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Offline RE

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We are getting another snowfall here today, looks to me like it is coming down at the rate of about 1 cm/hour at the moment.  Cloud cover is thick, so it will probably persist for a few hours at least, possibly all night.  I have both my carz under the carport in front of my digs, because it appears my next door neighbors have moved out.  Officially you only get one carport spot, and are allowed maximum of 2 vehicles per unit.  I had 3 since I bought SaVANnah last summer.  The Mazda has gone to the Great Beyond for Carz. where she now sits in an honored position at the Campfire of Her People as a Chief of the Road who lasted almost 30 years before buying her ticket to the Great Beyond.  So I won't have any snow removal tasks tomorrow from my vehicles.  :icon_sunny:

RE Carz
RE Carz

There was already a pretty decent snow cover on the roads here from a couple of recent snowfalls, and this bodes well for this year's Iditarod, the Dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome, which actually begins up here in the Mat-Su Valley traditionally.  They have a ceremonial start in Anchorage, and then the real thing gets underway a few miles from my digs.  The last couple of years though they had to change the route because of lack of snow around here.  They even had to ship snow down from Fairbanks on the Alaska Railroad to do the ceremonial start in Anchorage.


If the conditions are good for a Valley Start, I am going to try and get my crippled ass over there to shoot some pics with my kick ass Nikon Pocket Cam.  :icon_sunny:

RE
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 07:16:41 PM by RE »
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Offline RE

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2018, 12:02:02 PM »
Iditarod: The Last Great Race on Earth

Still more Snow coming down today, this time the dust size particles that don't accumulate much but they do fill the gaps of the prior snowfall of a few days ago with the large flakes.  Temps have remained in the 20s at the highs, 10s in the lows, so no melt off.  No wind, so little sublimation also.  More snow expected tomorrow as well.

This makes conditions for the Mushers just about ideal as long as this type of weather holds up through next week, which the long term forecast says it will.  This should be the best Iditarod in the last few years as a result.  Here's the current view off my back porch:

Snow Porch
Snow Porch

Still debating whether I will try to make it to the Official Start as opposed to the Ceremonial Start in Anchorage, or either one.  They do the Official start now in Willow (which I prefer, it's more serious) as opposed to Wasilla where the Iditarod HQ is because there simply has been too much Suburban Development around Wasilla to have a decent trail for the Mushers to take without having to cross roads and go through subdivisions.  Willow is about 50 miles from me, and the road conditions are not great, although the plow boys have been mostly keeping up with it and I do have 4WD on the SUV.  I'll decide the morning of March 4th when it kicks off in the afternoon.

Ken Anderson is the overwhelming favorite this year, but I will root for the Berington Twins Anna & Kristy.  They run separate sleds of course, and I don't care which one wins, they are both HOT:icon_sunny:


REAL Alaska Girls!  :icon_sunny:

RE
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 12:17:40 PM by RE »
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Offline RE

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2018, 11:56:04 AM »
The Ceremonial Star for the Iditarod went off in Anchorage this morning, but I didn't have the energy to drive down for it.  Parking would have been an issue and then I would have had to walk on slippery sidewalks quite a distance to get in a position to shoot pics.  Same is true for the official start in Willow tomorrow.  I have been to these starts many times in the past, and it's a lot like the Alaska State Fair which I no longer attend.  It's pretty much the same thing every year, and without a good Cripple Cart or Ewz to carry me about, it's just too draining.  There will be plenty of good pics and vids going up on the net over the course of the week.  I am a Cyber Person now.  That and my imagination are all that is left for me now.  :'(

Nothing up yet for the real Iditarod, but here is the start for the Jr. Iditarod last week and an interview with the winner.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/_InF55AegFg" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/_InF55AegFg</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ogEt3x8pIQ8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ogEt3x8pIQ8</a>

I will publish a full article on the Iditarod for tomorrow's Sunday Brunch.

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018, 05:20:16 PM »
First Video up on Utoob of the Ceremonial Start.  :icon_sunny:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Des9sj9O-cY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Des9sj9O-cY</a>

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Offline K-Dog

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2018, 11:21:34 PM »
First Video up on Utoob of the Ceremonial Start.  :icon_sunny:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Des9sj9O-cY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Des9sj9O-cY</a>

RE

I suppose a wardrobe fail would be out of the question.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 11:26:26 PM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2018, 11:35:01 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/9UEIfPT3Wo4?ecver=2" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/9UEIfPT3Wo4?ecver=2</a>

I noted some happy dogs.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline RE

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The Last Great Race on Earth
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2018, 06:29:12 AM »


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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 4, 2018






Discuss this article at the Frostbite  Falls Table inside the Diner



It's Iditarod Time once again here on the Last Great Frontier!






