateful that my life didn't take the path well trod and instead took the road less traveled.  we don't all have to grow up, get married, have kids.
 you assume that you will but when life takes you in another direction you just must embrace that and not feel badly that those usual things didn't happen to you.
 so today for me was a mini adventure.  a measured risk.  i survived and got a few lovely photo's
 ran into a few friends who were volunteering for the Iditarod. there is a large volunteer contingency that keeps this race going.  many work their way up through the volunteer corp and seems like they have a great time of it.  many folks fly in to Alaska just for this opportunity.  these are co-workers at the hospital and they were out collecting urine from the dogs.  they all get random tests done on their pee.
 after the walk on the lake we did a quick loop at the conservation center.
 all the brown bears are out and about.  so early.
 finally finished looking at the rest of the restart photo's.  always  a few favorites in the bunch.
 a big plane has gone missing.  so scary for all involved.  doubtful they'll find any survivors, perhaps they'll find the plane and figure out what happened.  so sad.
 i am starving and it's after midnight.  not sure what to eat.  actually thinking of just making a chocolate shake...i know healthy dinner.  the cough is really kicking in so i'll probably hit some cough syrup and go nighty night.
 walk dogs in the morning and then meet speedy and family for a hockey game.  :-)
 really need to hit the gym tomorrow as well.  gotta get fit!
 it was so windy coming back from the glacier.  we had a head wind the whole way back.  by the time i got home i felt i needed a nap.  it really saps it out of you
 always love the variety of dog boxes and sleds

 on my way out of down town i saw this scene...looks normal enough but if you look to the very right you will see a gentleman walking not a dog but a caribou.
 my spot near the native hospital.
 a few of the dog teams got pretty dang close up.
 well, not much news given to you. i'm off to bed after i find something to satisfy my gut.  good night.

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