As Pete heads North, it is hard to believe a week ago we all gathered in the Big City of Anchorage to Celebrate Mushing and the Start of 2013 Iditarod. The trail of today North to Eagle Island and Kaltag couldn’t be farther away from the sights and sounds of those times. Here are a couple of flashbacks for you. This year I embedded cameras with Tillie Kaiser and Natalie Hanson. Casey McDonald brought her own. Go forth and make pictures I told them and what came back was totally fun and amazing! Thanks Girls!! Click the photos to open the Facebook album.
Tillie and Natalie’s Photos-
And here are Casey McDonald’s Photos-
The big day is here! Trucks will be piling up snow on the roadways of Anchorage to allow the 2013 Iditarod Teams to make their way from the Ceremonial Starting Line in downtown to what is known as Campbell Creek. Thousands of tourists, fans, friends, and family of the mushers will line the streets hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite musher as they zip by.
For Kaiser Racing Fans, it will be a different day, at least on the web. For the past 3 years we have put up the start video soon after Pete and the Team leave the Gate. This year will be a bit different as we will be there with everyone to give you a bird’s eye view. However we are also covering the teams of Mike Williams Sr and Jr and Richie Diehl. So bear with us as it will be a couple of hours before we get the coverage online.
In it’s place – Live and in Person will be the Front Street Cam. See It Here! It updates every 5 minutes. Have Fun!
Iditarod.com will also be broadcasting the Start Live and Free at their website beginning at 9:30am – Check it out here!
Just back from the Musher’s Drawing in Anchorage. Thanks to Team Kaiser for jetting me into Anchorage and giving us a seat at the table this evening. How was it? In a word– Long! There are 65 mushers signed up for this year’s Iditarod. The Number 1 position is always an honorary position that doesn’t count in the positions, so Number 2 leaves first. This year Martin Buser will lead the 65 teams on to the Iditarod Trail.
Pete was the 8th musher to choose for position from the Iditarod mukluk and chose number 10. That is a great position and there were smiles around the table as he announced the number. Tenth position will put him not quite in front so he won’t be breaking trail, but far enough forward that he will be into checkpoints before the masses.
Also in attendance were the 3 other Bethel area teams, Mike Williams Sr (Akiak), Mike Williams Jr(Akiak), and Richie Diehl(Aniak).
Mike Sr. will leave 35th, Mike Jr. 46th, and Richie pulling up the rear in 65th position.
I rented a camera and just pulled it from the box, so apologies up front for some of these photos– We’ll be spending a bit of time with it tomorrow before the great start to get things ironed out. The night was a lot of fun with a fancy dinner of steak and salad and dessert before the drawing began. It was long, lasting from 6pm to just before 11pm as mushers thanked sponsors and signed autographs.
Tomorrow is a free day to give mushers a chance to focus on the Saturday start and tie up loose ends. I’ll be talking with Pete a bit and getting some good interviews to share with y’all!
The Team made it to Anchorage in fine style and were met by Jen and Pete at the Airport who gave them a quick ride into Palmer at host family Doug Dorland’s ranch. Doug has been the host family for Pete and the Team since his Iditarod rookie year and quite honestly I think the Team likes it better there than at home! Thanks Doug!
The Team was checked over by Iditarod Veterinarians who gave them a clean bill of health. The dogs are poked and prodded and given a complete physical to determine readiness for the trail. All is good and the Team is ready to go.
Here are some photos of the check from Jen who is with Pete in Anchorage.
Unlike many mushers, Pete and the Team must travel 400 miles to Anchorage to get ready for the race. Pete left on Alaska Airlines yesterday morning and the Team left on Northern Air Cargo. They had a Boeing 737 all to themselves. Luckily it was a backhaul rate, so Pete got a pretty good deal. Thanks to the folks at Northern Air Cargo for letting us get all of the photos!