The Iditarod for those who are not familiar with it is the Dog Sled Race that runs these days from the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley in Alaska up to Nome.  Total length of the course is around 1000 miles, a very long trek for both the Dogs and the Musher.  The race commemorates the Great Race for Mercy in the 1920's, when a Diptheria Epidemic hit Nome and they had to get medicine up there as quick as they could.  They did not have the network of Bush Planes then that we have now, nor did they have Snow Machines.



The most famous dog that pulled this medicine to Nome was Balto, the last lead dog who pulled the sled for the last leg into Nome.  There is a statue of Balto in Central Park in NYC.  It is the Feature Photo for this article at the top of the page.



 




1925 serum run to Nome




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 




The 1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the Great Race of Mercy, was a transport of diphtheria antitoxin by dog sled relay across the U.S. territory of Alaska by 20 mushers and about 150 sled dogs 674 miles (1,085 km) in five and a half days, saving the small town of Nome and the surrounding communities from an incipient epidemic.



Both the mushers and their dogs were portrayed as heroes in the newly popular medium of radio, and received headline coverage in newspapers across the United States. Balto, the lead sled dog on the final stretch into Nome, became the most famous canine celebrity of the era after Rin Tin Tin, and his statue is a popular tourist attraction in both New York City's Central Park and downtown Anchorage, Alaska. The publicity also helped spur an inoculation campaign in the U.S. that dramatically reduced the threat of the disease.



The sled dog was the primary means of transportation and communication in subarctic communities around the world, and the race became both the last great hurrah and the most famous event in the history of mushing, before the first aircraft in the 1930s and then the snowmobile in the 1960s drove the dog sled almost into extinction. The resurgence of recreational mushing in Alaska since the 1970s is a direct result of the tremendous popularity of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which honors the history of dog mushing.





  •  



Location and geography



Nome lies approximately 2 degrees south of the Arctic Circle, and while greatly diminished from its peak of 20,000 during the gold rush days at the turn of the 20th century, it was still the largest town in northern Alaska in 1925, with 455 Alaska Natives and 975 settlers of European descent.[1] From November to July, the port on the southern shore of the Seward Peninsula of the Bering Sea was icebound and inaccessible by steamship.



The only link to the rest of the world during the winter was the Iditarod Trail, which ran 938 miles (1,510 km) from the port of Seward in the south, across several mountain ranges and the vast Alaska Interior before reaching Nome. The primary source of mail and needed supplies in 1925 was the dog sled, but within a decade, bush pilots would become the dominant method of transportation during the winter months.



Mail from outside the Alaska Territory was transported 420 miles (680 km) by train from the icefree port of Seward to Nenana, and then was transported the 674 miles (1,085 km) from Nenana to Nome by dog sled, which normally took 25 days.



Outbreak and call for help



In the winter of 1924–25, the only doctor in Nome, a town of less than 2,000 people, and the surrounding communities was Curtis Welch, who was supported by four nurses at the 25-bed Maynard Columbus Hospital.[2] Several months earlier,[3] Welch had placed an order for more diphtheria antitoxin after discovering that hospital's entire batch had expired. However, the shipment did not arrive before the port closed for the winter[4][3] and he would not be able to order more until spring.[5]



In December 1924, several days after the last ship left the port, Welch treated a few children for what he first diagnosed as sore throats or tonsillitis, initially dismissing diphtheria since it is extremely contagious and he would have expected to see the same symptoms in their family members or other cases around town.[4] In the next few weeks, as the number of tonsillitis cases grew and four children died whom he had not been able to autopsy, Welch became increasingly concerned about diphtheria.[6]



By mid-January 1925, Welch officially diagnosed the first case of diphtheria in a three-year old boy who died only two weeks after first becoming ill.[4] The following day, when a seven-year old girl presented with the same tell-tale symptoms of diphtheria, Welch attempted to administer some of the expired antitoxin to see if it might still have any effect, but the girl died a few hours later.[7] Realizing that an epidemic was imminent, that same evening, Welch called Mayor George Maynard to arrange an emergency town council meeting.[8] The council immediately implemented a quarantine. The following day, on January 22, 1925, Welch sent radio telegrams to all other major towns in Alaska alerting them of public health risk and he also sent one to the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington, D.C. asking for assistance.[4] His message to the Public Health Service said:




