So....here's the deal. The Iditarod (the world's greatest sled dog race) is starting in Fairbanks on Monday morning. This is not the typical starting location, so the call went out, city-wide, for dog handlers, and Cat Herder and Collin answered. This morning we took the required class to become a Certified Iditarod Dog Handler, and we are assured a hard workout Monday morning as we help restrain dog teams at the starting line. We panted a little at the training, but that was just one team of 6 dogs around a parking lot. Monday morning will see 78 teams of 16-dogs each, moving between the musher parking area and the starting line: a distance of nearly half a mile. The basics of the course are:
1) do not pet the dogs;
2) do not step on the dogs feet;
3) if you're going to fall, roll away from the dogs so as not to injure them;
4) restrain, restrain, restrain!
In related news, the Parkwest world intersects with the Iditarod. Dan Kruse informed us that a high school class mate of his, Jim Lanier in Bib #13, is one of the mushers this year. At 74, Jim may be the oldest contender in this race, but he's no rookie. Good luck, Jim!
Further, Chuck and Linda Chowns are Iditarod junkies and sponsor Mr. Nicolas Petit, Bib #12.
Small, small world. These guys will be starting side by side, and likely have no knowledge of our extended Parkwest network.
Cat Herder (aka Marisa) has been guiding pilot tours in the American West for over a sixteen years. Keep tabs on your Parkwest pilot friends, National Park news and other tidbits here!