Thursday, March 22, 2012

Iditarod 2012

     Iditarod to me is a rich tapestry woven with the tales of each and every person involved.  Not only the mushers and dogs, their families, friends and handlers, but also all of the volunteers, the villagers, veterinarians, pilots, and even the fans.  Imagine that story if it could only be told.  The lure of the Northland, once dominated by mountain men and gold seekers, has been kept alive by this truly Alaskan event.  It's spell is apparently all to easy to catch, and almost impossible to cure.  In the land of the midnight sun there still lives the very basic American ideal that the toil itself is its own reward.

     Since I've returned home I've received a ton of emails, instant messages, and phone calls  congratulating me on completing the 2012 Iditarod.  Much appreciated, but I can assure you that I had a really small role in the eventual outcome of our race.  Yup, I was the lucky guy on the runners behind an incredible group of dogs, and yeah, I had to make decisions along the way that needed to be made, but I never could have done it with out a ton of help.  Much thanks needs to go to my crew for the hard work they've done all season in preparing the dogs for the race, and to the folks who have worked for me over the last several years.  Also I would like to thank my good friend Clint Warnke who was instrumental in setting me up with an awesome run / rest schedule which suited my team's strengths.  My Knik mom, Maureen Reagan, who for the past two years has cooked and packaged all of my meals.  And my neighbor Susan Carlson who washed and dried all of my socks so I could have a fresh pair at all of the checkpoints, talk about an unsung hero.

     To all of those who have supported us financially over the years a big thank you for saying yes when it would've been easier to say no.  Scott Lee at the Inlet Towers, Rick McMahan of Denali Fly Fishing Guides, Jim and Joy Wheeler of Wheeler EMS K9 Unit, Claude Bondy at Alpine Creek Lodge, Chuck Sterni, aka, Mr Bootie,  Jeni Mason of Denali PEAK program, Ahtna Inc. and the Native Village of Cantwell, Jayne Heampstead at Cantwell Veterinary Clinic, and all of the wonderful ladies of Paw Partners.
Showing off my Shaktoolik suntan
     I know you all want to know what it was like out there on the trail, but please be patient, I'm working on it I promise.

     Until the next time I hope you are all having as much fun with you dog or dogs as I am with mine.

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