I accompanied my wife for a week in Anchorage from February 24 to March 3. She was consulting with a client, and possibly, as a lure, her client scheduled her visit to overlap with the start of the Iditarod. No way would I pass up an opportunity like this, so I tagged along and played while Andrea worked.
At a later date, I will post more on Alaska and Anchorage, but since the Iditarod just finished today, I decided I had better get out the following photographs while they have some timely relevance. After all, in Alaskan “chamber-speak,” the Iditarod is known as “The Last Great Race on Earth.”
It was won this year–today in fact, March 13, 2013–by Mitch Seavey. His time on the trail was 9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes and 56 seconds.
|Aliy Zirkle, Musher from Two Rivers, with one of her sled dogs (cel phone photo by Andrea Kihlstedt)|
Anyway, here are some of my photographs taken on Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Anchorage, where the “Ceremonial Start” of the Iditarod took place. The Official Start, called the “Restart,” took place 50 miles north in Willow on Sunday, March 3, at 2:00 p.m.
|Anchorage, Alaska, 4th Avenue, Friday, March 1, 2013, late afternoon|
|Anchorage, Alaska, 4th Avenue, Saturday, March 2, early morning|
|Willow, Alaska, Air View of Lake|
|Sled, Charley Bejna, Musher from Addison, IL|
|Scott Janssen, Musher from Anchorage, AK|
|Waiting for Breakfast: Sled Dogs of Scott Janssen|
|Waiting for Breakfast: Sled Dogs of Mushers Paul Gebhardt & Kristy Berington from Kasilof|
|Croner getting some love from Carrie: Sled Dogs of Musher Jeff King from Denali|
|Resting and Digesting: Sled Dogs of Jeff King|
|Ernie is ready to go; Ugly prefers his special chair: Sled Dogs of Nicholas Petit from Girdwood|
|Bomber: Sled Dog of Musher Michael Williams, Jr. from Akiak|
|Icicle & Innoka: Sled Dogs of Bob Chlupach from Willow|
|Snow: Sled Dog of Bob Chlupach|
|Tundra: Sled Dog of Charley Bejna from Addison, IL|
|Murphy & Shred: Sled Dogs of Ray Redington, Jr. from Wasilla|
The following photographs show the dogs in action, at the start of the Saturday, ceremonial run. Take note that there are several people and usually two sleds. That’s because this is really a fun day, preliminary to the real race that started on Sunday. The extra riders are sponsors and supporters of the team. They will enjoy the eleven mile ride to the Bureau of Land Management Campbell Tract, where I am sure there is food, conviviality, and where they have already parked their cars so they can get home once they see their teams off on the road to Willow for the next day’s “restart.”
|Turn onto Cordova Street: Number 2 Sled, Martin Buser from Big Lake|
|Turn onto Cordova Street: Number 3 Sled, Scott Janssen from Anchorage|
|Turn onto Cordova Street: Number 3 Sled, Scott Janssen|
|Turn onto Cordova Street: Number 4 Sled, Jodi Bailey from Chatanika|
|Turn onto Cordova Street: Number 5 Sled, Lance Mackey from Fairbanks|
|Turn onto Cordova Street: Number 6 Sled, Ken Anderson from Fairbanks|
|The 4th Avenue Chute: Number 9 Sled, Kelly Griffin from Wasilla|
|Number 9 Sled, Kelly Griffin|
|The 4th Avenue Chute: Number 10 Sled, Peter Kaiser from Bethel|
|4th Avenue: Number 12 Sled, Jason Mackey from Wasilla|
|4th Avenue: Number 13 Sled, John Baker from Kotzebue|
|4th Avenue: Number 14 Sled, Paige Drobny from Fairbanks|
|4th Avenue Starting Line: Photographers wait for Sled 19, Dallas Seavey from Willow|
|4th Avenue Starting Line: Sled 20, Kristy Berington from Kasilof|
|4th Avenue: Number 28 Sled, DeeDee Jonrowe from Willow|
|4th Avenue: Number 54 Sled, Jessica Hendricks from Two Rivers|
|4th Avenue: Number 57 Sled, Wade Marrs from Wasilla|
|4th Avenue: Number 59 Sled, Jim Lanier from Chugiak|
I hope that you have enjoyed some parts of this blog post, but I can’t really speak about the Iditarod from personal experience. I have never even taken a ride in a dog sled, and all I saw was a two-hundred yard run on urban snow!
Even so, watching these dogs run this short stretch of 4th Avenue was inspiring, and I can only imagine what it would be like to ride behind them on a wilderness trail. I encourage you to watch the following video that offers much more than my simple, still photographs; its passages of mushing at night in the wilderness are particularly captivating. It’s title is “Run Dogs Run.”
Scott Wagner says
Great photos, and the Iditarod site is fantastic! Easy to get WAYY too excited about a dog race.
Tyko Kihlstedt says
Hi, Scott. It was fun. Now, I would like to experience a ride on one of these into the wilderness. Somehow, a snowmobile just doesn't have the same appeal.