with over 20 years in this amazing place. it's never dull. i hope to enjoy years of exploration here.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
sad, sad day at the Iditarod
a man outside of the Nulato checkpoint was drunk and apparently decided to try and take out a few dog teams. Aily was the fist victim. he made a few runs at she and her team.
it must have been terrifying out there in the dark. i think it was after 2 am. not much out there so hard to miss a team with lights and reflective coats. he wasn't aiming to miss however.
i believe she had to drop one dog after the incident to injury, but the mental toll i'm sure will be great. i'd be scared each time i encountered a snow machine. she has decided to keep driving on. how it will impact her times and race overall we will never know. she did rest up for some time after the incident.
she reported this to race officials and the local safety officer but it wasn't resolved in enough time to protect Jeff King and his team
his team was also attacked. the drunk man must have had increased bravado and actually hit the team. a dog Nash was killed nearly instantly. another dog, i believe Crosby has a broken leg so his run is over. another dog was severely injured and a 4th dog had minor injuries but will be sent back for Vet care as well.
both mushers seemed very shaken and emotional as would be expected. King really seemed to want to just be back out on the trail away from probing questions from press. i can totally understand that. at least out there you can have peace. deal with your grieving in your own way and time.
when this drunk man took after Jeff Kings team he lost a bit of his snowmachine.
in a small village it becomes pretty easy to pinpoint who was responsible. (above is my co-worker getting to do tag sled work for Bejna)
the man turned himself in and will be charged with multiple counts. that will not bring back the dog lost nor will it make up for the devastation to these teams as they move forward.
came home from work and read this....have just been sick about it all day. it's easy to be angry at this man for his actions. you try to be compassionate, but it just makes you so angry.
he claims he blacked out and has no memory.
above is last years winner and below is Maximer
addiction in my mind is a disease but it's a psychological disease. some try to liken it to things like diabetes or whatever...but people can make a choice to not drink or do drugs. you can't choose to be a diabetic.
as angry and sad as i am i can only imagine what Aily and Jeff are going through as they continue forward. certainly this has changed this run to Nome for them both. my thoughts are with them and their teams today...and no doubt for many days.
headed to the airport in a minute. my friends daughter is crashing her for a few days while she checks out UAA. excited for her on her new adventure.
got an 11 hour shift ahead of me. not enough sleep. tomorrow i have to stay up though to do my schedule. such a pain this has turned out to be...self scheduling. if you aren't on there within minutes your life can get all screwed up. find myself believing that corporations have more and more fun screwing up your life under the banner of putting you in charge of your life. they make fixing your time card so complicated that in the end you just give up and they get to have you work for free rather than deal with the effort involved. so maddening.
work past 2 nights not bad. last night PICU. it's been awhile. always a great crew there. the night before i was half adult ICU and half ER. lots of juggling. had to stick up for myself a bit so i didn't get hosed.
there is a cute 2 month old great dane pup that is deaf and looking for a home. figure i may as well just turn in an application and see what happens with that. part of me figures Rio will let us know when the right dog comes along and the right time.
excited dogs at the ceremonial start. these are all from that.
loved this lady all blinged out and in fur. was a bit disappointed in her purse though. plain...what? love all the characters in this town. we are a great mix of quirky and independent folks.
a few of Jeff King downtown.
a few of his dogs...sad to think that several of these sweet pups got injured today by a drunk madman. so pointless.
better head to airport. writing is how i clear my head a bit. so seemed a good idea to write about this horrible news.
thankful for: 1. that the teams were not injured worse than they were. 2. that the folks in the village encouraged this guy to turn himself in and not make it worse than it is. 3. the spirit of Alaskan's that makes them carry on despite an event like this.
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