Howdy Ho everybodies,
It's your non-roving Border Collie Reporter, Bet, here on the Border Collie Broadcast Center (BCBC) also known as the leather couch at North Wapiti!
The 2013 Iditarod is starting up today with the ceremonial start, and although the Musher and Pretty Curly Tails aren't running, it still looks to be a very exciting race this year!
For those of you following a specific someone in the race, we highly recommend that you check out the officially official Iditarod Web page. If you want all of the Insider stuffs and things like GPS tracking and videos and other cool stuffs... and things, then we encourage you to subscribe to the Iditarod Insider (for a small fee), but it's well worth it to have the ability to watch the little blue dots as they make their way along the trail and totally freak out when they stop for no reason.
If you are on the Facebooks, then the places to watch are the Iditarod Trail Committee. They have a lot of cool insider scoops, pictures, stuffs and things on their page and you can freak out when the blue dots stop moving with all of the other peoples freaking out about the blue dots not moving.
Another good place for really insider information is on Sebastian Schnuelle's Armchair Musher page. He follows the race on his snowmachine and gets all sorts of scoops and info. Sebastian is also officially reporting for the Iditarod peoples this year, and his blog post last night provides a bit of insight on what happens before the race.
Apparently there are pre-race parties and the Musher attended the 7th annual shindig at Bonnie and Jim Foster's place on Eagle River. Look at those pictures!!!! Chocolate fountain thingies, and CAKE!!! There are some lovely pictures of the Musher there, so check out the bloggie article and try not to drool on your keyboard when you get to the food pics.
ADN also has good Iditarod coverage, so don't forget to check there.
Of course you can always follow us on our North Wapiti Kennels Facebooks page because we're waaaaay better at getting you information as it happens even if it's boring information!
Now, the biggest question I've gotten so far is "Who are you rooting for this year?"
Since the Musher is a judge, it wouldn't be goodly for us to actually root for one team, and frankly we're selfish and only root for the Musher and Pretty Curly Tails, so our official pronouncement is this:
"North Wapiti Kennels wishes all of the Mushers and their teams a safe, fun, and uneventful trip to Nome. Good luck to everyone, safe trip, and Godspeed"
You can quote us on that!
If you went to the link about the party... and if you didn't, then you just scroll yourself back up to that link, click on it and read... we'll wait for you...
Ready now? ... then you know that the Musher's first assignment is at the Finger Lake checkpoint! Located 123 miles into the race, it is a lovely barren spot covered in a whole lot of snow with an abandoned cabin... did I mention a lot of snow? There's snow. I'm sure she was wishing it was Unalakleet so she could just hang out at Peace of Earth Pizza but I'm pretty sure the more seasoned judges get that cushy spot... and who knows, she'll probably get moved to checkpoints closer to the finish as the race progresses, and we'll let you know when we know!
Anyhoooooo, the next biggie big question I get is "Just what exactly does an Iditarod judge do during the race?"
Ya know what? I totally have no idea!
I know that the Musher has judged things before, so I'm guessing that she'll wait at the checkpoint for the teams to arrive and then put them on the judging table and check them for carriage and color and conformation the animals are bred to achieve...
Umm... hmmm, that would take up a lot of time, now that I think about it. I mean, this is a race and everything, so it's more of a sporting kind of judging then... like agility!
Ok, so then the Musher will sit at the checkpoint and wait for the teams to come in and judge them on the accuracy as they race through the obstacles....
Hmmmm... ya know... that teeter totter thing would be problematic too...
Ok, let me do some research on this and I'll get back to you on what her official duties really are.
So, settle back, and if you are watching the Ceremonial Start, I heard that was a freebie, so go watch that, it's really fun looking because it's suppose to be fun!
According to the Musher, she will be there trying to look very official, and then she's going to run with the reindeer... I have no idea what that means, but reindeer have stompy hoovie things.