Friday, March 30, 2007

"This World Is Not My Home... I'm Just a Passing Thru"

I was almost ten years old on March 27Th, 1964. The year of the big earthquake if you were around you would remember that date. In Old Harbor, I can remember the day like it was yesterday.

It was Good Friday. Mom said she was cooking. That day our cousin Valen Inga gave us a big stack of comic books to read. It was one of my favorite things to do in the village. Read! Comic books that we had stayed around our home until they got so worn out from reading they were tossed into the trash.

"I will read that one after you okay?"

"I already asked to read that one next!"

We sorted through and got first dibs on the comic books we hadn't read yet. I laid down on Mom and Dad's bed to read with the rest of my older brothers and my sisters. That day the earth began to shake! I was so into the reading that I thought it was my brother bugging me and I said, "Stop it DON!"

I kept reading as the bed shook then I looked around. There wasn't anyone around to keep shaking the bed and it was still shaking a lot! I dropped my comic book, got off the bed and tried to open the bedroom door which had shut with all the shaking going on. The ceilings and walls moved. I pulled on the door but it would not open.

"Open the door!" I hollered to nobody on the other side.

I kept turning the knob and pulling on the door until it pulled open and I went out into the hall. I tried not to fall over as I staggered out to the living room, to the dining room and then out the open door through the kitchen.

Everyone was already outside and I watched Mom with her hands on top of her head and my sister Millie doing the same thing. Mom covered her head in awe of God's power. I was in awe of everything around me! My sister Millie cried. The road was moving like rolling water. I could hear scared people all around the village. I heard the oil drums banging together.

When it all finally stopped the kids ran around looking at different things. "Sasha's chimney fell off!" I know I ran there to look. I don't remember being scared but I saw so many that were.

It didn't seem very long after that we heard the young guys running through the village hollering, "Everyone needs to go up the hill, there is going to be a tidal wave!"

I didn't know what a tidal wave was. Elena told me, "Go home now, go see your Momma." I hurried into the house and Mom said, "You kids need to go up the hill, hurry up!"

My sister Kotya began to cry as we hurried up to the hillside.

Still I wasn't scared and I lost track of my sister Kotya. She continued climbing way up the hillside with several other children before Leeroy stopped them and had them come back down. I watched people helping the old to climb the hill. I was fascinated with the old, blind lady Masha as she climbed up. I wondered what it was like to be blind so I shut my eyes as I climbed the hill hanging on to the dry grass.

That day we did get a huge tidal wave. I can remember all the people on the hill top and I looked down and watched the water coming from "The Narrows" and from the other side. All of the irritated ocean seemed to converge down below us in our village of Old Harbor and angrily tear up our picturesque little town.

I could hear the drums again, banging into each other. I saw flames in Enekenty's house. I saw houses floating. I don't remember much more except that it was so cold that night.

The morning after the villagers all climbed down and everyone met at the school. Stories were told of how the houses drifted here and there. The house that Dad built moved but was held close to it's place by the heavy fireplace he had built. The missionaries house stayed put, but the Chapel floated to Barling Bay. The water didn't touch the school, or the Russian Orthodox Church.

We all eventually left the village and traveled first to Kodiak then to Anchorage and finally were bussed to Camp Denali. I have no idea where Camp Denali is! It's an army barracks somewhere.

I don't remember how long we were out of Old Harbor but after the villagers went back we all lived in Army tents. The water damaged homes were demolished and burned. Government housing was built all summer long and they were not very good buildings. I remember when it rained the rain water ran down the outside of the house and in under the wall then the water filled up our floors. We mopped and mopped all day when it would rain until Dad could afford to order supplies to fix the cracks.

Cool Slideshows

Recently, I got a call from John in Old Harbor. "What do you want to do with the house? It is old and the doors are wide open. The school kids in the village are using it to party in. What do you want to do? Shall we board it up or tear it down?" I was saddened to think of tearing it down so I told him to just board it up.

My brother Toby called me a few days ago about it. He said he was told that the kids broke in and are partying in it again. "What you going to do about it, Con?"

To me it seems this house is just like the old comic books that we loved but as they got worn out we trashed them. This house has survived the years and years of wind, and rain and so much neglect. Now is it time to tear it down?

Something in me does not want to tear the house down. I want to be able to go back down there and fix it up. I want to return to this place that I used to call home. My husband encourages me and he says that he can salvage some of the wood, maybe build a small cabin in it's place.

