I took these photos on 6 March 2010 at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod dog sled race. The real start is from Willow. The Iditarod is known as “the last great race”. It goes 1,100 miles from Willow to Nome through unforgiving terrain and downright nasty weather. I took these photos between Goose Lake and APU. What a great day to be an Alaskan! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I loved this set of short columns from the weekly paper that Dana wrote over 5 years of travelling around Alaska and trying new experiences and getting involved in some really unusual events. It seems that nearly all the towns – large villages by UK standards – have unique events to celebrate their heritage or a special event that happened to this town. And of course there is the Editarod – the husky sled race across Alaska celebrating the vaccine delivery that actually took place in the most awful of weathers.
One can see some of these experiences that Dana had in these columns cropping up in her books so it is nice to know that they are real Alaskan happenings!
It is quite long of course – 57 different columns – which is why although I started before 2014, I only just finished it yesterday. It is difficult to review as it covers so many different things but if you like to read about interesting and different events or you think you might like to go to Alaska then this would be a wonderful guidebook as to some of the things you could do there.
When I went, some years ago now, I had 2 days in Anchorage to undertake some exploration – as the previous 3 days had been all about my conference. some things I vividly remember – the waiter who said when I announced I was a vegetarian – how good chicken was for me… But if you read the columns you will understand that being a vegetarian outside the very largest towns would be extremely difficult – it is a meat based culture and lifestyle – the growing season being very short indeed.
And there were several moose that used to stand in the entrance to our hotel every day that we had to shoo away before we could go out, and there was an enormous stuffed bear in the hotel lobby – which freaked me a little as I am less than fond of stuffed animals and refuse to go into places where they are!
And so in those 2 days I took 2 expensive trips – again the tourist season is short and so.. – both by boat – first to see how much wild-life I could see. Whales, sharks, fish, birds, killer whales hunting, dolphins playing and otters resting and holding onto their stones.. The second trip was to see the fjords and glaciers – and they obediently calved for us as we got right up close in the very small ship – the bluest of colour and wonderful to see.
If you like her fictional books then read the inspiration for the characters, businesses, and events from real life in this book!
- Iditarod Preparation (907firesidetales.wordpress.com)
- The Iditarod misadventures of May the Husky (thepoodleanddogblog.typepad.com)