An epidemic of diphtheria is almost inevitable here. Stop. I am in urgent need of one million units of diphtheria antitoxin, stop, mail is only form of transportation. Stop. I have made application to Commissioner of Health of the Territories for antitoxin already. Stop. There are about 3000 (sic) white natives in the district.[4]




Despite the quarantine, there were over 20 confirmed cases of diphtheria and at least 50 more at risk by the end of January. Without antitoxin, it was expected that in the surrounding region's population of around 10,000 people, the mortality rate could be close to 100 percent.[4] A previous influenza pandemic of the so-called "Spanish flu" had hit the area in 1918 and 1919 wiped out about 50 percent of the native population of Nome, and 8 percent of the native population of Alaska. More than 1,000 people died in northwest Alaska, and double that across the state.[3] The majority were Alaska Natives who did not have resistance to either of these diseases.[9]



Problem solving



At the January 24 meeting of the board of health superintendent Mark Summers of the Hammon Consolidated Gold Fields proposed a dogsled relay, using two fast teams. One would start at Nenana and the other at Nome, and they would meet at Nulato. The trip from Nulato to Nome normally took 30 days, although the record was nine.[2] Welch calculated that the serum would only last six days under the brutal conditions of the trail.[2] Summers' employee, the Norwegian Leonhard Seppala, was chosen for the 630-mile (1,014 km) round trip from Nome to Nulato and back. He had previously made the run from Nome to Nulato in a record-breaking four days, won the All-Alaska Sweepstakes three times, and had become something of a legend for his athletic ability and rapport with his Siberian huskies. His lead dog, the 12-year-old Togo,[3] was equally famous for his leadership, intelligence, and ability to sense danger.



Mayor Maynard proposed flying the antitoxin by aircraft. In February 1924, the first winter aircraft flight in Alaska had been conducted between Fairbanks and McGrath by Carl Eielson, who flew a reliable De Havilland DH-4 issued by the U.S. Post Office on 8 experimental trips. The longest flight was only 260 miles (420 km), the worst conditions were −10 °F (−23 °C) which required so much winter clothing that the plane was almost unflyable, and the plane made several crash landings.



The only planes operating in Alaska in 1925 were three vintage Standard J biplanes belonging to Bennet Rodebaugh's Fairbanks Airplane company (later Wien Air Alaska) The aircraft were dismantled for the winter, had open cockpits, and had water-cooled engines that were unreliable in cold weather. Since both pilots were in the contiguous United States, Alaska Delegate Dan Sutherland attempted to get the authorization to use an inexperienced pilot, Roy Darling.



While potentially quicker, the board of health rejected the option and voted unanimously for the dogsled relay. Seppala was notified that evening and immediately started preparations for the trip.



The U.S. Public Health Service had located 1.1 million units of serum in West Coast hospitals which could be shipped to Seattle, and then transported to Alaska.[2] The Alameda would be the next ship north, and would not arrive in Seattle until January 31, and then would take another 6 to 7 days to arrive in Seward. On January 26, 300,000 forgotten units were discovered in Anchorage Railroad Hospital, when the chief of surgery, John Beeson, heard of the need.[2] The supply was wrapped in glass vials, then padded quilts, and finally a metallic cylinder weighing a little more than 20 pounds.[2][3] At Governor Scott Bone's order, it was packed and handed to conductor Frank Knight, who arrived in Nenana on January 27. While not sufficient to defeat the epidemic, the 300,000 units could hold it at bay until the larger shipment arrived.



The temperatures across the Interior were at 20-year lows due to a high pressure system from the Arctic, and in Fairbanks the temperature was −50 °F (−46 °C). A second system was burying the Panhandle, as 25 mph (40 km/h) winds swept snow into 10-foot (3.05 m) drifts. Travel by sea was hazardous, and across the Interior most forms of transportation shut down. In addition, there were limited hours of daylight to fly, due to the polar night.



While the first batch of serum was traveling to Nenana, Governor Bone gave final authorization to the dog relay, but ordered Edward Wetzler, the U.S. Post Office inspector, to arrange a relay of the best drivers and dogs across the Interior. The teams would travel day and night until they handed off the package to Seppala at Nulato.



