Friday 28 February 2003

February 28, 2003

Oh my gosh - so close to the start - I can almost taste it! Can't wait!! 

Yesterday was a very busy day. First the Musher's Meeting and then the Musher Banquet in the evening. 

Mark drove me down to the Meeting. When we walked into the hotel, the first person he passed asked how his ribs were. That set a trend for the rest of the day! I'm shocked to find out how many of you actually read my diaries. Mark hasn't been reading them in awhile, but now I imagine he will be backtracking to find out exactly what I've been saying about him! (Love you, Honey!)

Anyway, the meetings were very good. I must commend the Iditarod Trail Committee. I know planning the 2003 'Idita-Detour' has been a very difficult thing and they have done a tremendous job. They never waivered from the position that they would put on an event for us SOMEWHERE and they are doing it. Jack Niggemeyer put it very well at the meeting - "In hindsight, would we have done things this way?? Maybe not - but this is what we have done, because we thought it best at the time." I think they have done a great job and I'm so grateful to them! 

The Banquet was, as always, big and noisy!! I was honored to have 3 tables of friends there. Bonnie Lundberg had made up and donated all kinds of gifts and fun 'Siberian' related things to everyone at our tables - noisemakers, headbands, patches... Thanks so much Bonnie - you are one amazingly creative and gifted lady!! Speaking of creative and gifted - Denise Linley (who does up all my limited edition prints) and her husband, Scott drove up from B.C. for the Banquet and Ceremonial Start. I haven't seen them in awhile, so that was really special! 

Pirate's family - Pam, John, and Norbert Kanzler came up from New York. I know they can't wait to get to visit with Pirate today and tomorrow - I'm sure Pirate feels the same way! Marlene from Montana was there, Janet from California, Jr. Iditarod musher, Lynzie Bacchus and her dad,.... and many more - but I'm going to stop naming everyone because if I put up a full list, I'm sure to forget someone! Which is EXACTLY what I did in my speech at the Banquet - forgot to thank the person that, hands down, I am most grateful and thankful to - Mark. 

If it weren't for Mark's love, patience, support, participation, sacrifice (and paycheck) - there would be no dogs and no Iditarod in my life. It means so much to me that not only does he 'tolerate' my passion for mushing, but that he participates. Mark, with only a small amount of grumbling, gets out of bed early on his days off to sit on a cold 4 wheeler, shovel dogyards, help whelp litters, run to the vet with me - whatever is needed. Although he is not the one standing on the runners of the sled during Iditarod - he is as much a part of this team as the dogs or I. "Thanks, Babe - I love you."

Well, I bet some of you are wondering about bib number. My draw was Bib 38! Not a bad draw - I'm happy with it. 

We are doing an Open House here from 11-3 today, so I must run and get some things done before 11:00 AM rolls around. Mark will be taking over diary entries pretty quick. I will probably do one more to let everyone know which dogs are heading to Nome with me. I'd let you know right now - but I STILL haven't narrowed the list all the way down yet! :) :)

And before I sign off, I'd like to list all my 2003 sponsors. Without each and everyone of you living this dream would not be possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! (I sincerely hope I do not miss anyone - but if I do, please let me know. I will blame it on 'Pre Race Jitters' - but I will also make sure to get you the recognition that you are owed!)

Lead Dog Sponsors
Dawne Deeley & The Tsarshadow Gang - Sidney, B.C.
Westlock Vet Clinic - Westlock, Alberta
   Denise Linley - Farmington, B.C.
Alice & Lara Baker/Softworld, Inc - Los Alamos, New Mexico
Doug & Donna Finner - New Hampshire, USA
Stuffed Animal House - Langley, B.C.

Team Dog Sponsors
Sabaka Kennels - Compton, Illinois
John and Pam Kanzler - New York

Wheel Dog Sponsors
Cheryl Liddle and Selina Topete - Pittsburg, California
The McQueens - San Jose, California
Marlene and Doug Daniels - Belgrade, Montana
Siberian Husky Club of Greater Kanas City
Deaf Dog Coffee - Petaluma, CA

Saskatchewan Chapter of the
Siberian Husky Club  of Canada

   In honor of their work done by the Save Our Siberians
Siberspace Rescue Fund, the following people:
Mary Ann Strock
Cheryl Dawson
Lois Leonard
Barb Branham
Kris Biagiotti
Rita Young-Jones
Maureen Lamb
Our Other Sponsors
Tanzilla Harness & Supplies - Whitehorse, Yukon
Jamie Nelson - Togo, Minnesota
Jane Freeman (& Tasha!) - Spokane, WA
Katherine Spiess
Rachel Curtis
Mukluk Dog Supplies - Diane Phoenix
Brown/Dubetz Iditarod Catering Services
Wayne and Cheryl Jueal - San Jose, California
Janet Yeager - California
Joy Hayward - Colinton, Alberta
Heather Walls - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Harvey and Sylvia Ramstead - Calgary, Alberta
Morna Murray - Calgary, Alberta
Jim Murray - Calgary, Alberta
Quebec Chapter of the Siberian Husky Club of Canada
Lee and Jim Desjardins - Ancaster, Ontario
Chesapeake Siberian Husky Club 
Lower Columbia Siberian Husky Club
Siberian Husky Club of Greater Chicago
Lodgepole Siberians - Kevin & Carol Preble
Michael & Paulette Jones 
Jamie West Banks - Willow, Alaska
Kathy Povey - New York

Happy Feet Sponsors
Bob and Becky Griffith
Marcie Yont
Mary Curtis
Greg and Marie Stevens
The Siberian Husky Club of Greater Detroit 

Sponsor-A-Dog Sponsors
Scott and Janet Sweeney
June Shelley
Susan Davis, Ann Conser, Holly Conser, Ruth Lloyd
June Price
Jackie Symonds
Alice and Travis Fitzgerald
Megan and Randee McQueen
Jill Frick
Perryvale Country Store

Candace, Hayden, Lonie, Devonte,
Tamara, Erik, Iain, Jordon and Abby

Heather Brennan
Marlene Phillips-Daniels
The Kuerbis Family
Bob and Loreen Bridges
Debbie Custer

Jim Murray (one of the finest trumpet
players in all the Canada - I hear!)

Robert Ford
Correen Pacht and Marc Ralsky
Ursula and John Rempel
Harvey and Sylvia Ramstead
Elsie Chadwick
Lee Desjardin

Shanean Hicks, Laura Neville Woods,
 Ruth Lloyd, Cecile and Lisa Toth

Morna Murray
Kim and Kelly Berg
Barb and John Armour
Glen Todd
The Golden Girls at Heartprint Kennels
Kay and Jennifer Arnold
With deep gratitude,

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