Gina and I, along with Noah and Katelyn, spent the weekend camping in Denali State Park. (More about that in another post.)
On our way back to Anchorage, we caught the official start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Willow. Gina and I have been to the start before, but Noah and Katelyn hadn’t -- which I found shocking. It seems all Alaskans should see the start, it’s kind of like our Super Bowl or World Series.
And if you love dogs, it’s just a lot of fun. The Iditarod always creates a bit of conflict with “dog lovers” who live Outside and think that mushing is cruel to the animals. All it would take is one visit to the start of the race to realize there is nothing cruel about the Iditarod. The animal-athletes are so excited they can hardly be contained. Usually, mushers come to the start line with 16 dogs hooked up. It takes the musher, his sled and several handlers to keep the dogs from bursting down the start chute until it’s time to go. The dogs simply can’t wait to race.
Some would argue that at times animals die on the trail. That is tragic. So is a friend I know who had her 4-year-old dog die of a heart attack while on a walk.
The Iditarod is a wonderful piece of Alaska. Visitors come from all over to see it, and I know why -- it’s a lot of fun.
Enjoy some of the scenes we saw on Sunday.