Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our first trip to the kenai

Half of the gang the morning after the race.  Pheobe, Haweye, Oz, Me, Icarus, Zazu,  Patton,  and Lugnut 
    If you are a Sports Center fan the concept that on any given Sunday anything can happen is probably something you accept as a part of professional sport.  Sure there is always a chance that a dark horse can come out of the stable on fire, but nine times out of ten talent will best chance.  If you prefer Disney to Sports Center, this is probably something that isn't easy to accept.  After all the Bad News Bears have to win otherwise no one leaves the theater with an uplifting experience.  If this was Disney, my money would be on Colleen Robertia.  Local gal, big smile, all heart, and dedicated.  (If you weren't rooting for her shame on you.)  If you'd rather the dark horse on fire, I guess you'd be stuck rooting for me to pull off an upset.   
    Interested in the opinion of a dark horse who was out on the runners during the race?  (I hope you realize that if you continue reading you're going to get it whether or not you want it.)  The boys in Vegas who make a living taking bets on this kind of stuff would be really happy with the results of the T 200, because what statistically happens happened.  The best team won, the second best team took second and the third best team took third. for results. 

    Those of you who bet on Colleen take solace in the fact that the human heart is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.  (Which by the way is what the boys in Vegas count on.) For those of you who bet on me, you need therapy.

    Stevie Wonder could have seen that Dee Dee had the team to beat.  Awesome!!!
Icarus knows what check points are all about.
As for Cim, I'm really getting tired of following this guy around just to have him disappear at the end.  I hope he's just as sick of me keeping up with him until the end.  (FYI, Cim's got my vote for best dog in the race.)

    As for our journey, yeah there are plenty of hills on the Kenai, but we live in the mountains, hills are not a problem for us.  The tropical heat is really what killed our chances of an upset.

    On the lighter side;  At the half, the Clam Gulch Lodge donated rooms for the mushers to sleep in.  Three per room.  Confession.  I have a reputation of snoring like a grizzly in January. I opened the door to room number one to find Dee Dee curled up as peaceful as an angel, and just couldn't bring myself to disturb Dee Dee's sleep.
So I quietly shut the door and went on to room number two, only to find ex-professional fashion model, Zoya DeNure sound asleep.  I hesitated just long enough to witness Anna and Kristy Berington enter room number three.  What's a fella supposed to do.  Well, Zoya lives in Paxon which is on the opposite side of the Denali Highway from Cantwell 134 miles away, which in Alaska makes us neighbors, so I went on in.  I had a hell of a time falling asleep worried that I would definitely lose any chance I might have at the sportsmanship award if I woke up went to the john or in this scenario jane and left the toilet seat up.  Conclusion.  Alaskan girls absolutely do kick _ _ _!!!

    As for our very own Alaskan gal who is kicking butt, we are very proud of Lindsay's performance in the T 100.   She finished right where we were expecting her to just behind all of the accomplished Jr Iditaroders and Paul,  and just in front of the rest of the first time racers.  It was a real thrill watching her nervous excitement.  Lindsay had a lot of fun and I know she learned a ton. 

    As for the race itself, I cannot say enough about the quality of the event.  A beautiful trail, groomed and marked exceptionally well.  Officials, checkers and vets always right where you needed them and pleasant.  In fact, from the moment we arrived in Soldotna, until the banquet was over, everyone we met was excited that we were there.  This kind of mushing enthusiasm speaks greatly of the quality of the mushing community on the Kenai.  It's obvious to me that the mushers who call this area home have over the years conducted themselves in a manner which has created this passion in the non mushing community for the sport.  Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!  Kudos all.

    A special thank you to Mindee and Kelly Morning for their generous hospitality, Sal's Diner in Soldotna for all of the great breakfasts, and to Jayne Heampstead for convincing us to make the trip.

    Until the next time I hope you are all having as much fun as I am, Mike