Friday, 13 April 2012

And Now You Know!!

Bet has shared with me a list of questions that were posted to the Blog and Facebook during Iditarod that she and the Minions were unable to answer.

I'll give them a shot, but no guarantees!!!!

Kristie Swartz:  "What r the names of the wheeled dogs and do u have any pictures? The ones closest to the sled. Was not sure if that's what they r called.

Kristie - Yes, indeed, the dogs closest to the sled are the wheel dogs. Being a wheel dog is one of the most physically demanding positions on the team, so I am also moving different dogs into that position, so there are no 'specific' wheel dogs in my team.

This year though, with so many of my girls being in season, it was mostly my male dogs - Crunchie, Q, Rocky, Wolvie, Turtle, Astro, Roscoe and Wifi that were in wheel through the race.

Ricki McLaughlin: "Question: How did the teams' paws fare over all the ice? I know you use booties, but was wondering over 1000 miles how the pads hold up. "

Hi Ricki!!! Actually, ice is pretty easy on the dogs feet and often they do better without booties on glare ice as they can get better traction. Really cold temperatures and wind-swept snow I find to be tough on my dogs' feet and I did definitely use more booties on this race than in any other Iditarod I have run. 

Lynn Tousignant-Goodwin: "So what happens now? How long do the teams stay in Nome, do the mushers go home right long does it take until the musher feels like herself again? How do you rest the team,small runs, massage, total rest? "

So, obviously, some of this is 'moot' now all depends on the airlines. This year I spent less than 48 hours in Nome, as we got out on Monday, but we have been stuck in town till Thursday waiting for flights.
It does take awhile to recover but I am doing chores with the dogs right away.
This year, mostly due to irate moose and the fact that my gun was still out on the trail, we mostly gave the dogs total rest. Richard did take 12 dogs - a mixture of Iditarod vets and dogs that had stayed home from the race - on a 40-mile race a week after Iditarod. 

A bazillion were concerned that because you took so long in Koyuk, that you had been penalized for losing the GPS.
Oh goodness - no! The trip across Norton Sound was pretty 'epic' and took a lot out of all of us. The long break in Koyuk was to allow the dogs and I to all 'recover'. 

General question: how were the steps this year?

The Steps were as good as I'd ever seen them!!! I was actually able to look around as I went down them. Normally I am far to busy trying to keep everything 'together' to be able to do that!!

Did you realize your GPS fell off and when did you hear how popular it had become?

Sure did. It was loose in Shaktoolik and I had let Race Officials know but there was no one around to do anything about it!
The ice outside of Koyuk had a lot of bit pressure ridges in it and the dogs cut a corner close and the sled crashed off a 2-foot or so ice chunk. As I reached ground I saw something fly off the sled - it took a minute for me to realize it was my GPS. My first thought was 'no way I'm going back for it' (we hardly ever go 'back' for anything. That is a very risky thing to do.) and I figured since it was a GPS it would be easy to find anyway.

My second thought was 'Oh, my Mom'. And sure enough, I had dinner with her the other night and she told me she was a wreck after I lost it!!!
I found out how popular it had become after I got to Nome and Richard told me. Gave me a good laugh that folks were having so much fun with it! =) =)

Cris D Celino: Who has the best appetite on the trail?  And who sleeps the most?
Hi Cris - most of the dogs are great eaters, but Turtle probably rates as the most enthusiastic. Jinx does enjoy her breaks and is a very sound sleeper!!!!

Karen Stott:  How many chances do the mushers have to take a shower?

Karen - a few of the checkpoints, like Nikolai, McGrath, Takotna, Unk and White Mt have showers. On my first Iditarod I think I had three showers, but this year (MOM - please stop reading now), I have to admit I didn't shower at all. The older I get, the more important sleep is and I'd rather put the time to resting than showering - even though I do LOVE showers!!!!! That shower in Nome felt so, so good!!!

Shirley Yarbrough Worried when you left Safety, then went back, and then snow machine left for Nome. What happened with Rocky? How was he carried by snow machine? That blog on him was so so cute.

Hmmm, not sure what was going on here Shirley. I didn't go back to Safety. Not sure how my GPS showed I did. And I don't recall any snowmachine around. 
Rocky was dropped, he had just had enough and as I was having some issues with the team in general, I didn't want to mess around with him. 
He was taken to Nome by snowmachine and arrived an hour or so after the team did. 

Inge Van Kasteren: Did you have any dreams like trains coming at you due to lack of sleep?

Yup. I have lots of small hallucinations on the trail. Nothing big and dramatic this year, but I always see trees, houses and sandy beaches along the Iditarod when there are none around!!!

Sandra A. Stealey: What do you think about most when you out on the trail? Are you always occupied with what's coming up or do you ever just "muse"...doesn't have to be personal, can be what you have heard from other long distance mushers too.
Lots of time to 'muse'. Trust me I solve all the the problems and issues in my life, make great plans for the future, and come up with all sorts of ways to create world peace while out on the trail. 

Unfortunately, once I've had a bit of sleep, nothing seems like as good an idea as it did in the middle of the trail. Go figure!!! =)
Are Bang and Irving similar?
Well, they are littermates, so they are similar in some ways but Bang is much more serious and agreeable than Irving!


Ricki said...

Absolutely wonderful answers, Karen!!! Thank you! And so very, VERY glad you and the team finished in good health! <3 Congratulations!

Pat in Tanzania said...

I wonder if IonEarth is now considering makes their GPS units some color that shows up a little easier. Who found the GPS? Did I miss that story?

Susan said...

My students loved the Wayward story. The fact that he got his own FB page was enough to cause laughter everyday. Bet made it quite enjoyable also, so between the two of them your Iditarod backstories were great reading!

glad you are at home, enjoying life and that pretty border collie.