Dangerously Daydreaming

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence

The Last Great Race: Iditarod

The noise is overwhelming.  Howls fill the air and if you didn’t know better, you’d think that hundreds of wolves had converged in the city.  A lot of fanfare and even more wild yips and the team of 15 sled dogs pant down the snowy chute at full-bore.  This is in their blood, they yearn to run – and 1000 miles of Alaskan wilderness stretch before them, beckoning.

Image courtesy of National Geographic

The famed and legendary Iditarod is in full swing right now.  My mom is visiting some of her friends in Anchorage and on Saturday she got to go the Willow, the first checkpoint on the Iditarod trail to watch the teams pass through.  I have to say that I’m brimming with jealousy and oh, so excited for her!  I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Pog, the plush Husky dog.

It all started with a plush toy.  My dad has worked in seafood quality assurance for most of my life.  In fact, it’s the reason we moved to Alaska when I was 15 years old.  But when I was younger my dad would make short seasonal trips to Alaska each year.  When I was two or three, he brought me back a little, plush, Husky dog.  Laugh all you want, but I still have it.  And it started a childhood interest for Huskies.  Now I try to catch videos of the Iditarod sled dogs (yes, I realize they aren’t Siberian Huskies) and I’m still transfixed by them.

I’ve long been fascinated by this race that pits man and dog against the wild Alaskan frontier.  These men and women who survive the frozen wilderness are phenomenal for accomplishing such a feat, win or lose the race.  And the history of this race’s origins is equally amazing to me, heroism borne from necessity.  Then there are the dogs…  Well, the dogs are some truly fantastic creatures, running sometimes 100 miles in a day at below zero degree temperatures.  Born to run, burning to run.  It’s amazing!

The Iditarod Trail - Image courtesy of http://www.discoverak.com

So when my mom next calls, I expect a full report of how spectacular it was to see this great race.  I’ve never seen the Iditarod in person, but perhaps next year I can make that happen.  My mom hopes to move to Anchorage within a year and a visit from her darling daughter around the first weekend of March could be quite àpropos… don’t you think?


3 comments on “The Last Great Race: Iditarod

  1. captainariel
    March 7, 2012

    That would be so amazing! 😀 and it would be fun to be in it, or a smaller race haha. I hope you get to go :]…and Idk if Dee Dee Jonrowe is racing this year but if she is please pray for her :]

  2. Curly Carly
    March 8, 2012

    When I was little, we would go and watch the race begin since it was just a few blocks away from our house. It was always so exciting. I have some photos of it that I’ll have to post some time. The mushers and their dogs came to my school a number of times, too. I always loved that.

    I have a family member who works at the headquarters up in Wasilla. We went and checked it out a couple years ago while visiting. It was pretty neat. They have lots of photos and historical information about the race. They also gave us a quick dogsled ride (not exactly the same as a real dogsled ride, but close enough).

    • Audrey
      March 8, 2012

      Okay, I just turned green with envy, I’m pretty sure. That’s way to cool! A sled ride, visits from the mushers, and pics to prove it – yes, please post those photos at some point. I’d love to see them. 🙂

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