Tuesday, December 06, 2011



If you're not familiar with how this sort of poem works, it's fairly simple. You begin by coming up with a word or phrase that you're write vertically down your paper. Then you create a meaningful line to go with each initial letter.  Here are some samples everyone came up with one year.  These are fun to do and can be slanted easily to fit the time of year or occasion, such as Training, Rondy, Raising Puppies, a musher name, etc. I'm pretty sure the first one here is mine tho', alas, other author/poets' names have been lost in the cobwebs of my mind.

I had a dream....
Dancing with dogs
Ice crystals sparkling as we pass
Trail well worn, a passage thru time
Aurora above me
Remembrance of heroes of old
Onward, ever onward
Dashing to a far distant place

1.The Finishers Idit-acrostic

Dedicated to those who finished and to those who will follow their dream and race the Iditarod in the future.

I did the Iditarod Trail
Down the trail from Anchorage to Nome
In and out of checkpoints speeding along
The 16 dogs that raced with me
Alone with my team I followed my dream
Rugged mountains and bad weather were a few of my challenges
Onward I pushed to the finish line in Nome.
Did. I did. I did the Iditarod Trail.

I spy headlamps stealing 'round the bend
Did someone cry "Musher In"?
I smell pies baking on the river
Too cold out - Makes me shiver
Are the meals made? Places to rest?
Ready crew? You are the best
Only a river left, covered in hay
Darn! Mushers gone - T'was only a day

Best in 2002!
Under the arch, became a U.S. citizen
Eagle Pack, a primary sponsor
Rohn and Nikolai, his two sons

4. Iditarod Checkpoints acrostic

In the beginning we start in Wasilla
Down the trail to Knik
Down the chute to the finish line in Nome!

I - Independence
D - Dreams
I - Integrity
T - Toughness
A - Ability
R - Romance
O - Odyssy
D - Determination

Mackey, Lance
US. citizen, Buser, Martin(!)
Sagoonick, Palmer
Horstmann, Rick
Ettyne, Nikolai
Redington, Ray, Jr.
Smyth, Ramey

I did the Iditarod Trail
Dogs pulling hard
In 1049 miles I was in Nome
Teachers and students followed online
Afterward I ate and slept like there was no tomorrow
Rainy Pass, Rohn and Ruby were a blur
On to the Gold Coast in a hurry
Dropped a few dogs but the rest made it to Nome.

Imaginations, running wild, eyes closed
Dreaming of their favorite mushers and their teams
Idita-Supporters searching their computers endlessly
Trails steep, rugged mountains, rivers, remote checkpoints
Alaska, "The Last Wild Frontier"
Reading e-mails, websites, postings and status reports
Overwhelmed, excited, exhausted
Dreaming they too are on the Iditarod Trail to Nome!

8. Iditarod Awards acrostic
Improved the most is easy to understand
Dodge Truck to the first to Nome
Inspirational Award to the musher who inspired us the most
The Rookie of the Year for the first rookie in
A feast goes to the First to the Yukon River
Red Lantern goes to the last to finish
Outfitter Award will keep you the warmest
Dogs are awarded the Golden Harness.

9. A Mushers Nightmare
Into tree branches
Dragged behind sled
Into icy waters
Temperatures intolerable
Attacked by Moose
Running after sled
Off trail over steep incline
Dropped dogs left behind :>(

In the snow
Drive my huskies
In to the night
Trotting down the Iditarod trail
Around 19 mph
Race to Nome
Over the finish line!
Day 8.00.00. record time, dream on!

Into the night
Dogs runnng as one
Icy trails
Tracing the old trail
Aurora overhead
One thought, to finish
Down the street to the arch

Kid's Division


DeeDee is number 1!

K2.I Love the Iditarod acrostic
By David, age 9

I like to follow the Iditarod
Dogs are the best part of the race
I like Charlie Boulding and Jeff King
The trail is long
And the weather is cold
Reading the stories is a lot of fun
Of course, getting mail from my musher is the best
Don't like it when the race is done!

K3. My Race Idit-acrostic
By Jason, age 11

I did the Iditarod Trail
Dogs of mine were running fast
In Nikolai, I had to drop 2 dogs
That dogteam of mine would not give up
Anchorage to Anvik went by in a flash
Rough terrain and cutting wind makes it hard to go on
Often I'd think I would have to give up
Down the trail I made it to Nome.

