North Wapiti Siberian
Iditarod 2008 - Tales from the Trail
February 11, 2008
So, on Saturday I had a bit of a crash a few
hundred feet after leaving the dogyard and I gave myself a good
whack on the head. (I think I fell on my snow hook) It wasn't
anything really serious. I just have a goose egg, a serious
headache and my jaw was out of alignment for about a day making
it hard to talk, chew, or open my mouth. I'm very dedicated to
all those things, so I found ways to make it work, but I was
really glad on Sunday when my jaw 'popped' back in on it's own
bringing instant physical relief and allowing me to eat and talk
Things are almost normal now. The swelling is mostly gone,
although the area is still tender to the touch but other then
popping a few extra painkillers a day (having a pharmacist for a
land lady is sweet - she always knows the right painkiller for
the right occasion) things are back to normal.
Now, I will have you all know that I'm a dedicated dog musher
and finished a 30 mile run after the head bang (obviously it
didn't knock any more sense into me) but Sunday morning I wasn't
feeling too hot and was kind of looking for an excuse to take a
day off running. A temperature of -23 F was the ticket and Mark
and I decided to spend the day putting my drop bags together -
which are due to be dropped off tomorrow in Anchorage.
Many of you have asked about drop bags - what goes into them,
how I decide what to send where, etc. The process actually
starts in the summer when I sit down and work up a race plan. I
figure out run and rest times and then work out my drop bags
around that schedule, while always padding the numbers with
extras in case the race doesn't go exactly like planned
(actually, it never seems to go like planned - at least for me!)
Throughout the year I gather, sort, and organize. During the
winter, Mark slices and dices meat on the band saw and then
divides and bags them into 16-dog sized meals and snacks.
The end product is piles and piles of stuff that gets loaded
into the truck for the drive north. Once we get to Alaska, more
gathering, sorting and bagging is done. Drop bags are picked up
from Iditarod Headquarters and labeled with my name.
Finally, usually the day before they are due, we spend the day
filling and closing up drop bags. Everything is kept on an Excel
database that tells us what is going in what bag.
At the end of the day 70 or so bags will have all the supplies I
will need for the dogs and I to journey across Alaska (I'll give
you exact numbers and weights after we turn them in tomorrow.
Since we are paying 50 cents for every pound I'm shipping - I
will know the exact weight).
To give you and idea of things in the bags, I shipped -
60 packages of SuperDog Treats
27 herring snacks
22 chicken skin snacks
10 vet bags (containing things like liniments, foot ointment,
Gold Bond baby powder, and Imodium)
36 meals for Karen
26 bottles of Gatorade
86 juice packs
9 sets of runner plastic
7 changes of underwear
Of course that is not a complete list. You can see more of the
stuff sent out at
Since the bags are all loaded in the truck and ready to be taken
to town tomorrow, we headed out to run dogs today. It was a
great run, as the temperature went up to 0F and we got a couple
inches of snow this morning!
You can see pictures of that at -
Lots of dog butts - as usual!!
Anyway, that brings everyone up to date on the happenings here.
Karen's Diary - Iditarod 2008 Edition
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