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Our Journal

On Fear & Motivation: KattiJo’s Rookie Iditarod ’22

I. Fear (Like all rookies, I assume) I felt nervous in the weeks and days leading up to the start of my first Iditarod. I doubted my own abilities, and those of my mostly inexperienced team. I stressed about how to dress and how to pack for two weeks of spring time weather…

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July 1, 2022

Jeff’s Iditarod-2022

The Ceremonial Start was absolutely fantastic! After missing this event in ’21 with Covid, mushers and fans were thrilled to be back running through Anchorage. AND, we had a blizzard! The snow dumped on us, starting at about 8 AM, and producing almost 8 inches of snow by 1PM. Some good friends and family showed…

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May 13, 2022

Iditarod 2022: Trapped in the Topkok Hills

For most mushers, in most years, White Mountain is the last real checkpoint on the Iditarod trail. Nearly 70 miles from Nome, mushers are required to take a minimum of 8 hours of rest in White Mountain. Once completed, very few teams find it necessary to make another stop in the checkpoint of Safety –…

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March 30, 2022

Iditarod 2021- The Gold Loop Trail: Part II

 Nikolai, population 125, is a welcome sight after hours of slogging through soft snow. The veteran team members recognize the approaching village a few miles out, and are attempting to push the speed into a lope. We cruise up the riverbank at a good clip, and are checked in by a couple of welcoming volunteers….

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April 29, 2021

Iditarod 2021-The Gold Loop Trail: Part I

The snow is coming down steady. Trail markers have been hit and missed, and at times we guess at the best trail. Light left the sky hours ago, and it has been a struggle to keep my eyes open as the dogs plod through the snow. I finally shut off the GPS when it showed…

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April 2, 2021

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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April 20, 2020

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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April 20, 2020

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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March 13, 2020

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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January 18, 2020

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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October 4, 2019

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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September 17, 2019

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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April 5, 2019