K4. So you think you'd like to run the Iditarod?
A silly little bit of info to think about if you ever think you'd like to run the race
By Anonymous

I hate running the Iditarod with
Dogs with diarrhea
It hits me in the face when
The other dogs run thru it
Although finding a spot to pee isn't hard
Really freezing cold weather makes it hard to pull down my Carthalls
Or take off my mittens so I can wipe
Don't like it at all when I forget the toilet paper.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

An Iditarod 12 Days of Christmas

Way back when, or if you prefer, the good ol' days, the email group I maintain for Iditarod fans -- Idita-Support was feeling creative. Several folks wrote an Idita-version of the Twelve Days of Christmas, given their songs a doggie twist.  Alas, unless someone remembers which was theirs, I no longer can put names to each and I'm not telling which one was mine. Ha

So, without further ado....

An Iditarod 12 Days of Christmas

1. On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

12 years in Alaska

11 gross of dog booties

10 acre dog lot

9 huskies dancing

8 tons of dog food

7 swing huskies

6 months of training

5 time champion lead dog

4 kennel helpers

3 perfect sleds

2 qualifying races

AND...one Iditarod entry fee.

2. On the 12th day of Iditarod, my best dog gave to me

Twelve hundred booties,

Eleven dogs in heat for,

Ten hundred forty,

Nine endless miles,

Eight Quick Change Runners,

Seven double ganglines,

Six command leaders,

Five hours of sleep!

Four frozen fish,

Three straw bales,

Two pairs of gloves,

And a snow hook in a pine tree.

3. On the 12th day of Christmas, my musher gave to me…

12 huskies panting,

11 mushers grinning,

10 fairies wishing,

9 moose a sleeping,

8 teams a resting,

7 birds a singing,

6 dogs a running,

5 bells ringing,

4 bags of trail mix,

3 tails a wagging,

2 racing sleds,

And an excited team in Nome.

4. On the twelfth day of Iditarod my fur face gave to me…

…twelve huskies pulling

…eleven mushers hawing

…ten northern lights

…nine "Supporters" e-mailing

…an eight hour layover

…seven planes a flyin'

…six pizzas for Zuma

…five golden harness awards

…four cordura dog booties

…three pounds of dog food

…two mukluks

…and a Burled Arch in Nome!

5. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

Twelve million dollars

Eleven snowy mountains,

Ten pounds of gold,

Nine vets a workin',

Eight rivers freezin',

Seven sleds a racin',

Six rabid wolves,

Five icy lakes,

Four small rabbits,

Three moose a snortin',

Two dogs a matin',

And a sled dog in a pine tree.

6. 12 huskies prancing,

11 vets treating,

10 mushers eating,

9 days a racing,

8 trophies a shining,

7 rivers a flowing,

6 moose a lying,

5 excited dogs,

4 wagging tails,

3 tired mushers,

2 busted sleds,

And a winner entering Nome.

7. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

12 dozen dog booties

11 cachets,

10 extra harnesses,

9 yards of tow line,

8 hours of uninterrupted sleep,

7 handlers in the "chute" at Nome,

6 dozen pounds of dogfood for the checkpoints,

5 dogs so I can finish,

4 snowshoes,

3 mandatory stops,

2 sleds,

and 1 bib waiting for me in Safety.

8. On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

12 eager huskies

11 minute lead

10 doggie booties

9 pounds of dog food

8 good trail maps

7 good wishes

6 vets at checkpoints

5 hours in the lead

4 walkie talkies

3 broken towlines

2 lead dogs

And a free ticket to Iditarod

9. On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

A 12 hour layover

11 dogs a pantin'

10 champion racers

9 hours of northern lights

8 booties per dog

7 packs of fish

6 bales of hay

5 hundred Idita-supporters

4 hours of sleep

A 3 hour lead

2 red huskies

1 checkpoint to go!

10. On the twelfth day of Christmas,

my musher gave to me…

12 huskies prancing,

11 vets treating,

10 mushers eating,

9 days a racing,

8 trophies a shining,

7 rivers a flowing,

6 moose a lying,

5 wagging tails,

4 Rainy Passes,

3 tired mushers,

2 beavers splashing,

And a shining first place trophy.

11. On the first day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me, one full healthy team.

On the second day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me two runs through overflow,

On the third day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me, three blinding curves,

On the fourth day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me four frozen fingers

On the fifth day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me five females in heat!

On the sixth day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me six loping males,

On the seventh day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me seven lords a leaping out of bushes at me

On the eighth day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me eight hours of rest!

On the ninth day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me nine hours to go

On the tenth day of Iditarod my true dogs gave to me ten friends in Nome to meet me,

nine hours running over,

many more than eight hours of resting,

no more lords a leaping at me,

six hopeful males,

five secluded females,

four thawing fingers,

no more curves to blind me,

two dry boots


12. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

12 sled dogs running,

11 muscles cramping,

10 fairies blessing,

9 racers feasting,

8 dogs need loving,

7 boots a dancing,

6 huskies lying,

5 golden nuggets,

4 malamutes,

3 sleeping bags,

2 white dogs,

And a Siberian mix-breed.