I am thinking that this is a good idea right now but then again, I don't know why.

"This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' thru; if Heaven's not my Home, then LORD what would I do? The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door, and I can't feel at home, in this world anymore."

Millie will be traveling home to Alaska, and I am so happy to hear that.

Day 94.

Monday, March 26, 2007

2 Cents An Acre!

What a deal! An amount I can't even imagine even though it is not much today. One can even possibly win 1/7th of that amount playing a game I love to watch "Deal or No Deal"! Yet, that is the purchase price paid for what has become the United States of America's beautiful, rich in resources - State of Alaska!

Originally Alaska was an Aleut word meaning "mainland."

"This name, now applied to the whole of our new territory, is a corruption, very far removed from the original word . . . called by the natives Al-ak-shak or Al-ay-ek-sa. From Alayeksa the name became Alaksa, Alashka, Aliaska, and finally Alaska. We have, then Alaska for the territory, Aliaska for the peninsula." William Healy Dall, 1870.

My working sister Becca told me that she has the day off of work today because it is Seward's Day. A holiday that I forgot about - being the "lady of leisure" that I am! Government workers and possibly others across the State are observing this day, remembering the successful purchase price of Alaska from Russia by William Henry Seward.

Alaska was considered by the ill-informed to be a wasteland of ice, icebergs and glaciers and so the deal and Alaska was referred to as "Seward's Folly." Instead Alaska has become the glittering snowy jewel of the U.S.A. I've wondered before just who I would be today if this purchase never took place!

I smiled to see that I have something in common with William Seward, he was born on my birthday in 1801! I read that the night that President Lincoln was shot, Seward was also attacked by a Confederate Veteran named Lewis Payne. Payne went into Seward' room and attacked him with a knife. For some reason, Seward was wearing a neck brace and so the knife did not accomplish Payne's goal. I wonder what the story was for the neck brace?

The agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia was signed by Seward on March 30, 1867 and approved by the U.S. Senate on May 27, 1867. President Andrew Johnson signed the final treaty the following day and the transfer was made October 18, 1867 in Sitka. October 18 became "Alaska Day" the same year, 1867, when Alaska became a territory of the U.S and the United States flag was raised in Sitka for the first time.

Seward's Day is celebrated on the last Sunday in March, remembering the signing of the treaty which purchased Alaska from Russia. The Monday following, this holiday is officially observed. Happy Seward's Day!

Day 90 of my Sister Millie's deep sleep. Winter's almost over (((((Ahka))))).

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Moose, Laws & Earplugs

I was looking at the activity lately on this blog and noticed a lot of hits coming from ADN (Anchorage Daily News). I back-tracked to the ADN site that these new readers were coming from and found a link to my blog there. That's cool. My video of Klinton on the ice track made it to their news site.

While browsing at the ADN site I saw their Moose Photo Contest that is still taking entries. If you have a great moose picture, you can enter and possibly win up to a $1,000.00 for your efforts. Submission deadline is May 4, 2007. Check it out all the details at the above link.

I have had tons of opportunities to get a good moose picture but I just need more umption in my gumption to get close enough for a good picture. My camera is not properly zoom-suited for a close up shot; if I did get a close up I would actually be ---close up! Yikes! .... Gramma got stomped-squashed by a moosie... crawling through the snow bank for that shot...

Big Lake News! Now that is a new one for me. I found it when browsing tonight. Lots of news that I didn't know about... including Link Fannon was voted out of the Houston City Council! Oh my goodness, he was the guy that was trying to help us get our road fixed!

UPDATE on our road: We actually had the Houston Road department run a grader back here pushing snow, once... maybe twice this past winter. I am wondering how the gravel that was dumped out there is going to hold up to our traffic once all this snow begins to melt.

Shoot, I think that we missed another exciting Houston City Council meeting.

Gee, I don't like reading about new laws and motor sports in the same article. Big Lake is supposed to be Alaska's playground, I hope it stays that way.

Who has been belly-aching about noise?

My family is newly into MX racing and it has become a big family thing for us. It is so much fun! Yep, the machines are loud when they race, but I've seen the kids and family enjoying it so much and I've seen it keeping families occupied - together! I think that is more important than trying to be so quiet. This world needs more families to be out doing stuff like this --- together.

