Sunday, March 11, 2012

Iditarod -40th Anniversary

The first year we moved up here we went to the Iditarod and it was less than pleasant. Paul was working security for the event and I had the two kids who were 2 and 3 at the time and they were just miserable in the cold. Because of that we didn't go last year but this year I decided to try again and it was a pleasant experience for the three of us. (Paul had to work.)
A few details about the Iditarod. This was the 40th Anniversary. The ceremonial start is in Anchorage. One dog sled leaves out of town every 2 minutes. They announce them and tell you a little bit about the mushers (sled drivers) and perhaps their team (dogs) as well. It's a carnival atmosphere and it really marks the end of a week and a half long winter festival called Fur Rondy. The teams drive through the city and drive to a place called Willow.There they will officially start the race on Sunday morning. I don't know how that one works as we have yet to go out there.

One of the interesting things of note- The dogs are wearing shoes. In this case they are hot pink and yellow. Some of the other teams had just a navy or black. Each team is different.

With the ceremonial start the sleds are a bit like floats in a parade. One team all had Dr. Suess hats, some would have a politician riding in it that was running for office. Some had little kids in them.

Really, I had to add some local color. Here is a woman all dressed up in traditional Alaskan clothing.

Then there was this guy. I couldn't resist taking his picture. This is a crocheted beard and mustache! It was awesome! I wondered if it was a joke for Fur Rondy where one of the contests is for the best beard and mustache or if it was to keep him warm.
Then there was this guy's hat. Now that's a hat. I think it was a fox. I didn't get a picture from the front but it still has the ears.... The one below looks really warm. I want one! Too bad I don't have the several thousand dollars it would cost.

What to do while waiting for the next team? Why play in the snow of course.

 One thing you should know is that those dogs LOVE to run. They can't wait to get out there and run. You can just see the anticipation in their bodies and the joy. Below are two who just can't wait to get out and get hooked up.

Don't forget to say hi to the Polar Bear.

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