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Our Journal

2020 Iditarod: Part II – Ophir to the Burled Arch

A few miles out of Ophir, the Iditarod Trail splits. The historic route, and official trail, heads southwest to the mining ghost town of Iditarod. The 2020 route, heads almost due north to the camp of Cripple, and then onward to the historic mining district of Poorman (and eventually, the native village of Ruby, on…

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2020 Iditarod: Part I – Willow to McGrath

The wipers are on steady now, and I have just shifted into four wheel drive. The snow has increased its intensity, and there is about 3 inches on the highway. Its 5pm and we have just driven past the Willow Community Center, the official start line of Iditarod. In just over 16 hours, we will…

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Coronavirus: The Elephant on the Iditarod Trail

Well, actually that’s not quite true. While the rest of us are stocking up on toilet paper, I am confident that COVID-19 is pretty much the last thing Iditarod mushers are thinking about. Part of the joy, the beauty and the down-right reason for mushing is for many, the opportunity to clear the mind and…

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KattiJo’s 2020 Copper Basin 300

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings  Nearly 50 teams signed up to run the 2020 Copper Basin 300. But by race start day, only 27 teams were in the chute to begin the 300 mile journey. And by the end of the race, three days later,…

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Chyrisse’s Story

It’s interesting how much of our lives we try to control. We plan and prepare. We dream and worry. We hope and stress. There are things we try to achieve and things we try to avoid. And so often life just take its own course anyway… George was born in the spring of 2013. We…

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The Buzz: Dr. Carson’s Pro-Dog Complete

It’s mid-September, and the dogs are up to 9 mile training runs this week. We’re right on schedule. Next week the mileage will increase, along with each dog’s rate of metabolism and caloric intake. As our summer fun runs turn into real serious race training, mushers start thinking hard about what is going on inside…

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Iditarod 2019 Part II of II: McGrath to the Finish

The run from McGrath to Takotna, and then on to Ophir, is smooth and quick in the cool of early morning. The dogs are all feeling well-rested and fresh after their day in McGrath, and only Pogo shows any sign that he has been on the race trail (a few sore muscles that take a…

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Iditarod 2019 Part I of II. The Start to McGrath.

Iditarod start is something like controlled chaos. 54 teams park in two semi-circles at the Willow visitor’s center. The typical parking arrangement, on Willow Lake itself, is not an option for this year because of warmer than normal temps. This has left the lake with spots of thin ice, and an abundant amount of overflow…

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Iditarod Recap – Part 4: Kaltag to Nome, the finish

The arrival into Kaltag brings a huge sense of accomplishment to every musher who has ever run the Iditarod and mushed the Yukon River. It is a major step in the race, and the finish line suddenly feels within reach. As I cared for my team in Kaltag and prepared for our next leg of…

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Iditarod 2018 – Part 3: Don’s Cabin to Kaltag

Don’s “cabin,” a ten by twelve rundown shack, was a warm a comfortable place to stretch out the sleeping bag, and stay out of the blizzard that had hammered on us during the run from Ophir. It was also small enough that there was no risk of oversleeping as other mushers awoke and prepped to…

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