13. On the 12th day of Idita-mas, my true love gave to me...

12 crisp nights of silence

11 dreams of glory

10 puppies wigglin'

9 hallucinations

8 mushing lessons

7 sibes a howlin'

6 red siberians

5 Aurora Nights!

4 tangled teams

3 lost trails

2 sleepless nights

and a book about the I-dit-a-rod!

14. On the 1st day of Xmas my Kick sled gave to me, miles & miles of snowy trails to lead.

On the 2nd day of Xmas my Two gloves gave to me, snuggly hands for praying.

On the 3rd day of Xmas my Cabelas jacket gave to me, warm buns and other warm things.

On the 4th day of Xmas Mother Nature gave to me, 2 ft. of snow for mushing.

On the 5th day of Xmas my spirit gave to me, stars to see the other sled -dies

On the 6th day of Xmas my Chocolate gave to me, wake-up and energy.

On the 7th day of Xmas Mother Nature gave 2ft. to me again, mush on!

On the 8th day of Xmas my Instinct gave to me, keep going musher & follow D.Swingley.

On the 9th day of Xmas my Eyes could not believe, I passed D.S. in the stretch-y

On the 10th day of Xmas The Aurora gave to me, a glancer and prancer.

On the 11th day of Xmas D.Swingley gave to me the chance to win the race for once-e.

On the 12th day of Xmas My Twelve Days gave to me, Nome and the finish line-e.

15. On the 12th day of the Iditarod, My True Love gave to me:

12 Sibes in harness

11 bags of dog treats

10 wicking undies

9 tons of dog food

8 gross of booties

7 shiny headlamps

6 cachets a ridin'

5 generous sponsors

4 dozen dog coats

3 racing sleds

2 qualifying races

and an entry to the last great race.


16. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my lead dog gave to me…

12 feet of snowy mountains,

11 shotgun shells,

10 fairies casting,

9 trophies given,

8 frozen feet,

7 warm booties,

6 people cheering,

5 pounds of gold,

4 pounds of food,

3 dogs a runnin',

2 different trails,

And a big feast in Iditarod.

17. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my lead dog gave to me…

12 great, big mountains

11 entry fees

10 first place prizes,

9 great, big trophies,

8 freezing huskies,

7 sleeping bags,

6 different checkpoints,

5 different trails,

4 freezing booties,

3 heavy blankets,

2 pine trees,

And a big, fat moose to eat.

18. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

12 entry fees

11 flowing rivers,

10 warm checkpoints,

9 sleeping bags,

8 bags of dog food,

7 Knik fairies,

6 sleds a racing,

5 huge huskies

4 large bears,

3 first place prizes,

2 freezing huskies,

And an especially long trail.

19. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my musher gave to me…

12 booties shining,

11 fish swimming,

10 dogs running,

9 toys a squeaking,

8 moose a passing,

7 wolves a running,

6 caribou a sleeping,

5 broken bones,

4 huge blankets,

3 kibble nuggets,

2 doghouses,

And a harness with a sled.

20. On the 12th day of Idita-mas, my true love sent to me

12 loyal sponsors

11 dozen booties

10 eager huskies

9 pups in training

8 snug warm kennels

7 new sled runners

6 gallons of Blazo

5 feet of snow

4 tons of dogfood

3 moose repellers

2 nice warm parkas

and a lead dog running strong

21. On the 12th day of Christmas, my musher gave to me…

Twelve puppies whining,

Eleven huskies training,

Ten judges judging,

Nine rocks a falling,

Eight fans a waving,

Seven mushers a racing,

Six salmon a freezing,

Five thousand dollars,

Four icy trails,

Three trips to Nome,

Two wool blankets,

And a collar with a tag, just for me!

22. On the 12th day of Christmas, my musher gave to me…

Twelve huskies running,

Eleven hours of sleeping,

Ten pairs of booties,

Nine handlers' harnessing,

Eight doggie bones,

Seven fans a jumping,

Six ganglines a dangling,

Five freezing nights,

Four warm blankets,

Three extra collars,

Two golden trophies,

And one trip to Alaska.

23. On the 12th day of Iditarod, my musher gave to me…

Twelve doggie booties,

Eleven pounds of dog food,

Ten juicy bones,

Nine dogs a running,

Eight mountains a rising,

Seven vets a checking,

Six judges a judging,

Five nice treats,

Four bowls of water,

Three purple blankets,

Two hours of sleep

And a golden trophy for me!