I enjoy watching the kids that have been busy keeping their bikes maintained - loving the time out on the race track. Is way better to put up with occasional noise rather than drugs or activities that end up with too many kids in trouble with that side of the law.

So if you chose to live in the Valley where ATV's have been a big part of our lives --- wear earplugs if you have to occasionally! If you can't stand it, then go away!

Day 89.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Dog's Favorite Things

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Thanks to Koni (another online acquaintance). If you see this Koni, thanks for the email!

My sister Kotya, her husband Chris and their daughter Jenni stopped by with Jenni's two little ones - Jessyka and Kona. Was good to see them all again, especially my sister Kotya. They actually came out of their village hoping to spend time with Millie. Millie should be here by Tuesday... that is the latest hope. I wish I remembered to take a picture!!!!! Next time.

My latest online busyness has been setting up a site. It's free! You can build a fun place to visit with family and friends, leave comments for each other, and even share music that you have enjoyed. The most exciting thing was to find a bunch of people on MySpace that originally came from Old Harbor. My own MySpace has become one of my favorite stops online. MySpace gives you a chance to see what your family and friends enjoy - by the things that they choose to put on their "spaces". It's been e-ju-ma-ka-ting!

Day 87

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Special People

"The special people in this world are the most precious and the most appreciated people of all.
No matter what happens, they always understand.
They go a million miles out of their way.
They hold your hand.
They bring you smiles, when a smile is exactly what you need.
They listen, and they hear what is said in the spaces between the words.
They care, and they let you know you're in their prayers."
~Unknown Native American

Millie continues to wait for a plane ride back to Alaska.

Day 84

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Picture was taken of "Sleeping Lady" coming down from Eklutna Lake.

I just got home from Wasilla. Marie took Calli and I out shopping while the guys are out on a Dad & Sons snowmachine day with a bunch of other guys from Wasilla Bible Church. We stopped to have lunch on the way at Cadillac Cafe.

Cadillac Cafe is a small restaurant along the Parks Highway heading from Big Lake to Wasilla. It is tucked into a small gas station and is part of the growing area known as Pittman Road. Pittman is getting an atmosphere all it's own. There seems to always be a lot of activity; tourists, ATV users and families heading up the highway loaded down with their snow machines find a reason to stop here before going on their ways.

I had Cadillac Cafes Curried Chicken Salad, a pretty good helping of lettuce, celery, chopped red onions, cashews, grapes and curried chicken all tossed in some kind of white salad dressing. It just hit the spot for me today. The lemonade was not good, I think it was even powdered, so don't get the lemonade if you're thinking about stopping there for lunch. Marie had a Japanese style chicken taco that had rice and black beans on the side. She said it was good. I tasted the black beans and they were good. Calli had a cup of chili. She said it was on the spicy side but also yummy.

We shopped at Joanne's which I learned had a coupon out that I could have used to save even more money than what I saved there. What a sad time when I realized that I could have bought twice as many beads as I did! (hehehe)

Anyway, the sun is shining and we didn't about freeze to death before we got into the stores. Everyone looks so chipper and we saw some melting snow on the highway.

Zippidy do dah ... zippidy yeahhhh... my oh my what a wonderful St. Patrick's day!

My brother Don called and said that Millie could be home as early as Monday! Another reason to be happy. She will be staying at Providence Extended Care in Anchorage. Looking forward to seeing you again Mil!

Day 81

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Brave Tree-Crunchers

I've noticed that the moose in our area begin to get a lot less timid as winter moves into spring. They might be getting low on browsing material so they don't want to move when we come around; they seem unafraid, so that makes me afraid.

It's during this time when we have to be a bit more careful because they seem much more prone to keep coming close and even won't get out of the way for our vehicles as we go down the drive way.

Moose attacks do happen. I have a sign hanging on my house that says, Beware of Attack MOOSE! I really hung it up as a joke, but it's not a joke if you are unfortunate enough to get caught under these guys hooves. I'm sure you've seen video online, if not just type "moose attack" into Google. Forget about the dog in the yard, watch out for the moose!

This is my best mad moose picture. He was in our yard one winter and decided he wanted us gone. I thought he was gonna jump up on the porch and kick me into my house! The picture was taken as he angrily walked down the sidewalk.

Here is a video of a cow and her two calves that were hanging around here on Sunday. After I uploaded it, the video turned out a bit blurry, but you can still get a good look at them.

