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Iditarod Trail


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Here in Alaska we have begun the “Last Great Race” the 2006 Iditarod Dog Sled Race. This is a race that is watched in many countries and has competitors from all over the world who enter and compete. I was looking to see if we could make the Burly Arch, located in Nome Alaska, into a waymark or if we have any Nome Cachers, perhaps into a cache site. (Perhaps a micro someplace near the Arch) This arch marks the end of the 1100 mile race and is a historical landmark for everyone in Alaska.


For those that don't know: The Iditarod Trail, now a National Historic Trail, had its beginnings as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond to the west coast communities of Unalakleet, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain and Nome. Mail and supplies went in. Gold came out. All via dog sled. Heroes were made, legends were born.


In 1925, part of the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for epidemic-stricken Nome. Diphtheria threatened and serum had to be brought in; again by intrepid dog mushers and their faithful hard-driving dogs.


During the Iditarod race the city of Nome will swell with News media, racers, fans, dog handlers, and dogs. All of the hotels will be full and the people of Nome actually open their homes to extra people offering anything from a bedroom to a space on the floor for a sleeping bag. The race is always held the first weekend in March and has a ceremonial start in Anchorage, Alaska. The actual restart is scheduled for Wasilla, Alaska but depending on weather condition (mostly whether or not there is enough snow) the restart could be rescheduled to Willow, Alaska (which it is this year) or Fairbanks, Alaska.


This year there are 84 mushers heading to Nome. Not all of the mushers will make it to Nome. It is a very difficult race. Many school children around the world track the race by picking a favorite musher and tracking their progress as part of a social studies assignment. There is a webpage set up just for the kids to track the race and ask questions. There is also an official webpage set up for others to track the mushers. The Iditarod headquarters gets phone calls for all over the world, 24 hours a day, asking for updates during this historic race.


I was recently involved in sending a travel bug with Iditarod musher Paul Gebhardt (#84) to Nome. I realized that once it gets up there, there would be no way of tracking the mileage of the travel bug becuase there are no caches in Nome and Mr. Gebhardt is not a GeoCacher.


I know that this probably belongs in Waymarking, but there are not any categorys that this fits into and catergory creation has been closed. :D


Any ideas

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i'm jealous, 1stimestar! will you adopt me? :)



<chants> dee-DEE, dee-DEE, dee-DEE!!


Yes. Wait. Can you babysit so I can spend more time caching? Here's what I did yesterday and was invited to help with an overnight tour. http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-QmIfJpw2fql...aTAM-?cq=1&p=30


Dee Dee is in 3rd place right now and is in Kaltag. Here is my blog entry from my trip to Kaltag. It was fun talking to the natives in the town about the shenanigans of the mushers doing the Iditarod.


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I was recently involved in sending a travel bug with Iditarod musher Paul Gebhardt (#84) to Nome. I realized that once it gets up there, there would be no way of tracking the mileage of the travel bug becuase there are no caches in Nome and Mr. Gebhardt is not a GeoCacher.




Any ideas


Well, assuming Mr. Gebhardt continues his great progress toward a top 10 (and perhaps even top 5!) finish, one could do a virtual drop and retrieve from one of these Nome Area Caches to capture the mileage. The nearest one is about 14 miles north of the famous burl arch finish line, but after 1049 miles of mushing, I don't think that makes much of a difference.


Hope his fears of being penalized for having an extra dog along aren't realized :rolleyes:. Zuma2 is the travel bug/dog this thread is in part about. He was launched by some school children in Florida.

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yup, gebhardt's up there now, and dee dee is back to fourth (five hours behind the guys last time i checked). anyone have any more information about why gary paulson dropped out?


I heard an interview with Paulson on Alaska Public Radio the day he scratched. He broke his arm during training in the Fall and it was just too painful for him to be banging along the trail, steering the sled, and handling dogs. (My daughters really enjoy his books.) Paulson's experience puts into perspective Martin Buser's last race experience just days after cutting off part of a finger with a powersaw.


For those interested in tracking Zuma the TB's progress with musher Paul Gebhardt, watch the Iditarod Current Standings Webpage.

Edited by Ladybug Kids
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thanks, LBK, good to hear from you. didn't you guys go to hawaii a while back? how was it?


buser's REALLY back there right now. wonder if he's doing a "farewell tour" like someone (swingley?) did a couple of years ago?

