Monday, 6 March 2000

March 6, 2000

Let me start this diary with some official business, here is Karen's team that she left the starting line with on Sunday morning

Draco, Smiley, Hawk & Breezy were left behind for various reasons. It was a very hard decision making the cut down to the final 16, but we are happy that we had so many strong dogs to choose from. I don't know who won our contest, I'll let Karen take care of that when she gets back from Nome.

All I can say about the start in Anchorage is "WOW". We got up at 4:30 Saturday morning, fed dogs then left for Anchorage. The 1 1/2 hour trip in was like a dogtruck parade, once we were in town we were directed around by the army of volunteers to our parking spot. We were barely out of the truck before more volunteers approached us to scan the microchips in the dogs to make sure that every dog there was an approved dog. Once that was done we set out to have breakfast before the excitement started. Too late.

By the time we got back to our truck, Fourth Ave. was packed. We let out a few of the dogs for some schmoosing, and for the next few hours I'm sure that several thousand pictures were taken of them doing everything from kissing little girls to peeing on the mudflaps. Then teams started coming through. Because we were team 61, we were close to the starting line and got to watch all the teams before us leave. These teams included Matin Buser, Dee Dee Jonrowe, Jeff King, & Rick Swenson. Once we left it was all a blur, running through town was hot and there were people lining the trail almost the whole way to Eagle River. People shouted words of encouragement & clapped. One guy even played "O Canada" on a trumpet, I had to take off my hat. The dogs finished strong in Eagle River, we took it slow and took lots of breaks.

Sunday was more like a normal race setting, except 10 times bigger. This time no spectators were allowed near the trucks, but there was a few thousand there. It was cooler & the trail was packed harder. Again there were spectators all the way to Knik. Once we were in Knik I unhooked the second sled and Karen was on her way. The first chance I had to check the race results was this morning and Karen was already in Skwentna. It looks like she's been traveling with Jamie Nelson, her friend, coach & mentor. I don't know how long this will last, but any time they stay together is bound to be good.
Well that's all I can think of for now, so many things have happened in the last few days that I'm sure that it will take a while to filter through the old grey matter. Keep track on the Iditarod home page, look at more than the race result, press releases and newspaper articles are also interesting.

Stay tuned

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