Ah ha, Sigrid Ekran was the first rookie into Nome. Good job Sigrid. Oh, Ellen Halverson left Eagle Island a head of Donald Smidt, is she gonna have competition for the Red Lantern position? 22 scratches so far this year, I wonder if that is higher than normal? I have heard so much about the horrible trail, maybe it has just been harder on dogs, sleds and mushers than usual.

No new news about Millie lately. :-(

Day 79.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hot Shower, Hot Meal, Warm Bed

Jeff King shared his thoughts about seeing Mackey on the trail then commented that he is looking forward to a hot shower, a hot meal and a warm bed!

I can understand those desires after just being on a tent-camping-hunt! It is always so good to get home! Home, where you can walk around in socks! Home where you can find a comfy place to sit! Home with all the hot water - ready in an instant! Home with a plate of hot food! All those conveniences make the heart sing - home sweet home!

Congratulations to Lance Mackey, our 35th Iditarod Champion and his very spunky dogs! Lance said that it would be hard to pick out two as his main leaders since he let them share the lead a lot; but I see he chose Larry and Lippy. Good job driving them Lance Mackey and well done to all of your racing dogs! It's cool that Lance and his Dad Dick, and his brother Rick, all won the Iditarod with bib # 13 and on their sixth Iditarod race! Incredible.

As I suspected, it was a race for third place between Zack and Martin. I went to bed last night right after Buser and Steer left Safety. I hoped to see Buser in third when I got online and looked today! It would be fun to be hearing the stories that are being told now that the finishers can just relax and enjoy life again. Awww, Buser looks so tired in the picture on this page.

I enjoyed the race this year. I am so glad Buser is in the top five. Last year he didn't do so well. I am looking forward to Iditarod 36 as it will be interesting to also watch his son Rohn run in the race as a 2008 rookie.

I'm watching Sigrud Ekran in position #18. She is originally from Norway and a 2007 rookie; she could finish today as the first rookie of Iditarod 35. She is doing very well. She slid into White Mountain at 10:05 a.m. so that means that she can start off for Safety in eight hours at 6:05 this evening. The closest rookie behind her appears to be Sylvia Willis in 27th position and out of Elim at 6:08 a.m. Hmmmm, Aliy Zirkle has dropped clear down to 29th position, she is also in and out of Elim.

Chickens, llamas, alpacas, donkeys and an old mule continue to wait along with a three year old son for the right now Red Lantern musher Ellen Halverson, also a rookie. Ellen's average speed is 2.81 mph as she continues on the Iditarod Trail to Eagle Island today.

Ellen says,

"I have attempted the Iditarod twice but haven’t completed it. Outside of parenting a child (which I think is very challenging) Iditarod is the most difficult thing I have ever attempted. Running the Iditarod is a wonderful life experience. The dogs are built to run and it is a very special experience to partner with the dogs on the Iditarod Trail. There is a different intimacy with the dogs in this long race than one ever gets to otherwise experience. I have learned and made a lot of mistakes in my previous attempts to run Iditarod. My dog team is growing old and I want to run with my dog buddies with whom I have shared so much." From
Hang in there Ellen, we are watching you coming down the trail on your way to that hot shower, hot meal and a nice warm bed.

Here is one of many brilliant sunsets that have been going on for many weeks now. The skies continue to be clear and blue every day which means it has been cold, cold, cold. It's not only cold, it has been windy here in Big Lake too.

Day 78.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Looked!!!!

I looked and looked!

"This is an emotional moment....if I weren't so damn proud, I'd stand here and bawl." Lance Mackey by Jon Little

"I can't think of anything else I can do to make him more proud."Mackey referring to his Dad, former Iditarod Champion, Dick Mackey by Jon Little.

Lance Mackey is lookin' really good!!!! First into White Mountain and he has already done his mandatory eight hours and is off again! About three hours later Paul Gebhardt will be off and FIVE hours after him, we should have a show down between Buser and Steer going on for third.

So there it is! I don't see how anyone can pass Mackey unless for some reason he has trouble. He has left White Mountain with 9 dogs. Paul and Martin both had ten dogs in and Zack Steer had 11.

Jeff King is not even in White Mountain according to while I am here writing.

I found a cool website about the history of the Iditarod. As with so many things that the media has a hand in reporting and according to the writer at this website there are many untruths about the Iditarod and how it began which the news media continues to report as truth. I found it all to be very interesting. Check it out. Brownielocks and the Three Bears!