Edited by denali7
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Even though it has been -50° F (that's ambient, not windchill!) for portions of the race, Zuma has been enjoying some beautiful scenery. Here's a photo of Zuma's musher, Paul Gebhardt, between Kaltag and Unalakleet yesterday.


More photos of other mushers, checkpoints, etc., may be found by following the link from the Iditarod Homepage.


Zuma's running with the 3rd place team as of 3:30 this afternoon. There should be an update within the hour as Gebhardt finishes his rest in Koyuk and hits the trail for Elim.


Not sure what's up with Martin Buser...just not his year. Yes, Swingley did a "camping trip" a couple of years ago, but some suspect he was just showing a new team of young dogs the trail so they could come on strong this year.


Maui left quite an impression on my 3-year old daughter. We were on final approach to Fairbanks and she looks at the window at the snowcovered landscape and quips, "it's still horrid winter out there!!!" :P I guess ten days of running around in nothing but a swimming suit, swimming in a WARM ocean, swinging from vines in the rain forest, caching in all sorts of neat places, standing on top of a volcano, seeing all the feral cats a Iao Valley, watching breeching whales and flipping spinner dolfins will do that to a youngster :P.


Here's a photo of Mini-V and Mini-I Ladybug near GEWs Big Beach cache watching the sun set over the island of Kahoolawe: d466efeb-955a-442b-969d-e878de44fa2a.jpg

Little more serene than what the Zuma and the Iditarod mushers dealt with outside of Unalakleet:


That's Denali7's favorite musher Dee Dee Jonrowe, cancer survivor, currently running in fourth place.


Note morning of 3/14/06: Links to photos aren't working because the gci.net server is down this morning.

Edited by Ladybug Kids
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GREAT pictures! it must have been a real bear to come home to the winter you're having after the beaches of hawaii. i can just picture a little kid, with the beach still in her mind's eye, looking out the plane window at the winter wonderland. what a hoot!


it sure sounds like you've had plenty of cold, some of the musher pictures are wild, but was the snowfall good too? we had a little cold earlier, around thanksgiving was beastly for a couple of days. i thought this would be the greatest sledding season ever, even had a snow day the first week of december, but then it all fell through. most of this winter has hovered around 40-50 and sunny. it has been excellent for caching, which is some consolation, as i only got in two sledding weekends. i've done almost as many caches this winter as i did my first year! :) even the old standby areas of old forge and tug hill in ny suffered. some diehards went to canada just to get in one really GREAT weekend of riding.


now i'll just enjoy checking on the race for a last blast of winter, but i'm starting to ponder opening the pool early this year. as warm as it's been, maybe this will finally be the year i open before memorial day! :D


thanks again for the pix!


eta: still a 6-hour difference between king and jonrowe, although top four still appear to be at white mountain checkpoint right now (5:36pm EST).

Edited by denali7
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Jeff King just wrapped up his last 8-hour mandatory rest stop at 1434 AST and has started the 77-mile dash to Nome.


Swingley can't leave until 1741 AST tonight, which gives King a 3 hour 10 minute headstart.


Zuma and Paul Gebhardt will be next out at 1939 with Dee Dee Jonrowe right behind him at 2024. John Baker and Bjornar Anderson are both within 90 minutes of Jonrowe, so it's going to be a race all the way to the finish for the top six.


Go, Zuma, go!!!


Wonder if he'd rather be back at Kanaha Beach (On the Run, In the Wind (Maui)), after all he's been through???


Edited by Ladybug Kids
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awww, zuma looks so happy and relaxed!


looks like king's got it--good for him, he ran a great race. would be cool to see dee dee catch up for another second, but three hours in tough conditions...i don't know. definitely looks like an exciting race for those top ten places. can't wait until the outdoor channel finally decides to show it around here...if it's anything like last year it'll be in about a month. :):D

Edited by denali7
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Zuma crossed the finish line in Nome with Paul Gebhardt in 3rd place at 5:23 AST this morning, four hours and eleven minutes behind winner Jeff King and one hour and five minutes behind runner-up Doug Swingley. DeeDee Jonrowe finished fourth twenty minutes ago, an hour and two minutes behind Gebhardt.


Congratulations, Zuma, for completing perhaps one of the most ambitious travel bug goals ever!!! Watch for Zuma at the Iditarod Awards Banquet, which will be held later this week.

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