Well friends by now you have all seen the news. Over 50 mushers signed up the first day at the volunteer appreciation picnic. You can see the complete list of mushers here, and yes you will find my name on there. And that is how another year of insanity begins!!!
One of the things I like best about the annual Volunteer and Sigh Up picnic is the chance to get together with my mushing friends at a non-competitive event. Of course the rivalries make for good drama, and YES when we are out there on the trail it is all competition. But truth of the matter is the friendships are stronger than the rivalries. Mushers enjoy the opportunity to get together socially as much as any group. So although the task at hand was to declare your intent to run the 2017 Iditarod, the goal was to relax with some good friends and have fun. This year I brought my camera along to share with y’all some of the fun.
Photographers are usually more comfortable behind the lens, but I managed to catch a few in front of it. Snapped this one of Kristie Lent and Lance Masckey while we were enjoying the picnic lunch. And the one above was taken by the cashier at the ITC store of me and photographer Toni Reitter. You might want to check out their photography sites for great Alaskan photos. Kristie Lent Photography and Design & Photography by Antonia
Had fun catching up with Justin, Jamiee, and Izzy High. Got to see the new Willow Tough Parka they are making, Jenny was a great model, but think the sizing was not quite right.
High’s Adventure Gear is taking orders now – High’s Adventure Gear and Kennel
And for a better example of how the parka fits we need to thank Martin Buser for stepping into to model it.
Every year at the picnic they have drawings. First there are the drawings for prizes mushers donate for that fans, volunteers, visiting teachers, and guests at the picnic. That is followed by prizes for mushers donated by John Copper of Kipmik. Then the main event, 2 free entries are given away to mushers, but you have to be present to win. Needless to say, that is quite the incentive for mushers to hang out till the very end.
Here is Joanne pulling the mushers name for the free entry, sadly once again this year I did not win.
The Insider crew is getting a jump start on the season by conducting mushers interviews at the picnic.
Raymie Redington runs a dog cart tour at the ITC headquarters, and along with being an wonderful opportunity for visitors to experience the power and joy of running dogs it is also a natural gathering spot. Many of us found our way to Raymie’s visitor cabin to relax for a bit at the end of the picnic.
Hope y’all enjoy the candid shots. Not nearly as fun as being there in person, but for those of you in the lower 48 it was the best I could do. And you can read more at the Iditarod website Eye on the Trail – Musher Sign-up and Volunteer Recognition Picnic – Volunteer Picnic & Musher Sign-up.