Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Lunch With Norma and Joe Delia

 Heading to the big city again
I definitely prefer canine traffic on the street, thank you.

Passing Clarion Suites, Aliy and Allen's home base during the pre-start week.

 Hi, Gwennies!

 The reaon for going to town in the first place was to have lunch with Joe and Norma Delia. We met at the Fancy Moose in the Millenium Hotel. 

 Jim Weeks and June Shelley came by. They're heading home.

 The timing was right so that Claudia and Lee Nowak could join us.

 That's Pat Schue's back, a very nice woman from Australia kinda hidden behind her,Marilyn Beaverstock, then Jim and June, Joe and Norma, then Claudia and Lee.
 I'm batting zero on pix of dropped dogs for the last two years. My camera was having a cranky day to begin with but got even crankier when I asked it to shoot this white on white shot, leading to a very fuzzy focus shot I'm calling "Ghost Dog of the Millennium".

 For those accustomed to hanging out in the Fancy Moose for endless hours, might want to rethink that this year. They were open today but have been closed and it was on the noisy side for awhile while we were there.
 A little better shot of Ghost Dog from another angle.

 Since there weren't any dropped dogs, I snapped a couple planes hanging around on the shoreline of Lake Hood, which is right behind the Millennium. As a matter of fact, the plane below is parked atop the ice on the lake.

 View of the Millennium from the back, from the dropped dog area.

 Hi, Bonnie, sorry we missed you. Like your icicles.

 The day was far more overcast at this point than it looked but, well, always need another picture of the mountains and that dang bridge, right?

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Ceremonial Start, 2013 (Bibs 2-28 only)

Two snow machine officers were sweeping the trail up front to make sure all was well for the approaching teams. Their appearance is always the sign that the first team can't be too far behind. This time, we got a story from the lead officer when he stopped to share it with his friend on duty at the corner at Goose Lake Park. Seems some excited volunteer working security had jumped out and waved them down to tell them to "Get off the trail! Don't you know there are dog teams coming?" Uh, yeah.....gotta love the sometimes misplaced enthusiasm of volunteers, tho'.

The first team past was Jr. Iditarod winner Noah with the 2013 Honorary Musher Jan Newton in his sled.

The first true competitor past was the first outta the chute, Martin Buser. He had wife Kathy Chapoton on the sled runners with him rather than the more common tag sled. 

Hey, good deal, Kathy! You got to sit down!

Scott Janssen, aka the Mushing Mortician. 

This and the next shot somehow uploaded outta order. The one below was just a blink after they hit the sharp left that they have to make there. By the time I could swivel my head (and the camera), the tag rider was on their knees trying to scramble up to catch the sled. As you can see, Scott didn't let go, tho' the dogs only gave him and the tag rider a few blinks of the eye before they decided they were outta there, see photo above. The tag sled rider was really having to rush and sorta leap onto the runners, then they were off, all within just a few blinks of our eyes.

Dan Kaduce on Jodi's tag sled was having a much easier time of it. In fact, he had time to chow down on a hot dog. Jodi said they were handing them out back up the trail. I think I was on the wrong side of the bridge, tho' the Lutheran church was set up on our corner with coffee and, yipee, since I'd forgotten to pick any up on the way out the door, hand warmers!

More Jodi

Ken Anderson surely wins the award for the brightest dog coats of the year.

I think this is Michelle Phillips.

Two photos above are of Lance Mackey, who seemed to be crossing the bridge on one runner, turned sideways at that.
It was interesting to watch how the mushers approached going around this 90 degree corner. Lance is using his foot to steer, others stuck to the runners.

Lance looks back to make sure his tag rider made it around the turn.
Newton Marshall waving his country's flag. From other shots I've seen, look like he managed to keep it up almost the entire route. Gads, Newton, your arm had to be tired.

Newton had not only a tag rider, but a rider in the tag sled as well as his sled.
Paul Gebhardt
Peter Kaiser

Kelley Griffith

Jason Mackey

John Baker, below
Charley Bejna

Cindy Gallea

This is the shot that made the whole trip to Anchorage worth it for me. Nic Petit's Idita-rider sharing his sled with his mascot, Ugly, who is anything but Ugly. What a cool, cool dog, who gave all appearances of doing this sorta thing everyday in front of cheering, milling crowds. What a hoot. Love ya', Ugly.
At this point, I was wondering, what the heck is hanging off Jeff King's back. Answer coming below.

Jeff's Idita-Rider is Virgil, 83-years young, who Jeff and some others bought the ride for.

Not the best photo but the answer to what was hanging from Jeff's back was a cape, one saying "King".

Kristy Berington

Dallas Seavey