The decision outraged William Fentress "Wrong Font" Thompson, publisher of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and aircraft advocate, who helped line up the pilot and plane. He used his paper to write scathing editorials.



Relay



The mail route from Nenana to Nome spanned 674 miles (1,085 km) in total. It crossed the barren Alaska Interior, following the Tanana River for 137 miles (220 km) to the village Tanana at the junction with the Yukon River, and then following the Yukon for 230 miles (370 km) to Kaltag. The route then passed west 90 miles (140 km) over the Kaltag Portage to Unalakleet on the shore of Norton Sound. The route then continued for 208 miles (335 km) northwest around the southern shore of the Seward Peninsula with no protection from gales and blizzards, including a 42 miles (68 km) stretch across the shifting ice of the Bering Sea.



Wetzler contacted Tom Parson, an agent of the Northern Commercial Company, which contracted to deliver mail between Fairbanks and Unalakleet. Telephone and telegrams turned the drivers back to their assigned roadhouses. The mail carriers held a revered position in the territory, and were the best dog mushers in Alaska. The majority of relay drivers across the Interior were native Athabaskans, direct descendants of the original dog mushers.



The first musher in the relay was "Wild Bill" Shannon, who was handed the 20 pounds (9.1 kg) package at the train station in Nenana on January 27 at 9:00 PM AKST by night. Despite a temperature of −50 °F (−46 °C), Shannon left immediately with his team of 11 inexperienced dogs, led by Blackie. The temperature began to drop, and the team was forced onto the colder ice of the river because the trail had been destroyed by horses.



Despite jogging alongside the sled to keep warm, Shannon developed hypothermia. He reached Minto at 3 AM, with parts of his face black from frostbite.[2] The temperature was −62 °F (−52 °C). After warming the serum by the fire and resting for four hours, Shannon dropped three dogs and left with the remaining 8. The three dogs died shortly after Shannon returned for them, and a fourth may have perished as well.




Image result for alcan highway As a Kollapsnik and adopted Alaskan, I love the Iditarod for a few reasons.  First off, the race is run through one of the last places left on the planet you could do such a thing.  There are no roads through this part of Alaska, although the Start Point has had to be moved persistently northward to avoid the suburban development up here and the road system that goes with that.  In fact, there is very little in terms of road development in Alaska as a whole, once you get off the main drag of the Parks & Glenn Highways, there is pretty much nothing.  Then to get in or out of Alaska, there is in fact only ONE road, the Al-Can.  It only got completely paved over in 1996, and to this day there are sections of it you really don't want to be driving on in bad weather, which is common.  So in the modern age, the communities that Alaska supports are either along the narrow corridor of the 2 highways, or they are supported by the air network of Bush Planes.  The main communities of mostly First Nations people are all along the coast, and they get their diesel to run their generators by sea, but this takes a while.  Back when the Great Race for Mercy occured in the 1920's, it would have taken many weeks to get the medicine to Nome by sea.  So they did it over land, with a chain of Mushers, who got it up there in about a week or so.  There were only 3 available planes that might have been able to make the trip at that time, and no experienced pilots to fly them.  So they went with the dogs and the traditional methods.  They made it, and Balto led them into town.



The next reason I love the Iditarod is because it is one of the last examples left of the cooperation between Homo Sap and the animals we have domesticated as helpers.  Those dogs were the ones that pulled that medicine, they were HEROES.  So were the Mushers who trained them and who drove them to the finish line, IN TIME.  No gas, no diesel, just Humans and Dogs working together over 1000 miles of the toughest terrain and the toughest weather nature can pitch out.



Image result for iditarod



I also love the Iditarod because besides Alaskans, Canadians, Ruskies, Finns, Swedes and Norwegians, basically nobody knows about it or follows it.  Even among the people who live in these places the fans are few.  Mushing is not a lucrative sporting pastime, although a few of the top mushers make enough from endorsements to feed their dogs and train year around.  For everyone below about the Top 10 Mushers, it's a labor of love and it costs them plenty every year to pursue this hobby.



In the past few years there has not been enough snow on the ground in the southern portion of the race to do the traditional start, now in in the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley rather than Seward where the original Great Race for Mercy began.  In fact they had to move the start from Wasilla where the HQ of the Iditarod is up to Willow, because there simply has been too much suburbabn development and road construction around Wasilla to have a good place to start from safe for the mushers and the dogs even in good snow years.  Lately though, even Willow didn't work, so they made a new route that started I think in Fairbanks.



