RacedayRaceday is finally coming. We had a safe trip to Fairbanks and actually took it easy, not leaving the last minute as usual. We started on Monday afternoon, my truck trouble continued, I tried to pick up my broken down Ford from the dealer in the morning, but only got 5K before it acted up again. It is a 2003, defenitely the last new vehicle I own, it is more in the shop than driving. I also learned a the real meaning for Ford that day (Fix Or Repair Daily) At least the old beaters can be fixed by almost anybody.
So off we went driving my other Ford with a broken transmission, it has no 4th gear, subsequently it was a slow trip. Roland drove the old beater Dogdruck with his team and had no trouble as usual with that machine. We spend the first night at Roy and Sandra in Tok and than went from there to Charlie Champaine. John and Volker were already there packing the food drop for the Iditarod. The meat was cut up, but still needed bagging, this time not in Ziplock bags but woven burlap bags. In case it gets warm while the meat sits at the checkpoint, it does not spoil as easy, as in Ziplogs.
Roland and Maren are staying with our friend Judy Copper on the Chena Hot Springs Road, John is with friends in "town" and Volker and me a few miles down the Road at Gisela and Dieter Dolif. We are getting truely spoiled, Judy making Pizza for us, Gisela putting my favorite Diete Coke in the fridge and Kristi from the Bushvet specially baking some "trail cookies".
It was a long night as I met up with Eric the Bushvet at 10 p.m to check over all my dogs, after all they have had an onset of kennel cough in the last days. First I was real worried, but now looking at it, I almost think it is not that bad of a timing after all, at least they will be "done" with it before the race.
Wednesday I did a last training run, despite the low snow conditions the trails look good. I will do some last minute changes to my team and leave some of the "old stars" at home like Paws and give young dogs like Rat a chance to shine. Time will tell if that is a good decision. In the evening we went to the meet the Mushers night at Coldspot Feeds, which had a real good turnout, and best off all pizza all you can eat, I defenitely defended that table. Another late night saw us back at the Dolifs.
Thursday is busy with meetings, Handler meetings, Musher meetings, and than at night of course the banquet. Inbetween another trip to Champains to finish packing the Iditarod, but I wanted to have that all finished and done with that I have a "free" Friday to just tinker with my gear and have fun with the dogs, well and write this update. Yet annother super late night saw us back in the nice cabin at Dolifs at midnight.
As it is my tradition, I pulled a high starting number once again. Not that I particulary like that, but I will leave last again, number 22, hopefully that position will have changed, by the time I will reach Whitehorse.
* Photo Carsten Ties - More Questphotos