And as you might guess with everything going on this is going to be a quickie post.
Mostly to say MUSH THANKS to everyone who was a part of getting me this far. It really is a team effort, and without our friends and supporters this just would not be possible! So one again, MUSH THANKS to our supporters, we can not thank you enough!
Also this is a fine time for a little re-cap and some photos from the Ceremonial start in Anchorage yesterday. I have often likened this day to a parade, a chance for mushers to share the dogs and excitement, and for fans to come see us up close and in action. And for a special group called “Iditariders” a chance to ride in the sled with a race team as we run through Anchorage. The Iditarider program is an auction that raises funds for the Iditarod Trail Committee and gives fans a chance to bid on a unique opportunity. My Rider Maureen was from Cape Cod, very near where I grew up on Marthas Vineyard, which is why she choose to bid on me. And I am glad to say she won. We had a delightful time in spite of somewhat less then ideal weather. I think her smile says it all! For the last section of the trail I stopped the team and asked her is she was feeling brave? And she was, so we had her hop up on the runners and drive the team (with the help of Dan behind her on the tag sled) into the finish area. Giving me a chance to get off my feet and relax in the sled.
Excuse the fuzzy photo, the poor camera got a bit wet during an unseasonably slushy run! You can see some photos from the Anchorage start at the Alaska Dispatch.
And some quality time with the team post run~ you can see in the photo how wet the dogs were at the end of the run. But in spite of that everyone had a grand time, and Maureen was still sporting the best smile!
Need to take a minute and thank my handling crew, they are quite simply THE BEST!!! Dan of course runs the show. But with help from TC & Dave, Jenny, and Paul, all the dogs were well cared for. They basically took the dogs out of the trailer, and had them on the raised trailer hitch area where they could get foot ointment, booties and harnessed on dry ground. Sarah and Lexi are the people people, making sure I am where I need to be and have everything I need, making sure our Iditarider is comfortable, and also making sure the volunteers from the Iditarod who come to help us walk the team to the chute know how we do things at Dew Claw. With such an experienced and fun crew everything went off extremely smoothly, and I was left with not a thing to do or worry about. Mush Thanks
And with Rich Strömberg on hand we got some really great (and fun) shots from the pre-race festivities and the start chute. Which I hope y’all will enjoy.
And with that my friends it is time for me to sign off for awhile, pack the sled, give the dogs some love and a pep talk, and get ready for the adventure. Thanks again to EVERYONE who has helped make it possible. Please enjoy following the race, and wish me and all the mushers and dogs safe travels to Nome!!!