Image result for iditarod The ceremonial start is done come hell or high water (or no snow) down in Anchorage the day before the real race begins.  For two years they shipped snow down from Fairbanks via the Alaska Railroad to lay down on MainStreet in Anchorage so they could run the Ceremonial Start.  Anchorage is the only place in Alaska you will get any media coverage whatsoever or enough spectators to come out and wave at the Mushers and make the event look semi-popular to anyone outside Alaska.  This year, the Ceremonial Start has enough local snow in Anchorage to run the start there without resorting to using fossil fuels to ship snow in, which is nice.  However, overall Alaska has had a very mild winter this year at least in terms of temperatures overall.  Hovering mostly in the 20sF.  However, particularly in the last couple of weeks leading up to the official Race Start today, we have had a few good snowfalls and the trail conditions are very good.



Image result for susan butcher sled dog racer Favorite for this year's race by far is Ken Anderson, but I am rooting for the Berington Twins, Kristy & Anna.  They run separate sleds of course, but I don't care which one wins.  Also it's nice when female mushers win, the race gets more publicity.  Susan Butcher was probably the most famous of the female mushers, and I followed her career even before I moved to Alaska.  Sadly, Susan died of Cancer a few years back.



For the Kollapsnik though, the most important thing about the Iditarod is that the people who run this race with their dogs represent the type of people who can SURVIVE collapse.  They are TOUGH & RESOURCEFUL people.  They aren't QUITTERS like the Nihilists and Misanthropes on Nature Bats Last, Our Finite World and r/collapse. They are athletic and in good physical condition.  They know the terrain, the weather and how to deal with it.  They do use modern industrial produced material now of course to make the sleds lighter and to insulate themselves better from the cold, but I would bet most of them could put together a sled from scratch and hunt down the Caribou, Moose and Bear and make their parkas from those materials.  Many of them live out in the Bush and do subsistence Hunting & Fishing, along with raising their dogs.  Susan Butcher was one like that.



I will follow the Iditarod again this year with great interest.  I will update Inside the Diner as I receive times in email for all the mushers I follow.



LONG LIVE THE IDITAROD!  THE LAST GREAT RACE ON EARTH!




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Offline Surly1

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2018, 06:40:49 AM »
Nice article! I had no idea about the origins of this race. Nor that there was a statue of Balto in Central Park.
Well done.
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Offline RE

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2018, 07:11:08 AM »
Nice article! I had no idea about the origins of this race. Nor that there was a statue of Balto in Central Park.
Well done.

Thx.  :icon_sunny:

I actually started this thread with a post about the Iditarod.  It's a real Alaskan thing.

This year's running looks to be an exceptionally good one. Could be a record setter for this trail.  Can't wait to see the vids that come in on Utoob.  Living my Cyber Life now vicariously through the magic of the internet.

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2018, 04:35:19 PM »
Ugh.  The freaking "animal rights" activists hadda show up too.   Fortunately not too many of them.

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2018, 04:55:25 PM »
Standings out of Willow.  It doesn't tell you much because Start Position is drawn by lottery.

Race Standings
POS    MUSHER    CHKPNT
1    Cody Strathe (2)    Out of Willow
2    Mats Pettersson (3)    Out of Willow
3    Anna Berington (4)    Out of Willow
4    Shaynee Traska (5)    Out of Willow
5    Magnus Kaltenborn (6)    Out of Willow
6    Ryan Redington (7)    Out of Willow
7    Linwood Fiedler (8)    Out of Willow
8    Rick Casillo (9)    Out of Willow
9    Rob Cooke (10)    Out of Willow
10    Wade Marrs (11)    Out of Willow

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Offline Palloy2

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2018, 05:57:19 PM »
Quote
Ugh.  The freaking "animal rights" activists hadda show up too.

Another day another complaint.

The animal rights activists are people who think it is too much to race dogs over 1,000 miles in 8 days - that's 125 miles per day.  Surely it's not too much to query the efficacy of that.  The race has 3 enforced stops, one of 24 hours and 2 of 8 hours. It is not unusual for dogs to be killed when a moose strays onto the "track" and causes a major crash.  They are allowed to continue racing in the dark, lit by battery-powered headlamps.  There are supposed to be veterinarian checks, but results from those are never published.  Since there is great competition to win at all costs, humans are likely to want to ignore their dogs injuries.  It's a recipe for cruelty to occur.