    Here are a few things I've learned from this site:
  • The Iditarod Race was not started by the diphtheria vaccine story. (gasp!)
  • The Indian word "haiditarod" means "far distant place."
  • The word "mush" comes from the French word "march" as in to march, not the month of March.
  • The first sled dogs were descendants of the wolf, weighing up to 80 pounds.
  • Henry Bannister, explorer, visited Alaska in the 1860's and his records noted seeing Eskimo teams of five to seven dogs pulling loads up to 1,000 pounds!
  • By the end of the 19Th century, dogs had become very important to gold miners.
  • The right dog could be bought for up to $1,000.00.
  • Sled dogs were important to getting mail delivered and ran very strict routes in the early 1900's.
  • The Iditarod Trail was not just one trail but many trails networked together, beginning in Seward!
  • This network of trails is more than 2,200 miles long.
  • "Kings of the Trail" were the mail carriers. They were given the right-of-way, special treatment and the best of seats at all tables along the way.

There is so much information at this website including the controversial story of the famous dog "Balto." All the mushers that took part in the serum delivery to Nome and even lists all the winners of the Iditarod race as we know it today beginning at 1973.

Extremely Fine Racing Kudos going out to Lance Mackey, Paul Gebhardt, Martin Buser, Zack Steer and Jeff King from Living in Alaska's Connie Marie!

Waiting for the finish and checking on that red lantern...

Day 77

I Can't Look!

I might peek, but I can't look!

I will return after the race is over!

Enjoy the end of the Iditarod Race everyone! May the fastest team win.... they all have great smiles don't they? Yes they do, but there is one smile in the top five that I still like the best and I am still hoping that he will win, but I just can't look!

Day 77

Monday, March 12, 2007

Our Own Races

I thought I would share a small video I took of the snow track that is on 'The Lake' this winter. My family loves to get out the machines and race around it. Klint plowed it with his snow-plowing truck.

Usually they invite their co-workers and friends to bring their machines up and then they have races. I even have been in a Mom's race too. It's fun but it can be so cold; the big bonfire that usually is going though is nice! Lots of food and lots of fun!

Klinton is riding in this video.

Yesterday, the family played on the lake too. Lots of sunshine and no wind. Best time to be outside and everyone seems to be getting a lot of sun on the face. Looks good too!

According to Lance Mackey is in the lead right now and has 13 dogs still running for him. Martin Buser appears to be in #2 position and is down to 11 dogs. Gebhart has 10 dogs still running in # 3. Zack Steer has come in and left Shaktoolik with twelve dogs! I wonder what is going on with Jeff King? He is still in Shaktoolik. I was sorry to read that Gebhardt has been running even with flu symptoms. I bet the other racers kept away from him! It looks like Lance has had the least amount of rest at the last couple of check points.

Rookie Sigrid Ekran, the rookie with the broken nose and two shiners, has passed Aliy Zirkle in Kaltag and could possibly be the first rookie into Nome, long as everything goes well and Silvia Willis or Gerry Willomitzer, both also rookies, do not pass her!

The race is hot and heavy now with Mackey leading the way to Koyuk, a trail across frozen seawater--- scary to think about with all the mushers now being short on sleep! The trail is well-marked and can be crossed even in blowing snow, something that they all probably are seeing now in this area. Looks like Lance Mackey drove through Shaktoolik during the night (2:41 a.m.) with only a five minute stop. Buser and Gebhardt left Shaktoolik shortly after 6 a.m. today after 2 hours and 31 minutess rest for Buser and 3 hours and 37 minutes for Gebhardt. Zack Steer got to Shaktoolik about 7 a.m. and stayed six minutes before leaving. From it appears that Jeff King has not moved yet.

Cabela's updates seem to be coming slow so I have been visiting for the latest and fastest updates.

Day 76

Saturday, March 10, 2007

They've Landed in Eagle Island

This is the only picture I could find online with Ralph Conaster, the owner of the homestead at Eagle Island where the top mushers have been resting all this morning. From what I have read this is a favored stop for tired athletes and mushers. Why? Apparently it is sheltered from the constant wind, has good company and a warm place to get some much needed rest.
Accommodations like this are irresistible. I cannot recall anyone pushing through Eagle Island. Most mushers plan to stay at least six or seven hours before pulling the hook for another 70-mile run up the Mighty Yuke to Kaltag.
From Cabela's Iditarod Trail. I am not sure what is there now since I've read that the spacious cabin the Conaster's had there burned in one of the fires that went through the area. I think but I am not positive that there are cabins there which the mushers are welcomed to rest in. So I don't know what is there now, but here is a picture of one of Eagle Island's residents, Ralph Conaster, that I found at the Iditarod Air Force Gallery, maybe he is the only resident there?

