Sunday, March 28, 2010


Lets just say this article speaks for itself in the headline alone, you would be crazy not to feel the urge to read when the headline is printed..."Man Drunk, Opossum Dead, CPR Futile"

and for all the kids out there, Six reasons why you should obey your parents...

and of course, there are some things you really should be avoid recording on your personal camera...

Now off to find Spring!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dont Mess With the Buffalo...hehe...worth the watch!

Its Amazing what animals will do when water is short.....this video is a great video of nature and the circle of life....

surprise ending and all!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Iditarod...The Last Great Race

Iditarod 2010….The Last Great Race…

As the musher’s approach Nikolai, a small Athabascan Village located on the Rainy Pass Trail, on the upper Kuskokwim River that was once the connection between the Ophir gold mining district and Cook Inlet.

As the contenders approach Nikolai they will experience light snows and negative temps, with winds blowing and visibility around 3 miles, great weather considering what is happing in Cook Inlet.

So what does it take for one to run in the Iditarod….Courage would be first on the list, the love of the out doors and spending endless hours alone with the forces both good and bad of mother nature, add those traits with a love for dogs, and you have the makings for a musher…now the work begins.

Endless hours of trail training year round, some of these musher report three weeks a month out running dogs in the Alaskan wilderness.

Several smaller “qualifying races” must be ran and finished to prove your ability to with stand days and nights alone in the cold maintaining your dog team and yourself.

Money of course is an issue, an entry fee to race, food and supplies for yourself and your dogs, much of which you pay to have flown into various check points along the trail. There are certain required items in the sleigh itself, safety equipment, shovels, a rifle for those rampant moose musher’s often startle along the rout, add warm clothing, and personal care items and a musher’s sled is pretty full.

All the dogs in this race must also be certified by a vet, micro chipped and have several sets of booties to protect their feet from endless hours of running. Hay must be flown it to provide bedding along the trail and a musher must prove they have the ability in the sled to melt water for their dogs to drink.

After watching the start of this race, I have decided that in no way are these dogs ran with out their opinion. It was just the opposite, they could not figure out why the musher was not as ready to run as they were.

Strategy for the Iditarod changes amongst the contenders and often times changes by the minute depending on weather conditions and their contender’s actions.

Most musher’s pre-plan where they will spend their mandatory rest breaks, which consist of one eight hour at a check point of their choice, one twenty four hour again Musher’s choice of check points, and another eight hour when they arrive in White Mountain, just a day run from Nome.

Many rules and guidelines now control much of the musher’s strategy, but pretending one is tucked in and asleep until the competition has let down their guard and sneaking off has not been unheard of in recent years.

Another strategy many play is trail breaking, often times the leader has the most work on their dogs so the musher’s most experienced with the trail know when it is time to rest and let another take the lead smoothing the trail and saving their dogs some energy for faster sprints.

Long lonely stretches of wilderness often times find Musher’s pairing up for travel with others that have similar teams of speed and endurance, In 1978 Dick Mackey and Rick Swenson found themselves in this position. The winds were blowing and the visibility was nill, Swenson being a younger musher’s acknowledged the fact that Dick had ran the trail many times and he traveled along with Dick during a storm they both thought they may not see the end of.

Upon arriving on the sea coast they attempted to sever their connection of trail found friendship and regain their sense of competition, but with equal teams it was a tail to nose race across Norton Sound for Nome.

Moving up front street Swenson was in the lead when his team tangled with a bus parked along side the road, Dick passed him and I am sure he was smirking when his team became entangled in a road sign. From my research it sounds like this famous “nose to nose” win was actually a race of who could untangle and retie their teams the fastest.

Dick Mackeys dog crossed the line first but Rick Swensons sled did making it a photo op finish and putting it in the history books forever.

At the moment the 2010 Iditarod is only started, the South route/ North route fork not hit…anyone could take this race, but now is where the strategy begins to separate the contenders into their places at the finish.

On that note, another cup of coffee, wrap in my blanket and take a nap in the warmth of my living room thinking….Mush on!!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Iditarod 2010!!!

Despite the bad weather in the Southern Part of the state it appears the Iditarod trail conditions are soft snow, mild winds and on again off again snow flurries....Many possible complications came up before this years big dog race and for awhile I was afraid they might cause the race to be canceled. Thanks to several BIG "donners" there is enough money for the finishing mushers to receive their thousand-forty-nine for completing the race, Thanks to God the ground is still frozen and covered in snow...despite our early spring break.

So lets start with thanking Jeff King for giving such a large donation. Who will take his money in this race...

He himself ran an excellent race last year and stands a good chance of keeping his money...but...

We have a few of our older named mushers ready to retire from long distance racing some for age issues, some for their own health and some for the health of their families...Who will want to go out with that first position as their "last race".

Kudos to Dee Dee Jonrowe, and may our prayers be with her mother as she faces yet again another battle with cancer.

So with the economy issues most of our mushers this year come from the North American Continent...although Wattie McDonald in Bib number 4 and John Stewart in Bid number 69 traveled from Scotland with their dog teams to compete in "The Last Great Race"...Wearing Bib 66, Sam Deltour traveled from Belgium for his chance at taking on The Last Frontier.

Rookies are common to this race and one in particular deserves some watching...

Newton Marshal from St. Anna Jamaica, A rookie to Mushing with his start just three years ago, he trained under Hans Gatt until 2009 when he began his training for the 2010 Iditarod.

In March of 2008 he was deemed ready to race his first short distance race...210-mile Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race finishing seventh out of fifteen.

In January 2009 he finished thirteenth out of twenty-seven in the Alaska Copper Basin 300. In February of this same year he finished 13th out of twenty-nine in the Yukon Quest...a thousand miles across frozen arctic tundra. Racing against the best of the best in a climate far from his comfort zone.

Finishing the Quest he approached the 2009 winner and began his training for the 2010 Iditarod with Lance in Bid number 14 he is doing well keeping in the center of the pack...

So...From Scotland to Canada, Belgium to the USA many have come, many will start, some will scratch some will endure, some will be in the top of the stats...May they all give it their best, enjoy the run, and know this girl will continue to admire their courage from the warmth of her living room....mush on!!