To clean up the event, there could be mandatory rest-ups at all checkpoints (26/27). No racing at night.  More thorough vet checks.  You can imagine what the mushers would say to that - "Leave us alone to do what we want !" 

That may be the correct Libertarian approach, but there are other kinds of people in this world and their opinions count too.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2018, 06:04:33 PM »
Quote
Ugh.  The freaking "animal rights" activists hadda show up too.

Another day another complaint.

The animal rights activists are people who think it is too much to race dogs over 1,000 miles in 8 days - that's 125 miles per day.  Surely it's not too much to query the efficacy of that.  The race has 3 enforced stops, one of 24 hours and 2 of 8 hours. It is not unusual for dogs to be killed when a moose strays onto the "track" and causes a major crash.  They are allowed to continue racing in the dark, lit by battery-powered headlamps.  There are supposed to be veterinarian checks, but results from those are never published.  Since there is great competition to win at all costs, humans are likely to want to ignore their dogs injuries.  It's a recipe for cruelty to occur.

To clean up the event, there could be mandatory rest-ups at all checkpoints (26/27). No racing at night.  More thorough vet checks.  You can imagine what the mushers would say to that - "Leave us alone to do what we want !" 

That may be the correct Libertarian approach, but there are other kinds of people in this world and their opinions count too.

You visit with any Musher, and they positively LOVE their dogs.  The dogs wouldn't even be alive at all if it wasn't for the Mushers.  The breeds used almost went extinct until Mushers started breeding them for racing.

You wanna also ban Horse Racing because horses sometimes break their legs in a race and have to be put down?  How about banning breeding cows because we put them down all the time to eat them?  Are you a Vegan?  No.

Not many dogs die on the Iditarod anymore.  The Mushers know what they need to be fed and how hard to push them.  People die periodically running Marathons also.  The dogs are ATHLETES, pushing the limits of canine endurance and speed.  We bred them, we domesticated them.  They are our PARTNERS.

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Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant: Iditarod 2018
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2018, 07:05:48 PM »
From the Iditarod.com website:

Quote
It’s all About Team
Posted by Bruce Lee in Iditarod
Date: March 2, 2018 10:28 pm


Team building, that’s what the Iditarod is all about.  It happens on every level to make this race a success.  Months before the dogs run down the streets of Anchorage at the start of the race, mushers are busy spending days and nights building teams that will be prepared to meet the challenges of the trail. They camp with them on the trail. They give them the best of care and the best of foods to provide them the strength and energy they need to run a hundred miles a day. All of this comes together to make the Iditarod sled dog, without question, the best canine athletes in the world.

That same team building effort goes on at every level of the Iditarod Race as well.  The staff works for months to make sure all the needs of the race are being planned and supplies ordered for the trail.  Thousands of trail markers, hundreds of bales of straw for dog bedding at check points, veterinary supplies for the vet team, and snow machines and equipment for the trail breakers all need to be in place.

Then there’s the team of volunteers, without which there would be no Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Volunteers that love sled dogs and this sport have been the force that have made this race work since the very first Iditarod. From the start along the streets of Anchorage, where volunteers are there to help get teams safely to the starting line to the finish line crew in the city of Nome, volunteers are the muscle of the race. Veterinarians, race judges, checkers, pilots, trail breakers, and trail sweeps along with an endless number of checkpoint crews and locals in all the communities along the 1,000 mile trail work together to make the race happen for the dogs and mushers. It is Alaska’s largest volunteer effort.

The same teamwork is vital with the sponsors and financial supporters of the race as well. Without the sponsors there is no race. No funding for shipping food drops along the trail or supplies to care for the dogs.  This race takes a lot of financial support to meet all the needs of conducting a race across 1,000 miles of roadless Alaskan landscape.  The same can be said for the individual sponsors for each team and musher.  It takes a lot of effort and food to care for one of these kennels and the race as well. The mushers couldn’t do it without the support of all these sponsors who pull together to make sure the dogs have the best of care helping to make each race successful.

