Monday, March 3, 2014

let the games begin...!!

 a favorite photo from the ceremonial start of the iditarod.  loved this guys eyes staring me down from his bunk in the sled dog boxes.
 there are many varieties of trailers to carry the dogs.  i always enjoy the various designs and how they reflect on the personalities of the mushers...that is how i see it anyway.
 i woke up early and headed down town.  i also woke with a head cold getting a hold of me so i have gone from fuzzy brain to foggy head.  down town can be a bit of a mad house but it's always fun to get a look at all the happenings.  above is dallas seavey, he won the iditarod a few years back and is always a contender.
 there are lots of folks wandering around so often hard to pick out musher vs handlers vs family and friends or just people meandering.  the road crew wasn't all that diligent at least at the east end of the set up area and i noted that many regular folks were wandering around behind the barriers.
 below is the jamaican musher.  above was just a cute kid getting some puppy love
 i made it downtown by about 8:30 am...a miracle for me.  i woke up really early today as well.  haven't recovered from my weekend with the dogs.  did want to get a post in and get this iditarod race started
 they are off to nome!!  i will hopefully  be better at updates after tonight.  i'm wiped out!!
 my dogs were bummed i was leaving them today and it was no doubt a long day for them  thankfully, they are lovely, forgiving beasts and tomorrow they will walk again.  it's about 1 and a half hour drive north to the restart.  we timed it all perfectly today we all decided.  we left anchorage at 9:30 am, the restart begins at 2pm.  this gave us time to wander around and see the teams gather and get prepped to go.
 dee dee jonrow.  she has quite the following.  she has never won the race, but seems to get back at it every year.  there is an auction to ride in the sled with the musher on the ceremonial start.  of course, the more popular mushers get higher bids.  was chatting with a guy while we both watched teams go by, he said he'd spoken to her about being an iditarideer i think he said.  anyway.  sounds like her iditarider seat goes for several thousand dollars.  not sure how it all works, does the money go to the musher, to the association?  hmm...may have to check that at.
 dogs, dogs dogs.
 thought i would sleep great last night, but woke with more sinus headache.  i loaded all of yesterdays pictures on the computer so i could clear the card of crap photo's.  there are bound to be many crap photo's when snapping dogs running.
 these are jeff kings dogs.  another well known musher.

 my dogs were alone for a bit yesterday, not as long though.  when i got done with the iditarod festivities i got the pups and met up with bob, tanya and maddie for a walk out at prospect heights.  it's been a busy dogs are tired!!
 the sun has been out and it's felt so good to be sitting out there in the sun.  not totally warm feeling, but not all that cold either so awesome that way.
always get irritated when you are sitting there in your spot taking pictures and someone steps in front of you, looks at you, realizes that if they stand where they want to stand they will  block your view and then do it anyway. it's not like there is some law against doing just that, but so many folks just lack any consideraton it seems.
 overall, thankfully most of those folks don't stick around long.  blue pants guy today did just that.  quite annoying.
 chatted with this guy yesterday like i said.  after almost all the teams had passed, he apologized for talking my ear off (his words).  i actually enjoy hearing peoples stories as it relates to alaska.  i told him so.  he's had a stroke among other things...people start talking when they find out you are a nurse.
 he's traveled around alaska..i love talking to alaskans who have been able to do this. they have great stories if you are only willing to listen a bit.  not many people seem to listen anymore.
 i tend to be the listener it seems.  that is not to say i wouldn't mind it if one day someone listened to me.
 i think once he started talking his memory would recall another story and another.  i think he was happy with how much information and memory was still bumping around in that brain.
 hugh neff. always a wild character.  he tries to spread the word to increase literacy through his musher.
 he dons a dr suess hat from cat in the hat to wear when he mushes.
 the teams wandered into the crowd a few times near me.  i heard there were some spills and thrills all along the course.  one time a team landed in the crowd the musher must have offered a kid a lift on the runners to make up for bowling him over with the team.  he let him off about 500 feet in and dropped the kid by us and said, go run back to his parents.
 another time was hugh neffs team.  a couple had come up on the trail to watch and had brought their old lab.  the trail crew had told this couple that they really shouldn't bring a dog to watch these iditarod events.  they stayed where they were ( of course, not their dog, right? )
 anyway, his lead dog must have seen the dog or caught scent of it, it made a bee line for the dog, parting the crowd and nearly taking out  a dozen kids and adults. everyone was chill, parents got their kids to the other side of the trail so hugh could get his team back on the trail and moving forward.  the couple left with their dog pretty quick after that.
 later a pug dragging it's leash wandered onto the trail.  thankfully a spectator gathered it up quickly and returned it to it's owner.
 hugh neff's dog truck above. very cool!
 i was around an area that seemed to have a few of my favorites...another of neff.
 the ceremonial start is more like a 12 mile long block party.  it's a relaxed party where everyone just has fun and enjoys the festivities.  folks hand the teams foods and beverages and such and teams toss out booties and high fives to the kids and fans.
 the atmosphere behind the barriers today at the restart was a bit different as the mushers in general seemed more focused on the task at hand...getting their sleds loaded with required and needed gear for their trip to nome.
 several of us wandered down to the first lake to check out the preparation.  great to have that time to relax and do that.
 will post pictures from the ceremonial start first and then move on to the iditarod restart.
 as i do i will try and give some updates and trail news along the way.  other sources for information are the iditarod site itself and anchorage daily news.
 i get information from various sources, but i do pay to be an iditarod insider and follow it myself that way.
 the coughing has begun.....bummer.
 no time to be sick.
 out to dinner with friends last night...happy birthday amy!! quite tasty and was great to be able to repeat it with leftovers tonight.  we got home about 7 pm...who wants to try and consider dinner at that point.
 this old sled started out the ceremonial start run.
 then they were off for the fun run
 over the past few days i switched back and forth between black and white and some with colour.
 hopefully there are some fun photo's and i get some good facts out there for you all to enjoy.
 the jr iditarod champian.

well, i am beat and falling asleep in my computer chair.  two busy and early days and little sleep.

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