Thursday, 15 February 2007

February 15, 2007 Drop Bags Done!

They are done! YEAH!!! Of course I’m speaking of the monkey on the back of every Iditarod musher – food drops! I’ve heard it said that getting food drops done and in is every bit as difficult as actually running the Iditarod. I wouldn’t say it is quite that tough, but it sure is close – especially for rookies. I have the benefit of my database that has been honed and tweaked for 7 years and that makes it MUCH easier.
The bags lined up at Jamie's just waiting to be sealed

This year I was also lucky enough to have 3 able bodied assistants – last year I had Mark with his broken leg and the year previous Janet Mattos with her broken collar bone as my sole helpers – so things moved right along.
The total this year was 1489 lbs of stuff divided into 51 bags to cover 20 checkpoints.
Stuff in there includes –
  • over 450 lbs of Eagle Ultra kibble
  • over 528 individual frozen herrings
  • 300 lbs of lamb sausage
  • over 30 of my meals (featuring shrimp Cajun pasta, penne alfredo, shepherd’s pie, lasagna, banana bread, summer sausage, tuna casserole and eggs & sausage)
  • about 100 mini stretch gloves (thanks Deb and Lee!)
  • 6 spare headlamps
  • 9 disposable cameras
  • 16 spare harnesses
  • 9 bottles of Mountain Ridge’s emu massage liniment
  • 13 neckwarmers
  • 23 pairs of socks!
The list goes on (and on actually) – but those are some of the highlights!
Once sorted, bagged and sealed up it was time to turn them over to ITC folks. Each year I am overwhelmed by the magnitude this task that Iditarod takes on. Each of the 83 mushers in the race will deliver between 1200 and 2100 lbs of drop bags, each of those 83 teams will have a bale of straw and HEET fuel waiting for them in each checkpoint – and all the volunteers will need food and supplies for the time they are out at the checkpoints. That’s a lot of STUFF – all ferried out to remote locations across the state. 

Although the USPS delivers a lot of the stuff, think of the checkpoints like Rohn that are stocked by only the ITC airforce. I’m told it takes over 20 flights into that little airstrip just to get the 83 straw bales in there. WOW!!!
Anyway, in typically slick food drop style, we were backed into an unloading bay, unloaded, bags weighed, sorted, money paid and on our way in well under an hour.
More soon….

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