The spirit sled dogs have is both intriguing and mesmerizing. To hear the rhythm of their steps and see the purpose in their drive is to witness an animal in complete balance in its world, made more so by the pack like unity of the team. They run for the pure joy of travel which seems at times to mock those who stay behind in one place. Running and traveling is the greatest joy to them. Seeing what’s over the next hill or around the next bend seems reward enough and sled dogs pull together as a team to accomplish that.

Just as each dog plays a part in an Iditarod team, each of these components does it’s part to get the teams down the trail as well.  In a dog team each dog has a special skill.  Wheel dogs are strong and pull a little more of the weight. They know how to look ahead and set up the sled to get around trail obstacles. Team dogs keep of the steady pace of the sled and often can rotate in to take over most any positions in the team if needed. Swing dogs, right behind the leaders, are often leaders in training and help set the pace and drive the rest of the team along the trail and the leaders who search out the trial in numerous conditions and communicate with the musher about speed and direction for the team. They all must work together to have a successful race.  It is, after all, called a “dog team”.

All the components listed above are needed to have a successful Iditarod as well.  All contribute with their own special skill-set to make the race happen. If one part fails, the team fails. The Iditarod is one big team from across the state to around the world. From the checker standing out in the cold at 3AM to check in a team arriving in a remote checkpoint, to the sponsor writing a check to buy fuel for the volunteer air force, they, like the dogs in a team, each contribute to the overall effort.  Without them there would be no race.

Consider this, over a thousand dogs will get pre-race vet checkups and each dog needs to complete a successful ECG.  Imagine the volunteer man hours that takes alone. It’s worth it though to make sure the all the dogs that hit the trail are in their top athletic condition.  Iditarod dogs are the healthiest and best conditioned dogs in the world.

The Iditarod Insider team will be covering the start and finish of the race live this year as well as every inch of the thousand-mile race trail. We’ll post interviews with the mushers along the trail explaining how their race is going, show beautiful shots of the amazing Alaskan landscape and of course show those athletic dogs moving down the trail. The Insider “Run Dog Run” videos have become an iconic view of the teams moving across Alaska’s rivers and mountains. No words needed there, the shots from the cameramen showing the teams in action speak for themselves.

By becoming an Insider, fans help support getting the teams on the trail and add to the mushers purse at the finish-line.  All subscriptions go directly to putting on the Iditarod and supporting the race.  It takes everyone pulling together to successfully meet all the challenges of the trail. Everyone, from the mushers, race veterinarians, pilots, volunteers and fans are part of the Iditarod Team.  The dogs are the athletes and main focus. They are the best athletes in the world. No animal can cover so much land as fast and they do it pulling a load and bringing a person with them. It takes all of us to support them getting down the trail.

So what will we see this year?   Will Mitch Seavey’s powerhouse of a dog team win again?? There are lots of mushers knocking at the door to become the race champion. Nichols Petit, Joar Ulson, and Wade Marrs have all proven they can raise and train top competitive teams. Everyone is interested in seeing what Jesse Royer will bring to the starting line this year after her amazing run in the latter part of the race last year. Being all along the trail and watching the race unfold I am amazed every year at how many good teams are competing in the Iditarod now. Unlike in previous years where there was a huge spread of teams all along the trail, now all the mushers seem to bring top quality dogs to the race and are running closer times together.  Over sleep at one checkpoint and you’ll lose positions as teams pass you by.  Along with the competition at the front there will be hundreds of adventure stories from all the mushers along the trail and the Insider website will be bringing you as many as possible as well as a year end race documentary DVD after all the teams cross the finish-line in None.

Join the Insider and support the Last Great Race and get the best coverage from all along the trail, start to finish.

There are great exclusive videos of the race and interviews with the Mushers, as well as GPS updates.  If you want the vids and the GPS, it's a Premium service, paywall.  I invested in it this year so I can give full updates here on the Diner.  I can't embed the vids though, or download them either.  so if you want to watch the race besides what you can pull off Utoob, you have to pay the piper on this.  I did because it's a good cause to support the Iditarod.  In the future, we're going to NEED these dogs as partners again up here.  Dogs like this are what got the Diptheria Serum to Nome in 1925.  We're not gonna have the Bush Planes and Snow Machines in perpetuity.

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« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 07:11:05 PM by RE »
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Re: 🐕 The Iditarod: The Ultimate test of the Homo Sap-Canine Partnership
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2018, 07:18:54 PM »
I split off the Iditarod thread from the Frostbite Falls Daily Rant.  I'll be posting a lot to this thread, so it deserves its own space.

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