When I'm at home in Perryvale, it is rare for me to run into folks I know when running errands or away from the kennel.
I spend a fair amount of time away from home - and when I'm home I'm usually busy with dog stuff, so I don't have a big social circle in the Perryvale area.
Sure, Rhonda at the post office knows me, but she knows everyone. I once stood in the Store/Post office next to two women discussing the fact that 'Karen Ramstead - that woman' that runs the Iditarod lived in Perryvale. With hair sticking in 10 directions, holes in my sweatpants, and a dog hair covered sweatshirt on (hey, Perryvale is small, you hardly ever run into anyone in the post office) I declined to introduce myself.
Thanks to the newspaper and local radio station, lots of folks in the area know about us and what we are doing, but the only time they have actually maybe put a face to it is when I'm bundled up on the back of an ATV on a training run, so they really don't 'know' me to see me.
And then we come to Alaska!!!
We headed out for our first run here in Two Rivers on Sunday. About 7 miles into the run we did a head on pass with another team. "Hi Karen".
A few miles later we ran into not only another musher I know - but a dog I know too - friend Mike Ellis with former NW dog Boom in his team (I pulled to a stop next to Boom and said a quick 'hi'. He wagged his tail and briefly nuzzled my fingers, but then turned his nose back down the trail. He was working!!)
Moments later I pulled over to let a fast traveling team by. The musher stopped and said "Is that you Karen??" It was Tom Lesatz, a fellow Iditarod musher. We chatted for a moment or two before the dogs all started to fuss and it was time to get going again.
I miss home, but it is good to be back among friends!! (with no disrespect intended to that friends that I do have back in Perryvale, of course!)