I am including the link of the Iditarod Air Force, 32 volunteer pilots that work to bring supplies, officials and veterinarians to the checkpoints during each Iditarod race. I can see where this bunch would be a very important part of the Iditarod. They drop off all that straw at each check point; bring back dog teams that have scratched; distribute over 74,513 lbs of dog food; transport "48 veterinarians that monitor the athletes before, during and after the race to insure there well being"! To see all that this bunch is involved with stop by their website. Iditarod Air Force.

This is the first year that I have realized that a bicycle and running bunch are also using the Iditarod trail, right now, at the same time that the mushers are out there. I hope that they are graciously stopping to move out of the way for the dogs and their mushers since this is an "Iditarod" trail.

When I read that they are out there it made me wrinkle my nose because it reminded me of how ATV trails get paved over and pretty little signs posted - No Motorized Vehicles Allowed, so that our bicycle riders have a nice safe place to ride (and most don't use anyway). That just rots my socks! Read more about the bicycle bunch here.

I admire riders with the stamina to pedal a bicycle all the way to Nome! What bugs me and maybe only me? The race is planned and carried out at the very same time as the Last Great Race. Why not before or after the mushers have done their race?

I can understand why they would want to be out there during the same time; the Iditarod race has pilots, officials and vets out there along the trail and perhaps they feel it is a safer time to do their ride. I wonder, have they contributed to the cost of grooming the trail for this event or even in planning to have it maintained?

Many times over on trails others have blazed, bicylists began to use them, (which is fine with us ATVer's), but when some begin to ride like it is their right to be there, and everyone else - look out for me-- that gets pretty irritating!

Where were the bicycle riders when the Tesoro Iron Dog bunch was speeding down the trail? Could it be they were concerned some of them could be flattened in the middle of the trail by the violent landing of a high flying snow machine? [hehehe]

Waving to all my bicycle riding friends. haha

Aha! The sleds have started down the trail! Jeff King has jumpstarted and is first on the trail with Buser right behind him after resting for 6.30 hrs. Paul Gebhardt and Lance Mackey have also been in Eagle Island but not as long, I am sure they will be on the trail again before long. Go, go, go doggies!

My brother Toby is planning to get out to Seattle to see Millie. Have a great visit Tobe!

Day 74

Friday, March 09, 2007

Yippeeeeee for Buser!

Hoping that Buser gets that dinner he is looking to win in Anvik!

Stopped by the Shageluk kids updates, it was fun to read. Great job to all those reporters!

It feels like the race has stepped up it's pace a bit this morning....oh I hope I don't wilt.

Again, be safe mushers and doggies.

Day 73

Thursday, March 08, 2007


"Mom!, you always wilt so fast!"

My daughter said that to me before and I have never forgotten it. I do. I wilt! And yesterday, I wilted when I was keeping track of the racers and decided that I would not watch the results for a while because, Buser was sleeping and all the fast guys are catching up! BUT...

I had set my home page to Cabela's Iditarod - Mushers - Current Standings! So when I came upstairs with my cup of coffee and opened my browser - there it all was again. The race is on and here comes...

Buser is out of Ophir! So is Ramey, Zack, Jeff, Jason, Aliy, Ken Anderson, Aaron Burmeister! So now, they should be seeing Lance, Paul, Ed, Tollef Monson, and Cim Smyth around Iditarod where they appear to all be taking their mandatory 24. Buser and the guys leaving Ophir have slept their 24 hours and now are back at it.

I was sad to read that Buser lost control of his dogs for a while and I think that is when I wilted. He had to chase them for a while, but since his female dog is in heat, he found them stopped and busy doing other things - and it was not running! I will be happy with who ever wins, especially Lance; but I still have my heart set on seeing Buser's smile come in first to Nome.

It's already day six and Buser is off to Iditarod!

Good luck to all the Mushers! Be good doggies!

