Saturday, March 5, 2011

WHAT A DAY

My Mom has held it as a dream for many years to see the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  She has met some of the participants, read books on the subject, follows it every year on the web..... so when our trip to Anchorage to visit my sister coincided with the start of race she was DELIGHTED!!  I thought it would be neat to see but it wasn't on my Bucket List.

My sister got a pass to the Exxon Mobil Hospitality Suite overlooking the start so I left my moral obligations about BIG OIL at home (to speak of it here is heresy and a likely death wish) and we loaded up the kids and headed in...... It turned out to be a perfect solution - the kids were warm and well fed and Mom and I got to wander in and out.

What an AMAZING event!  To see all these teams of dogs and their Mushers and the crowds all out in the freezing cold 7 degrees Farenheit!!!!  The atmosphere was amazing....and I was enthralled.  I am too tired now to process it all but it was an experience I will never forget. 

The Gang setting out

The first sled is ceremonial

Followed by 63 competitors who will be on their sleds for 10-15 days

Mushers in good spirits waving to the crowds

The very focused stars of the show

A festive downtown Anchorage

This is "my" team #38 - Scottish of course

Mr Watty McDonald!! GO GO GO!!

SO many dogs - love the booties :)

And then we drove out of town a ways - and saw the frozen ocean and the mountians - you are out of town in a few short miles around here.

This is the ocean

It's like to waves  just suddenly froze in place....


Mountains forever.....
This evening Jill found out that for $20 we can catch a bus to Willow where the "real" race begins and get right on to the trail so we took the opportunity and we are off at 11am tomorrow.  On our way to get the tickets we were driving and off in the pink sunset I saw Mount McKinley on the horizon....... a rare sight as it is only visible about 40 days a year due to its height and the low clouds..... a wonderful gift to end a wonderful day.

There is so much to say about my delightful nieces and nephews too.... but another time!

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