Sunday

This brings us to today.  Our last day here.  All flights leave Anchorage around midnight so it’s an odd day with time to kill.  Very hurry up and wait. Especially since we weren’t going to the restart and had to find something to fill the day.

We had breakfast at the hotel and waited around until almost check out time to store our luggage and check out.  We were going to go to a craft show, but I couldn’t find the address again.  Not a big deal, we didn’t really have the space to pack any more.

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We did go to an overlook Joanne had told me about last night.  We have had the clearest weather possible, and the mountains, sky, and water….  Pictures speak louder than words.

We went to the Alaska Aviation History museum because my Dad loves air museums.  I don’t think I realized how much went on with the Japanese during WWII in Alaska.  Or that the Russians were using the Lend-Lease act and getting everything through Fairbanks.  We could also go up in the old control tower, so more blue skies and mountains.

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With still time to kill, we drove down the Seward Highway.  It was the word beautiful is getting overused.  I feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder trying to describe San Francisco and the World’s Fair to Almanzo.  🙂

We stopped for dinner and now are waiting in the lobby to go over to the airport.

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After watching the start and stopping at another souvenir store, we went back to the hotel to change out of the boots and bibs.

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Every year, I participate in the Idita-support Christmas exchange.  A few years ago, Maureen sent me some Alaska Wildberry candy.  It was jelly filled chocolates and quite good (and I’m not a chocolate fan)  I wanted to go there and get some more.  We found it just a few miles from the hotel.

It had a variety of gifts and was a nice store.  Can’t wait to taste some of it when I get home.

As we came out of the store, I got a text from Roland (Laura Ingalls Wilder online friend from yesterday) that THE Mountain was out and to head over to Earthquake Park.  We did, and it was a grear view (Thank you)  Also, look how deep the snow is compared to the park bench.

Afterwards, we went to dinner at Gwennies.  The Idita-support list has a dinner there the day of the Iditarod start every year.  It was so nice to go in person and meet everyone from online.  Joanne who was my Secret Santa year before last; Maureen, Nonna and Fred- he’s run the race and they now live down the street from Libby Riddles.  (First woman of two to ever win the race)  Karin Hendrickson is running the race this year, and her Mom attended our dinner. Gail, who coordinates it every year.  Helen, who posts every mushing article one could possible find. Loved putting faces with names!

 

Iditarod

We arrived in Anchorage and parked around 8am.  There were a lot of handlers out.  Most of the photos of me with the mushers are on my aunt’s camera, so I will have to post them later.  I took more photos of dog trucks.  We walked up and down talking to people as we could without interrupting.  It was 3 degrees when we got there, and it warmed up to 15.  I was surprised how comfortable I was.  I was cool, but not cold.

Dad spent a fair amount of time talking Alan Eischens – have to see how he does in the race!

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Good thing about it being cold – I have my hood up so you can’t see what horrible things the headband does to my hair.

We stood right before the starting line so I can could take photos of everyone right before they started.

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When I get home, I’ll load them up to the Facebook page and label them better.

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We had a snack.

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I made it about 3.5 hours before I had to warm up, right after Aliy started.  There was a lot of cheering for her.

We did a little shopping, and the rest of the day will be the next entry.  It’s time to go to the craft fair.

 

Friday

We did finally leave the hotel after breakfast, King crab & shrimp omelette.  I love seafood, and will eat it whenever I have an excuse.  I published a photo of some mountains, which a friend corrected me that they were just mountains not The mountain, oh well, still pretty.

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I have to say when we were here in 2009.  I wasn’t that impressed with Alaska.  It was rainy, and it just wasn’t that much different than the US Rockies, and the Canadian Rockies were still the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.  Alaska in the winter gives them a run for the money.

We went to the Ulu knife store to get my Dad a replacement for the knife he lost after the first trip.  When we get back, I should share my photos of all my souvenirs.  We saw Ken Anderson’s dogs being dropped.  I remember him because he has the same name as the quarterback. 🙂 Then we saw the snow sculptures across the street.