Oh yes, I was going to mention Bryan Mills from Wisconsin. According to Jon Little from Cabela's Iditarod, he hurt his leg but continues to run in the race. Bryan said something like, I didn't come all the way from Wisconsin just to scratch! Way to go Bryan Mills! I hope you don't make your ouchie worse though!

My brother Don and his wife Edna are visiting Millie in Seattle. He sent me a picture of her and she looks so much better than when I saw her last. I appreciate that he sent it. Thanks Don, you are the best! Don says that she may still have to be cared for in Seattle for a while longer.

Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1: 3,4.

Day 72

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Resting or Waiting?

Watching the Iditarod standings to see where the leading sled teams will take their mandatory 24 hours.

There is a common myth in the Iditarod racing circle that the first team into the old mining ghost town, Iditarod (where the name of this race came from), won't finish the race in first place. It's a myth. It is said that usually the person going into the town first has been hitting the trail pretty hard. Lance Mackey continues to run up in #1 and has left Ophir and is headed for Iditarod. Does anyone know if he was able to borrow a new runner from another musher? I wish him the best and even the win for all the hard work so far. I don't believe in old myths. I know that this race takes thinking and strategy to win, but mostly an anxious buncha dogs and a good gripping pair of hands to hold on to the sled. But I always wonder if the myth causes some hesitation at this point of the race.

Buser is running in 4th position and is into Ophir along with last years champion, Jeff King, and Zack Steer right now. Paul Gebhardt, Jason Barron, Aliy Zirkle, Mitch Seavey, Ed Iten and Tollef Monson are into Takotna and those are all running in the top ten right now. I thought that Robert Sorlie would be up with the best by now, he just left McGrath about an hour ago.

Ophir is just a small place with Iditarod officials and veterinarians, and not really any place to hang out for 24 hours, it's early in the day and I am wondering what is on the minds of the mushers. This area can have a lot of caribou. Iditarod is also a nothing sort of place and 90 miles from Ophir. After Iditarod the teams will be heading to Shageluk.

Shageluk reminds me of a friend I have there that I met in high school. I really enjoyed her company. I have not seen her for a long time. I think the town of Shageluk brings the same sort of feelings for the mushers heading that way. It's a welcomed place to stop for much needed rest. The weather for this area right now is mostly cloudy with snow flurries and high temps are -10f with lows over night 15 - 30 below. Yuck!

Shageluk also has a website that they will be reporting mushers activities at. Be sure and check it out. Hopefully they will have an update there soon. I just looked at it and there isn't anything yet. Shageluk Iditarod 2007. From Shageluk on to Nome the trails are used by locals and is usually a pretty good ride from this point on.

Paul Gebhardt is moving again.

I acknowledge and praise our awesome Creator and God for the healing going on in Millie's body. His powers are incomprehensible. I thank Him for His love and care demonstrated to us by allowing her to remain in our lives.

Day 71

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Can't Be Quiet

I just have to share that my sister Millie might be coming to Alaska soon. She left Alaska on December 27th after a massive brain aneurysm plunged her into a coma. The tube into her throat was removed today. Her husband was told her Doctor wants to watch her for a few days, if she does well she can return to Alaska. We have hope that she will soon decide to wake up and if we can be there when she does that would be such a happy event!

This news made me so happy; I think it will make you happy to hear it too. I am, like her children are, looking forward to seeing her again!

Still Day 70, but barely.

He's Back!

Buser is back on the roster at # 1 right now! He flew into Nikolai and right back out in three minutes. He must be making the best distance before taking his mandatory 24. Non of the mushers have done that yet. Lance has been in Nikolai for 11 hours now.

Jeff King is coming right along at #7 position! Aliy Zirkle is showing #5 position right now. I am curious to see where Sorlie shows up before the end of this day.

The trail from Nikolai to McGrath is fifty miles, but many mushers will opt to stop in Nikolai and enjoy the strong hospitality of it's people. Looks like Buser decided to go on to McGrath, on the "flat and uneventful" trail. Looks like weather there has blowing snow at -3F.

Here is a website with some video Iditarod related interviews you might find interesting. Mushing Media.

Happy news about Mil! They removed the tracheotomy today; she has supplemental oxygen tubes via her nose. She will be able to talk if she wants to. She only has a feeding tube, IV for liquids, bandage where her trach was, and heart monitor hooked to her finger now. I'm thanking the Lord for His goodness to her.

