Balladeer’s Blog welcomes back my sister Rosemary as a guest commentator to share her enthusiasm for the upcoming Iditarod Race. She is a terrific Good Will Ambassador for the event and has gotten me and several other people into following the race each year. Today is the ceremonial start of the 2016 edition.
Balladeer’s Blog will once again offer updates on the race as it progresses, complete with each competitor’s Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname. Rosemary’s new broadcast partner, in the tradition of Sonny and Sam, is her dog Ragnar – seen at left.
Rosemary: Did you ever wonder what it would be like to be alone in the Alaska wilderness…just you and maybe 18 well-trained sled dogs pulling your sled? Well, I have. I have been a fan and a follower of the Iditarod Race since the early 1990s and since around 2004 I’ve been able to virtually experience the thrills and spills of the race; admire the fortitude of the mushers and the excitement of the competition; watch the well-trained dogs excitedly and happily travel the approximately 1,000 miles; and enjoy the beauty of Alaska.
Every year they have an auction where you can actually take a ride with one of the mushers entered to compete in the ceremonial start to the race…usually the day before the actual start. THAT is number one on my Bucket List. Everything else on my list pales in comparison.
Here is a taste of what the race involves, directly from their website:
“The race is really a reconstruction of the freight route to Nome and commemorates the part that sled dogs played in the settlement of Alaska. The mushers travel from checkpoint to checkpoint much as the freight mushers did eighty years ago—although some modern dog drivers like Doug Swingley, Martin Buser, Jeff King, Susan Butcher, and Rick Swenson move at a pace that would have been incomprehensible to their old-time counterparts, making the trip to Nome in under ten days.”
Please take a look at the website and I think you will fall just as much in love with this wonderful and historical commemoration of a part of Alaska’s great past as I have.