 

We went up to 4th Avenue to scout out where the start would be and shop some more.

Then we met up with one of my Laurapalooza friends for awhile at the Fur Rondy Carnival.  He gave us great suggestions, including dinner at Artic Roadrunner, where I had a salmon burger (more fish)

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We came back to the hotel, and we keep taking photos out the car windows (no I don’t while I’m driving)  Also, the Subaru compact SUV we have is not the most comfortable car I’ve ever been in.

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Lakefront Anchorage

I thought I would share some photos from our room/hotel.  The internet is a little slow, of course, but I have some time.  The first few pictures are blurry but I got better at not moving the camera/

The first night we set the thermostat at 70.  I woke up at 6am, and the room was 85 degrees.  We turned it down, but it wouldn’t cool down until I turned on the A/C.  Yes, I was in Alaska in March in less than 20 degrees with the Air conditioner on.  I saw others had their windows open.img_0245

I thought this little corner when you entered the room was cute.img_0246

How very HGTV.  Did you know these don’t have locks on them, and you can see in slightly?

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The rest of the room, the first morning.

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I love this tourbus wrap!  Or I love anything with a husky on it.

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Those are the kind of icicles that can hurt you when they fall!img_0294

I liked the photos in the lobby.

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You know you are in Alaska when there’s 3 bears in the lobby.

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Wade & Aliy

I have to share two things from the Musher’s Banquet last night.  As the Iditarod is a very niche event, the people who are rock stars to those who follow it are unknown to most people.  Which means that they are fairly down to earth, normal people.

We went over last night to join the line of people getting autographs.  Walking away from the line was a man in gray that I recognized.  I went up to him, and said “You’re Wade.  Can you sign my book?  You’re one of my favorites!”  He was very nice while he signed my book.

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This is Laura Neese, a rookie, from Michigan.  She did really well in the Yukon Quest last year.  She trains at a kennel in the UP.  I’m trying to convince Dad that we want to go there on vacation.

I did get Aliy Zirkle’s autograph.  She’s been in the top 3 each of the last 5 years, but hasn’t won.  Everyone thinks she’s going to be the next woman to win.  A woman hasn’t won since Susan Butcher last won in 1991.  My best friend is a really big fan.  My plan was to get something signed by Aliy to bring home to her.  I told Aliy it was my goal, and she offered to sign something besides the program and we looked around, but didn’t have anything.  But she was totally sweet about it, which is what everyone says about her.

Last post of the day

I’ve been up for 22 1/2 hours, and I’m almost dizzy for being tired.  But I’m going to press on and bring you the last post tonight.  Tomorrow I think I’ll add tags when I can think.

So it was a rough flight out after leaving 40 minutes late. Also, 5.5 hour flights are my limit I think.  When we landed, it was like we hit ice, slid, and corrected it.  The airport was practically closed when we arrived.  I went and got the rental car, and had a bunch of problems getting to them and getting the luggage loaded.  I can’t say I was in a good mood during the whole time.

You know what?  Pictures will be added tomorrow, I’m not going to make it to adding the ones from my camera and phone to the computer and uploading them tonight.

We did get to the hotel (maybe another blog) and got checked in and the luggage up to Mom and Dad’s room  We left for the banquet. The food was quite good, but I wish I knew what kind of salad dressing it was.  Nice couple at our table that Dad and I talked quite a bit .  Another woman loaned me her pen, and then left before I could return it.  Got plenty of autographs.  Including two stories about Aliy and Wade that will be tomorrow.  I won two things at the silent auction that I will share as well.

The first is the convention center, and the second is the the centerpiece.  I didn’t see ones from one of my Laurapalooza friends.  I’ll have to ask her for the pattern now instead of taking one.  Now we are back at the room, and I much get some sleep.

G’nite

 

On our way!

I’m going to be doing some quick blog/photos to keep you updated as we go.

We are at the airport waiting. I missed a flight several years ago, so now I’m very careful.

Here’s my Mom and aunt waiting for the flight to Denver. And noting where we are parked.