Sunday, March 22, 2015

all should be to Nome soon!

 will try and mix these up a bit to keep the photo's interesting.  always fun looking through the pics from any trek..or even just a day out walking.
 Denali view from the drive up.  below a few from the River as we arrived to watch the teams pass by.
 as more teams arrive more stories get out from the trail.  crazy adventure out there.  the good the bad, the ugly as they say. there is no adventure without risk.  injuries happen and occasionally dogs die.
 it is the sad reality.  when you push dogs and humans things will happen.  any dog death is always sad and i really have no way to justify it or excuse it.  it is what it is.  a sad reality of life when you push things to the limit the limit will be met from time to time.
 open water on the river altered where they started the run, which worked out well for me i think. i really liked the steamboat in the background.
 thought this came out nicely of KH.  she is a mad knitter and does some beautiful work.
 the first team out is always #2. there is no least not until Nome.  This year that is Dallas.  Congrats Dallas.  this guy is originally from England.  always funny how people come to the Iditarod.  he currently lives in Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory.  if you get serious about dog sledding you tend to move someplace that is serious about it as well.
 though i would not want to own huskies, they are beautiful dogs and i am always excited when a team comes by as they make for some lovely photo ops!
 the last of the teams should be getting to Nome in the next 24 hours i'm guessing.  it appears that Cindy Abbott will be the red lantern, unless there is a change.  this is her third attempt and part of me just hopes she finishes so she can get her ribbon and never return.  both previous races she has scratched but she has a  stubborness and determination, which is perceived as brave by some is just seen as obnoxious to me i guess. one year she was crawling around on the ground attempting to do her dog care.  she was forced to quit both times...this just tells me she puts her goal before her common sense.  she's apparently climbed Everest and the Iditarod was the next thing to tackle...have money, have adventure.  the second run she was in a dangerous position and caused others to have to go out and risk their lives to figure out what she was up to...she was told it was over.
 there are many stories that never really get told out there.  you may never know the details.  it's a long trail and a lot of open stretches.  it's not like most sporting events where they have coverage and media across every mile.
 Lance Mackey is in to Nome but he lost two dogs in the process.  not missing lost, died.  two in harness from what i can gather.  Iditarod stays fairly vague about the dog deaths often and i have seen no real information on the Iditarod web site.  also odd was that the video that was supposed to show Mackey arriving was also vague.  no interview.  he may have just decided to slip away to get himself sorted out a bit.  losing 2 dogs must have been devastating for him.
 all the good years of dog mushing seem to have come down to this one bad year.  his health may take him out of a sport he has loved. one has to wonder if he shouldn't have scratched the minute it became clear that he needed help to care for his dogs this trip.  torn a bit on this one.  mentally, it's probably a good thing for him to finish this last run before he retires from long distance racing, but two dogs are dead.  would that have happened if he'd been healthier and perhaps better able to attend to the dogs.  the dogs Stiffy and Wyatt were each just 3 years old.  having both also makes you wonder about a virus of some sort.  very sad...and no matter the cause and the situation i suspect it is a huge blow to him.
 it's pretty common for teams to scratch due to concern over the mushers ability to care for the dogs due to their own injuries.  i've seen many top rated mushers scratch for this.  obviously, Iditarod gets a lot of heat from animal rights groups anytime a dog dies out there and those who love the sport try their darndest to prevent this.
i guess for me that is why people like Abbott make me nervous.  she seems more focused on getting her ribbon than on the it frustrates me that anyone allows her to take their dogs out there.
 my happy friend MW.  having a good time!!
 my body is beat up today.  some weeks of work at like that.  was on main in the ER for 12's tons of walking if it's busy and it was.  my first patient was in anger mode when i first walked in...people want their narcotics and some can be rude and nasty and manipulative in their quest to obtain more and more narcs.  great start to that day.  i walked over 2 miles between mid and 0700 according to my phone.  just back and forth in that one hallway.
the next night i was in the ICU.  Bariatric pt just create a unique challenge physically.  i think you are just in all sorts of awkward positions due to the dimensions of the bed and the patient...there are no amount of slings or gadgets that can fix all of the bad body mechanics involved with the 12 hours of care for these patients.  each task is just made more cumbersome ... by morning you feel sore and tired.
 one of the more popular mushers out there, Martin Buser.  his son also ran Rohn.  he also has a son Nikolai who has run before.  they are named after checkpoints along the Iditarod route..clearly he is a fan of the race.  he is originally from Switzerland but became a naturalized citizen of the USA under the burled arches. he won the race in 2009.  he and DeeDee are up there in race completions. over 30 each. he often has gotten awards for his dog care and his kindness to other mushers on the trail. i'm sure the same is true for DeeDee.
 the race takes its toll on the mushers.  lots of frostbite out there this year.  DeeDee had duct tape all over her fingers to protect them from further damage.
 i'm sure the small community hospital in Nome sees many a musher after the race...and this year one bystander from a local bar who decided to take on Aily Zirkle in an arm wrestling match at said bar...the unfortunate tourist from California ended up with a fractured arm.  so despite Aily just running in a 1000 mile race a few hours before she snapped that lawyers arm in less than 10 seconds apparently.
 in the end, Aily took second in the bar's arm wrestling contest, one of her handlers took first....poor Aily..another second place.  she has stated she will not be entering any more arm wrestling contests.  she felt terrible.  the tourist assured all that she had no intention of suing Aily, she seemed excited to have such a fun story to tell about her own Iditarod experience.
