On The Trail Again
With the sights and sounds of the crowds becoming dimmer, the Iditarod Race is on. The mountains loom in the background as the teams forge ahead. Nothing but snow and ice for as far as you can see. The exhilaration is felt as you zoom through the powder and over the ice. Not even a whisper is uttered beyond the sound of your own breath and the noise of the dogs as they plow through all types of ice and snow. The tedious repetition and routine are broken only when a driver speaks to his dogs or stops to check out the paws of these fearless runners. What a thrill as you run through the greatest wilderness in North America.
The Iditarod is the accumulation of months of mushing over one of the world’s brutalist environments. It is an example of the love between a man and his dogs. It shows the hours of preparation, as the team runs from early in the morning until late at night day after day. There are no summer breaks, just a different type of sled that is used when there is no snow. Only the sound of the wind can be heard beyond the musher as he or she directs their dogs. Beyond the dogs, there is only the sound of your own breath, that is, when it is not frozen in mid-air.
There is so much to learn, for the mushers and their dogs. Children often begin to learn as young boys or girls. They are a champion in the making. They live, learn, study, and exist for mushing. If their dream is to be realized, it will take many years of trapping, running, and working their dogs, as they learn from the best of the best. Even with all the setbacks that happen in life, if a boy or girl is destined to mush, They will mush. Day after day, they will hear and see only the whispering of the wind, the ice, and the snow. As they learn to become one with their team, and their team becomes one with him. Together they will run some of the wildest trails in North America.
The teams that come to the Iditarod to race have prepared for the world’s greatest competitive event. It is one that is long and rough, with over 1000 miles of the most magnificent and rugged beauty in the world. It is also some of the wildest beauty. Mother Nature offers up a plate of tall snow-covered mountains, frozen rivers and lakes, dense and frozen forests, frozen tundra, and miles and miles of nothing. If that was not enough, the temperatures are way below zero. Mother Nature gives out treacherous winds and blizzards, where there is nothing left to see. The hazards are everywhere, with wicked climbs, many hills, and drop-offs on one side. This is a race that is only possible in Alaska. It is known as: “The Last Great Race on Earth,”
The racers are unique men and women from all over the world. They are the best of the best. They are trappers, natives, doctors, lawyers, students, artists, and more. They are a group with extreme skills, and they come together to test those skills.
THE RACE IS ON!