24. On the 12th day on the trail my wolf dog gave to me

11 polar bears dancing

10 wolves a-howling

9 puppies in the snow!

8 fat ptarmigans

7 dog teams passing

6 eskimos waving

5 pairs of mukluks

4 walrus whiskers

3 frozen fish sticks, too

2 mushers yodeling

and a checkpoint rookie in the spruce tree!!

25. On the twelfth day of racing, my family sent to me…

12 real poinsettias,

11 candied chestnuts,

10 pairs of booties,

9 paths a trailing,

8 dogs a training,

7 planes a leading,

6 Inuits a watching,

5 gardens of peas,

4 sets of collars,

3 Northern Lights,

2 bags of food,

And a pleasing redwood tree.

26. On the twevtth day of March, my best dog gave to me

Twelve hundred pounds of,

Eleven frozen meat types,

ten hundred forty,

Nine good snow miles,

Eight hot cheeseburgers,

Seven bowls of chili,

Six hours run/rest,

Five Northern Lights!

Four hours of sleep,

Three spare bulbs,

Two warm dry gloves,

And a wet kiss out on Front Street..

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Book on Joe Redington Sr.

Poster for the newest book on Joe Redington Sr.  By Katie Mangelsdorf, it's titled Champion of Alaskan Huskies: Joe Redington Sr., Father of the Iditarod

Here's part of the blurb on the back cover:  "Joe Redington Sr. was an ordinary man with extraordinary dreeams--and buckets of determination! His vision was as vast as the majestic Alaska landscape he loved to explore. This firsthand account is of the man whose love for the Alaskan husky and the Iditarod Trail evolved into the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Joe's adventurous spirit, fierce perseverance, and creative heart burned strong within his character and enabled the impossible to become a reality. His spell-binding stories and genuine love of Alaska drew people into his dreams. This is the story of those unique feats that defined Joe's life, and built the foundation for the most demanding and famous sled dog race in the world."

 Author Katie Mangelsdorf was at Iditarod Headquarters on Th. evening to sign books. The book should be available via the ITC website's store and/or Amazon.com soon. 318 pages, $19.95, paperback

 The Redington Family was on hand to support Katie. Raymie and Barb Redington signing books for Helen Hegener, right.

Barb, Raymie, Katie, Ray Jr., then Ray's children Isaac and Ellen(front) beside the statue erected at Iditarod Headquarters in memory of Joe Sr.

Katie (who's a retired teacher, too, I might note) with Joe Sr. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Volunteer/Musher Sign-Up Picnic

Captions will be brief or non-existent for a bit, sorry.

Replica of Rohn cabin.

Candy Gibson

?? and Lilian at the volunteer sign-in table

Lilian, who came to visit from Switzerland, and Candy

Inside the meeting room

Joanne Potts chats with Pat Moon

Ken Anderson doing sign-up paperwork.

Lunch line, where mushers and fans share the line

Peg Stout and daugher DeeDee

Hugh Neff


Fan and musher spouse Maureen Morgan. I fell in love with her blouse.

Hmm, Jeff King? Yep, Jeff's back. Seen here chatting with head vet Stu Nelson.

Jeff and John Baker share a laugh

John being hooked up to do some announcements.


Kevin Neher, who'll be an Idita-2012 rookie.

Ken and John

John was learning the writers cramp may be part and parcel of being champ as he signed endless autographs and was signing bibs here for the ITC's auction.

Jeff King signing up after a one-year absense.

Jeff Schultz chats with musher Jodi Bailey


Dallas Seavey, ?, ?, Jeff King

Did you doubt for a moment that I didn't take time for some puppy visiting?

I love reading license plates anyway, some are so funny, but bet you can figure out which family owns the dog truck this one's on.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Brief "checkpoint" stop at the Millennium Hotel

Iditarod Headquarters in Anchorage during the race, the Millennium Hotel from outside. And, of course, you'll notice the sign for Fancy Moose Lounge, a very popular hang-out for one and all.

One one of the posts inside the Fancy Moose.

June Shelley working in the phone room.

One can never have enough stuffed huskies.

This was as close to dogs as we got today. A plane was due in but hadn't arrived, so we just sat in the Moose and enjoyed the view.

I don't normally get in photos with folks, but figured, hey, these are the parents of one of my favorite mushers, Aliy Zirkle, so why not. It also let me show the haircut. Ha

They did fly in a sled while we were there, albeit in pieces. The people front left have the runners while the rest of it followed.

Pat Schue and GG Goss