 another down week for WARIS. no news from anyone or anywhere.  trying to just roll with the weeks that seem like downers and wait for the next positive moment.  will keep trying to keep Round Island out there in the public eye in hopes that our day will come when someone listens to us and the walrus will be protected again.  awareness is a priority.  many just don't know this magical place exists and that walrus are beautiful and deserving of our attention and protection.
 gotta keep your eye on the bigger picture sometimes and not let the daily knocks of life bring you down.
above is Jessie Royer....she got in the top 10 this year...beat out Aily..thankfully she didn't have to arm wrestle her.   her home is in Montana though she has lived in Fairbanks and still owns a place there. so she can train in both places.
 this is Lachlan Clarke, out of Colorado.  he and Jessie have both worked extensively with horses it seems.  he is still on the trail...into White Mountain where the all have to do a required 8 hour stop over.
 every so often i pop to the iditarod site and watch a live finish.  amazing how many people across the globe are there watching much of these and commenting.  a bit of a community.  strange to sit with it on for hours but it's what people do.  there is a steaming of comments and many of them seem to know each other from just being there watching these things. often to me these feel like closed communities and they can turn on you if you do dare to comment on anything.  i've learned to just do no commenting.  people get nuts on the web when they have no worries of repurcussions.
 off they go down the river.
 fun to be at a totally different location to watch the restart this year, so happy i made the journey.
 this is a rookie, Alan Eischens.  he grew up on Adak of all places and has also lived in St Lawerence...both places on my list to visit.  he now lives in Wasilla. he is into Nome.
 the alarm calls out on Front Street in Nome to let everyone know another team is about to come in.  when folks hear that they make their way up to the chute to watch the finish of yet another team.  generally they come in one by one, occasionally there is some excitement.  they will be final races down the street for 38th position.  mushers often travel close to other competitors who match them skill wise i'm sure or whom they just get along with.
 Paige Drobny and Scott Smith decided to make the run down front street and see who won....her dog team decided to head down a totally different street and further into town.  Smith won the friendly competition.  he got 26th to her 27th place finish.
 one musher Halverson scratched in Galena, she came to the aid of a search for a dropped dog that had escaped from the checkpoint.  she apparently, caught up with Kelly Maxiners dropped dog and got a lock down on it....soon the dog had a lock down of it's own on her face.  10 stitches later, shots and ab's...she will heal.
 at one point 5 teams came in to Nome in under 50 minutes...some crazy racing for places in those last miles.  it's all in good fun but these guys can all be competitive too.  i think the older Gebhardt beat the young ones but he was winded.
 each place closer to first does make additional winnings so it may be worth the mad run to the arches just for an extra $1500 or so...whatever this years winnings are.  i think only the first 30?  get money.
 #9 Kelly Maximer was in on that rush to Nome.  he's a pediatric dentist, originally from North Dakota now living in Big Lake.  he's done a variety of jobs over his years and is pretty adventurous overall. #8 above, is Waerner from Norway.  he's an electician by trade and always dreamed of running this race.  Norway seems to have a contigency here each year.  he had a great year and came in 17th this year.
 just love the booties and to love the dogs run, run, run!!
 did a neighborhood walk today with both dogs.  ended up being 2.4 miles by a creek and through neighborhoods.  fun having this phone app and starting to see what actual distances are of walks i've done for years.
 the bid for Anchorage Mayor is beginning and so the money to win those races are coming in as well from special interests groups and individuals...our nation is going to hell.  money is buying's just a trend that is getting worse and worse.  no party is exempt.
 it's getting late and i'm i did nothing besides the walk really. sad...will eat and perhaps curl up with a movie i've been wanting to watch.  "the hundred foot journey". i'll be up late but it sounds relaxing after a  busy week.
 and here is the annoying Cindy Abbott...#10.
 no idea who's dogs she is running this year  first it was Mackey, the next year someone elses dogs...perhaps that is a sign.
 for years Alaska has helped restock it's MD supply through a program called WWAMI.  this allows Alaskans who want to be MD's to train in state for some to save costs. it also helps pay for their education and training as long as they return here to work as MD's for a time....shorter for rural gigs than for big city gigs.  it can be tough to get trained MD's to come to AK.  of course, our state leaders are now planning on phasing out this program, which seems like a bad plan to me.
 as our population grows we need more Docs not less.
 i'm coming to be more at peace with the Dallas win.  i suspect part of me was still bumming over the finish outcome of last year.  it was King's run until weather bogged both he and Zirkle...allowing Dallas to pass.  as i contemplate that race..i mean i can't be mad at him for winning in those circumstances...but still, it was a strange way to win.
 in truth i suspect it was not a win he enjoyed as much as this one or the one previous. he doesn't strike me as a guy who would want to win in this fashion.  not that he isn't deserving of winning..he's totally fit and his dogs are top notch...but still i suspect we all want to win because we kicked it, not because our competitors were blown off the trail and in a ditch.
 #11 above is Kristy Berrington.  she and her twin sister Anna are both into Nome and seemed to enjoy a ride together for much of the race..back to their old days of mushing.  nice to see them ride together again.
 Nicholas Petit is a musher out of Girdwood. a few teams train there.  they had a sad winter out there as one musher took his own life after his dogs were taken from him. he'd left them in the care of a friend who in the end did not care for the dogs at all.  the musher was so distraught that he took his life within a few days of the news that his dogs had been neglected.
 Petit rounded out the top 10 finishers this year in Nome...doing well.
 just some nice dog lots i'm happy with on the zoom
 nice looking team.
 i am looking forward to a few days off.  hitting the gym and the's all good.

 guess i'll get some late night snacks and head to bed.
thankful for:  A.  well behaved dogs (walked with loose leash past a hyper lab that was tossing it's owner all over the place)  B. a fun life...many just live day to day.  i get to enjoy my days. C.  that i kept my cool with a few patients that really could have used some harsh words for their nice to your nurses out there!!

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