Saturday, 11 August 2012

Tales of the Trail 2012 - The Pizza Checkpoint

In 1998 I had the wonderful opportunity to travel the Iditarod trail as a fan. I was tagging along with musher Ross Adam's wonderful wife Karen and their handler Rhonda LaValley. It was a fantastic  time!!! We flew into Skwentna, Rainy Pass, Nikolai, McGrath, Ruby, Unalakleet, and then due to weather, straight to Nome.
Not only was it great fun, it was wonderful preparation for my first Iditarod. I can never repay Ross and Karen for such a wonderful opportunity and their kind hospitality!!!.

Our pilot was Paul Roderick of Talkeetna Air Taxi. On top of being a super pilot, Paul was an excellent tour guide. When we arrived in Unalakleet he insisted that we go to Peace on Earth Pizza.

We trudged through town to a small, unspectacular building. The menu was surprising for a little pizza place in the middle of nowhere...greek pizza, fresh veggies, a wonderful selection of meats...everything you would expect in a pizza place in a city of a million people or so!! We ordered and proceeded to dine on one of the most amazing pizzas I've ever had. SO good!!!

In 2000 when I ran my first Iditarod the closer I got to Unalakleet, the more that pizza kept popping up in my thoughts.

By the time I got to the checkpoint the urge was undeniable. It was about 2 in the afternoon and tracked down the phone number for Peace on Earth with the help of a local checker. When I phoned I was simply heartsick to hear a recorded message come on stating that they were closed till 5pm. The message did, however, list a phone number to call 'in case of emergency'.

It took me about 2 seconds to make the decision, I called the number.

I told the person that answered that he might not consider this an 'emergency' but I did. I had just driven a dog team over 900 miles across Alaska dreaming of a Peace on Earth Pizza.

They laughed (thank goodness) and agreed that that sounded like an emergency to them too. They took my order and about an hour later a hot, cheesy, DELICIOUS pizza showed up in the checkpoint.

Every year since I have treated myself to pizza in Unk!!! Well....I should clarify, for the last few years friends/family and fans have gotten together and treated me to pizza in Unk!!!  A really appreciated and enjoyed treat!!!!

This year in addition 'Bet' encouraged folks to virtually 'join' me for pizza in Unalakleet!!

I didn't find out about that until I got to Nome, but it really made me smile to think that I had had so many dining 'along with me' .

The pizza was the perfect order for me (so wonderful to have ex handlers that know me very well to order. Thank you Kathryn!!) and it was AWESOME!!!

My sincere and heartfelt thanks to ALL of you that donated to the pizza fund!!

Alison Bailie
Teresa Barnes
Jenny Becker
Barbara Bennett
Linda Birchall
Bubbles 'n Bees Soaps & Candles
Barbara Branham
Kim Brownell
Ann Conser and Bongo
Deborah Custer
Cheryl Dawson
Digital Art Supplies
Anke Frerichs-Hemp
JoAnn Galuska
Allyson Gary
Dorothy Haley
Angie Hoth
Paulette Jones
David Lavsa
Jenifer Maksin 
Diana Miller
Norvin Morrow
Morna Murray
Lisa Myers
Pawsitive Pals Dog Training
Nancy Perry
Marlene Phillips-Daniels
Colleen Pitcher
Cathy Popp-McKenna
Pat Schue
Kathleen Shuman
LaRita Skipper
Laura Slay
Helen Smith
Sandra Stealey
Ryan Sutcliffe
Vincent Verna

No comments: