It was an absolutely gorgeous Sunday in Willow for the start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. My brother Mark and his wife Lorri staked out their favorite place on Vera Lake before the race began. Their kids were already enjoying a camp fire. They were at the very same location that we watched the race from last year. See last year’s photos here.
My son Gerrit and I were the only representatives from my family for the second year in a row…couldn’t get the ladies to come but I’m sure they would have enjoyed it. The weather was perfect, sunny and windless and about 25 degrees. Can’t get any better than that!
Jay and two of his children along with my Dad, Gale Van Diest, showed up as well. From left to right is Mark,Lorri,Jay,Gale, and Nikki. Marty and Nikki Moffat joined us this year. It was good to have them there, Marty and I have known each other since he was in Anvik and I was in Holikachuk back in the early 60’s. Of course, it was our missionary parents who brought us there.
Here is a photo of Marty and Nikki with Rod Whaley from Tennessee right behind them. This race had mushers from several differentcountries and many different states. The top photo is Kim Franklin from the UK. These people from outside Alaska are certainly on the adventure, and challenge, of their lifetime. They are just beginning a 1,000 mile race through Alaska’s wilderness.
Rachael Scdoris, a legally blind musher from Oregon, is following Joe Runyan to Nome. Joe was our next door neighbor in Tanana and is a past Iditarod champion. The discovery channel is filming their trip from a helicopter overhead.
In addition to helicopters, there were airplanes galore, and hundreds, maybe thousands of snowmobiles following the race. It was almost a constant drone from some motor. Alan and Adele Morgan stopped by on thier machines to visit for awhile. Alan commented on the irony of so much gasoline consumption to watch a sled dog race. It does seem a little backwards, but like everyone else, we didn’t let it bother us.
My Dad has some more photos on his blog here.