North Wapiti Siberian
February 20, 2001
Where to start…where to start…
Actually, I’m going to start in the middle today – just because this particular experience was so memorable!!
On Sunday morning I was out on the trail running the second leg of the Goose Bay 120 (more about that later!). I was coming across a section of the Iditarod Trail known as 3-mile swamp right at daybreak. The Chugiak Mountain range, which is right next to Anchorage, was stretched out across the skyline, bathed in the most perfect pink light. It was SO beautiful! Then I happened to glance over my shoulder to see one mountain peak towering above the trees behind me, it was Denali. The view was one that will stick with me always – the mountain itself was basically obscured by a hazy, deep blue, but one face of it had the rocks and ledges highlighted in a muted pink shade. It was simply spectacular.
Anyway, it has been a busy few days (Maybe that’s why the time on the trail watching the sunrise seemed so special. Only 10 more days till all I have to focus on is the trail, dogs, and the beauty surrounding us – well, that and those moments of sheer terror – like when you are about to plunge down the Happy River Steps!)
On Friday all the dogs went to Iditarod Trail Headquarters for their pre race bloodwork, EKG and microchipping. Results of the bloodwork are already back and everyone is looking really good – as expected. We had done bloodwork earlier in the season to catch any problems well beforehand.
I continue to be impressed by the efficiency and skill of the volunteer vet techs that do this work. They will test around 1580 dogs prior to Iditarod – they handle each dog with patience, skill and efficiency. Amazing ladies! My hat is off to all of them.
That weekend I decided to run the Goose Bay 120. This race goes down the Iditarod Trail to Yentna Station, takes an 8-hour break, and then runs back. I took Orion, Camilla, Smiley, Grover, Jake, Mannie, Surge, Sissy, Cassie, Kaylinn, Striker, and Draco. Had a great time! Tim and his group at the Tug Bar went out of their way to make it a fun event!
I was the last finisher out of the 7 starters (1 scratched) but as I was just running it as a training run, I wasn’t at all disappointed. Unfortunately, it didn’t help me narrow down my team anymore. All the dogs had a good run and all showed signs that they want to be on the ‘A’ team.
Early Monday we once again had the dogs loaded up into the truck. This time we were off to the Big Lake Susitna Veterinary Clinic for the dog’s pre race vet checks. Dr. Baetsle and his staff did a through check on the dogs, doing everything from weighing to checking feet, eyes, and ears. Once again, everyone checked out great!
So now we are pretty much done all the pre race checking. I will focus now on a little bit shorter, fun runs on the dogs and working on last minute packing details for my sled and such.