It’s that crazy time of the year again – Iditarod 2009. The ceremonial start of the race was held this morning, downtown Anchorage, and the weather was perfect – perfect for me, not so perfect for the dogs. The dogs like it colder than I do, strangely enough – but they’re probably working harder. This photo is Lance Mackey, winner of the last 2 Iditarod races, and a favorite for this year as well. Unfortunately I’ll be in the backcountry and not following the race too closely, but I’ll try to check in and see how the race shape up. It’d be way cool if Lance makes it 3 in a row.
Here’s another from the start of the Iditarod in Anchorage, March 1, 2008. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, and here the month has flown by. I wanted to get a shot or 2 of some interaction between the dogs and heir handlers, but they were typically not in decent light. Finally got a few that I was happy with. This one, the handler knelt down to check the dog’s booties, and he got a face full of tongue for his trouble. Seconds later the starter said “Go”, and the dogs were gone!
Well, just as I was winding down and about to go to bed, the news comes in. Lance Mackey wins the 2008 Iditarod. What an amazing achievement! He won the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod last year, and repeated both wins this year. 1100 miles down the frozen Yukon River, and virtually the same set of dogs wins the 1000 mile Iditarod. They said nobody could ever win both. He won both in 2007 and just won’ em again. Congrats Lance.
Jeff King, 4-time winner, is about an hour behind, and looks set to take 2nd place.
Another, possibly the last for now, from the Iditarod last weekend. The dogs can’t wait to get started, I swear its as if they count down with the starter, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and they leap into the traces. It’s amazing to me to think that the leaders are over halfway to Nome already. A few years back I was fortunate enough to spend some more time with the race, a few days out on the trail, which was a blast. Maybe one year I’ll get out to Nome for the finish. Until then, I’ll suffice with the excitement of the start of the Iditarod in Anchorage.
I know, I know, another photo from 4th street, downtown Anchorage. This was one of the later dog teams of the morning, towards the end of the teams, and they seemed mighty keen to make up for the late start. Right now they’re making their way across the frozen tundra of the Alaskan wilderness, and I bet they’re not quite pushing it as hard as they are here.
Anyway, rather than go on about the race, I want to get back to a subject I briefly mentioned the other day. Customer Service. Whilst a good rant about some lame-a** company who fails at every turn to offer reasonable support is good for the soul, it’s probably more important to throw a word out for those companies we do enjoy doing business with. For me, there are a few, and I’ll try to give a shout out to each as time goes by, but the first one I would like to mention is My Photo Pipe. The good people at this Atlanta, Georgia, store, formerly called Color Genesis, offer the best service around for prints and printing. Continue reading →
Here’s another photo from the Iditarod start in Anchorage on the weekend. You can see this leg is all in good fun by the costume. There’s no way that frog could make it all the way to Nome this time of year. About the same chance as my van making it to McCarthy and back.
This morning I went downtown here in Anchorage and watched a little of the start of the Iditarod. The sled dog race, known as mushing, runs from Anchorage to nome – well, pretty much. they actually do the “proper” start tomorrow, Sunday, in Wasilla, just north of Anchorage. They race all the way to Nome, over 1000 miles away. Crazy, I say.
It’s a treat to watch the dogs take-off — they’re so super-woundup, eager to run, the energy level is amazing. The din is pretty amazing down on 4th street too, with hundreds of dogs barking, howling, whining and generally causing mayhem. but once they hear “mush”, they’re all business, and off they go. Shooting photos of them as they race down main street is tons of fun.