Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Flashback: My First Iditarod, 2000

I was about as wide-eyed a rookie fan as there comes in 2000, somehow feeling like I'd fallen into some long-time fan's dream and was trying to make every minute count. To the best of my admittedly fuzzy memory, this was my first sighting of the sled dog statue along 4th Avenue.
Teacher Ann Morgan and DeeDee Jonrowe. Ann and I had arrived on the same flight and it seemed as if we'd instantly become friends.

DeeDee a bit later in the morning.

I was still wide-eyed enough of a rookie to be intimidated by Karen Ramstead (don't let it go to your head, Karen) and remember somehow thinking someone would run me off as Karen's family and friends grouped for a photo. Hey, I said I was a rookie and kept having the thought that someone would realize how much more deserving someone else was and toss me off the street and give my pass (which was courtesy of Plettner Kennels) to someone else.

Mallie and Dr. Sonny King. Sonny no longer races but I count Mallie as one of my first Iditarod friends and still appreciate her willingness to take this starry-eyed rookie under her wing.

Why was I so starry eyed? Photo opts like this one probably had something to do with it. I've only recently found some of my hard copy print photos from the race and have more, but simply being able to see Susan Butcher in the flesh was enough to make the day special, so toss in the rest and, like, wow!

What a hoot! I was tapped to work security at the restart, which was out of Bumpus Field in Wasilla that year. I'm pretty sure I took photos of each and every team that passed, figuring this adventure in Alaska was a one shot deal and that I'd better enjoy it cos I'd never be back. Uh, okay. Ha Here's Karen's team passing my position on her way to Knik. Karen yelled "Hi, June" to me and has no idea how impressed those around me were that I "knew" a musher. Suddenly, this rookie fan from Florida was fielding bunches of questions about how to volunteer and the race in general. Ah, if they'd only known....

This was the first race after the passing of Joe Redington Sr. Each musher had been given a flower to drop off at the end of the Redington's driveway on their way to the Knik Checkpoint. Vi was there to greet each as they passed. This is one of those unique memories that I talked about in "Becoming Alaskan" and it really did go a long way toward showing me how Alaskans operated. Everyone pulled together and was family, perhaps the most important element of the race to most of us, being a part of the Iditarod Family.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Iditarod Volunteer Meeting and a Peek at the Gift Shop

I parked where I'd never park in the summer, right in front of the path down to the little cabin and where Raymie would be giving rides to the left.

View from the end of the sidewalk.

Took this from just outside HQ, looking back across the lawn toward the cabin again and the parking lot, left. Big chunks of snow, huh?

Nothing had started yet, so I cruised the gift shop.

The big patch under the tv is this year's patch.

Hey, I know that book on the top left!

I actually pulled into the parking lot right behind Bob and Maureen, who are looking over the paperwork here. I didn't hang around long, so if anything of interest happened or was said, hopefully Maureen will fill us in.

People are beginning to gather in the meeting room.

But, since the meeting hadn't started, I wandered a bit more. These are this year's Volunteer shirts, available to only official volunteers as far as I know.

I call this the history corner or wall in my mind cos the wall is covered with old newspaper stories and interesting bits of race history.

Jon VanZyle designed Idita-shirt.

Ah, come on. You know you always need another stuffed husky, especially a mama one with puppy in hand, er, mouth.

For your Idita-cookies. Don't forget to share with the rest of us!

Ah, the meeting has started. Joanne had just asked for a show of hands from brand new volunteers. Deby Trosper standing, right. Deby, if you catch this, feed me the names of the others and I'll add them.

There were lots! Joanne, left front.

Sorry, Deby, you know it wouldn't be a photo day if I didn't manage to get you with your mouth open, tho' how else do you talk? The sign behind Deby on the wall is the one on the Idita-support web page on Yahoo, btw, tho' that shot was taken by Donna way, way back when. Anyway, I wandered away.... sorry had some other places to be, too ..... after this but if you've got questions about volunteering, you can find the info you need on the Iditarod's website or, for that matter, email me and I'll find the answer for you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wasilla Reads 1,000,000 Pages for Iditarod Time

The Wasilla Library was just beginning to put up their Iditarod display when I was there today. Eventually my books will be displayed here at the entrance with so many of the other books I've devoured in my quest to learn more about this sport and event. And, yes, I signed up to read.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Knik 200

Photo by Barb Redington, used with permission

Jon Little's daughter helping him get ready to run
Photo by Barb Redington, used with permission

Photo by Barb Redington, used with permission
This one had to be early on, but not sure what time Barb took it.

Cool photo, dogs and the moon
Photo by Barb Redington, used with permission

Must be getting close to start time...
Photo by Barb Redington, used with permission

Photo by Barb Redington, used with permission.
Barb's out near the end of the chute for this one, looking back toward the Knik Bar

This one and the rest are mine. I'm not real happy with these pix -- my camera was even less happy with the cold -- but figure something is better than nothing. In any case, Martin wasn't there but Sue Allen was there with one of his puppy teams.

Nice doggie coats.

Kim Trickett approaches the line to start.

Not sure whose teams, but think the one on the right is Jon Little's team. Always fun to look out over the prep area and watch the dogs being harnessed and then being impatient as they await their turns.

The race started at ten, so the light still wasn't real strong. This is Erin Redington waiting, Ryan (I think) right in front of her playing handler.

Erin's team at the line. I think she's wearing one of the parkas she made.

Erin heading off across the lake. One of her hurdles in this race is that the dogs essentially pass their kennel, so practice like this race is great for them to learn that you don't turn in just because you're passing your turn.

One of Lee Kearney's dogs slipped a harness, so everyone was reacting to that and heading to help.

As they struggle to get Lee's dog re-harnessed, the handlers move Lee's team over and Jon Little's team (rear) is brought into the chute. They'd get Jon underway, then let Lee go. BTW, today is Jon's birthday, so happy birthday, Jon, and have a great race.

A couple of Jon's dogs.

They're off....and my camera is whining that it doesn't wanna take a picture cos it's cold out there! Ha

I think these are Hugh Neff's dogs, which means I somehow missed Varan Hoyt. Sorry, Varan.

This is definitely Hugh, putting a dog back where it belongs as it hopped the gangline with seconds to spare.

Relo Burri, one of the new names to me.

Relo is off. See the ladder? See the person on the ladder? That's Barb Redington, who obviously took a hint from Jeff Schultz on how to get good angles for photos.

Sue Allen heading to the chute with a Buser puppy team.


And Sue again, surrounded at the line.

Caleb Hathaway, another new name for me.
Caleb. I was edging off the lake, gotta admit, hearing the warmth of the bar calling me, so this one was taken from behind the musher, giving you their view as they await time to go.

Ken Anderson, defending champion

Ken at the line. I kept having the urge to run up and fix bibs, but managed to restrain myself. Ha

Still back at the truck, Karin chats as she awaits her turn.

That's Doug Grilliot holding Dave Dalton's (#13) dogs.

As you can see, I'm working my way off the lake.

Sharing some love

The truck was Vern's, but not sure if the dogs are his or not and never got a chance to ask.
Last musher to go out, Misha Pedersen