Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

This is a forum for general discussion of dogsled racing, with a special focus on Alaska, and is open to all. It is expected that this area will see the most activity during the months leading up to, and during the annual Iditarod sled dog race. Pictures from races can be posted here. Hosting is provided by the Bering Strait School District (BSSD), and the area is open all year. Care to be one of our volunteer moderators? Contact us!

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Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby Another UK Fan » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:37 am

Well hello iditabuds!

Thank you for your good wishes and encouragement to volunteer on the last great race.

Volunteering on Iditarod 2018 was amazing. I went. I saw. I did. And in heart and mind you came with me.

It was lightly snowing at the ceremonial start. I breathed deeply, closed my eyes and lifted my face to the icy flakes. In the midst of the crazy noise of people, dogs and announcements, I marvelled that I was there and brought the 'buds to mind so that in some way we were all together.

It was all in my mind - and it was a very special moment.

So why didn't I post at the time? A lot of IT issues . . . . many people worked on resolving it but my computer would not connect. My phone connected intermittently.

There were so many events, sights, sounds and experiences! The vet checks at Iditarod HQ, visiting Matthew Failor's kennel, the Mushers banquet, Comms room work, nearly going to Kaltag, the dropped dogs, driving a 4 dog team and meeting a 10-dog team head on around a bend (and then untangling them all) chatting with Heidi, the 2018 teacher on the trail, and the two 2019 finalists, seeing Dee Dee Johnrowe and getting Joar's autograph at the banquet, speaking with Aliy, chatting with Bruce Lee and having my photo taken with him by the Insider cameraman, the 'hat of courage' . . . there was a lot going on!

It's exhilaratingly exhausting just remembering :) Will check in again soon. Thanks again for all the support - it really did help me to get there, to do it and live a dream.
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Re: Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby txbennett » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:14 pm

Thanks for the post AUKF. please post a few "tales" as and when you have time.

". . . nearly going to Kaltag, the dropped dogs, driving a 4 dog team and meeting a 10-dog team head on around a bend (and then untangling them all). . ." each of these sounds like a good story in the making, and meeting and talking with people the rest of us dream about.


:D :mrgreen: ;)
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Re: Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby fladogfan » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:48 pm

Yes! What txbennett said.
We will love hearing all your memories, I'm so glad you were able to go this year.
Do you have photos too? You met some of my favorite mushers, good for you.
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Re: Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby Moose » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:45 am

I'd love to hear those stories, too!
Wag more, bark less.
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Re: Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby fladogfan » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:12 pm

Hey Moose! Do you remember some tales from your volunteering in Nome? Was it 2010?
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Re: Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby flowerpower » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:04 pm

You know we live for those stories! and some pictures, too if you have them would be wonderful! :D
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Re: Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby Another UK Fan » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:37 pm

Iditarod 2018 restart.jpg
Edited as the photo was not loading.
Having another go at uploading the photo from a different file.
And again . . .

The re-start - a bright, sunny day.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Another UK Fan on Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby Another UK Fan » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:43 pm

Had our first snow fall yesterday and I remembered ..... so much!

Hope the photo of the restart appears okay.

I had a four-dog team at Martin Buser's kennel. Martin was out on the trail. Rohn ran the mushing school and trip out.

The training was absolutely great. I knew, for various reasons, I was going to need it. On arrival I tripped over the sled runners - not a great start. Some hours later I was much more stable.

There were two trainees that day - me, and a couple. We were introduced to our teams at the start of training. The dogs were sleeping in the yard. So cool, so relaxed, sooooo content, blinking lazily in the sunshine and stretching appreciatively as we petted them and spoke their names. Next we were trained in handling the sled, doing corners, applying the brakes. The sled was then pulled by a snow machine to get some 'reality' practice in.

Standing on the runners, waiting for the snow machine to start, was tense - I was not confident of achieving this. But I had a stern meeting with myself and away we went. This is where I got to understand, after a few hair raising tries, how to successfully do corners. Rohn's input was fab - encouraging and full of expertise.

Next up was harnessing the dogs. I have some co-ordination issues, so training was essential. AND it meant I got to handle the dogs and a relationship was starting to form - we were getting to know each other. This really helped when it came to attaching them to the gang line. They are so strong and wriggly!

Finally we were off! I was first out, the second team behind me, with Rohn travelling parallel to us on a snow machine. It was simultaneously thrilling and terrifying, the words 'be brave' repeating in my mind as I applied loads of pressure to the brake.

To be continued . . . . .
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Re: Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby Heidi » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:18 am

Well THAT grabbed my attention! How thrilling for you! So you have me curious... How long is this experience? Full/half day? How far do you drive the sled?

I look forward to future chapters and photos! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Iditarod 2018 - volunteer tales

Postby Moose » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:49 pm

What Heidi said? That goes for me as well. If your plan was to leave us wanting more. . .SUCCESS! I want more. :lol:
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