Day 70


I could not load the Cabela's update site for hours and now it's up again and oh no! The site is reporting a bunch of what has to be oopsies!

Sorlie is winning in first place, followed by Ken Anderson, Heather Siitola, Dave Tresino, Louis Nelson, Tom Roig, Tim Osmar, Scott Smith, Heather Siirtola, and Jeff Wells, that is just the top ten. They are showing that Gebhardt has scratched and I can't even find Buser.... where are you Buser?

Oh the woes of web building, haha.

I am watching from too. From there Lance Lackey is still up in # 1 and still resting in Nikolai; Gebhardt has not scratched; Zack Steer continues showing in Nikolai; Aliy Zirkle is back up in the top 5; Jeff King - showing up at #6 position, and Buser is still running in the race! (12th position right now.)

*tappin' my fingers on the keys*

It's still Day 70

The Mush Is On!

I scratched my finger on a plastic container this morning, but I bet that didn't hurt as much as all of the mushers that had to scratch so far from the 2007 Iditarod. Darn, DeeDee Jonrowe had to scratch too. Sounds like the area that took her and Doug Swingley down is a treacherous. Poor, she has a broken finger bone in her hand.

Lance Mackey is still going strong this morning! Into Nikolai ---with my favorite "Smile" down in position 5. As I type - 31 mushers have been in and back out of Rohn! Jason Barron, Cim Smyth and Zack Steer fill the trail between Buser and our fearless leader right now. I am keeping my eye on Jeff King (just about up into the top ten right now) and Robert Sorlie too. Paul Gebhardt continues to keep right up there in the top ten. From this view it looks like Lance Mackey better keep on keepin' on 'cause the tongues are hanging low and there are dogs that know not how to keep is slow! BE SAFE MUSHERS!

It's beautiful today, clear and still c-c-c-ccccold! Still having minus temperatures with wind. Not fun days to be outdoors! Therefore, I am thankful for all the online coverage I've been enjoying stopping by to read. My appetite to watch video footage of the race was not sated by watching NBC Channel 2's coverage! I wanted to see more from the mushers out there when I hurried downstairs to watch the news last night but was Sorlie disappointed, uh I mean sorely! I am probably pronouncing that incorrectly; am I? Probably mushers just don't have time for interviews, I guess.

I enjoyed listening to Dogsled's interview of Martin at -- "Martin Talks About Rainy Pass." Sleep deprivation on the trail, something I never really considered but can see how that would occur! I enjoyed hearing Buser's talk about it.

Come on Aliy, get back up there into the top five! I am cheerin' you on through the testosterone breeze! Right now, Aliy Zirkle is in #7 position.

You are missing the big race Millie!

Day 70

Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday, 8:45 A.M. - Alaska Time

I just turned on my computer and checked out the mushers stats and there is Buser at the top of the list. I like to see that! Still a long ways to go but I like how it looks now. He was in to Finger Lake at 4:30 am? Oh my goodness. That is early, and he got back out onto the trail in five minutes; according to Cabelas Iditarod, he was traveling almost 12 miles an hour. Next check point is Rainy Pass. (Map from

Zack Steer, Jim Lanier, cim Smyth, and Doug Swingley are right behind him right now. It's anybody's race right now. I hope they are all staying warm out there.

I went to Anchorage's Native Musicale on Friday and Saturday nights and enjoyed listening to the gospel music coming from all over Alaska. I had a bit of a hard time the first night I was there being that my sister Millie is normally there every year and this year she wasn't and I sure felt that change.

After church on Sunday most of the family showed up here at the Lake and so Sunday also whizzed on by. We played games in the evening and enjoyed Calli's yummie Taco Soup.

Her soup is fast and easy to make. She browns hamburger and adds 1/2 cup of taco seasoning, 1-1/2 cups of water and to that she adds 2 small cans each of red beans, black beans, and one can of kidney beans; 1 can of chopped tomatoes and lets that stew for a bit. It's then ready for the bowls and a dollop of sour cream and grated cheddar cheese. The way to eat it is with corn chips on top of that; Kim brought a big bag of those too. Taco soup is so good and Calli said so easy to make. She fed ten of us with that recipe. Thanks Calli!

Marie made "The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever" recipe that I believe she got from her good friend Sarah. They are the best cookies ever, especially if you love chocolate chip cookies. I will share her recipe another time.

It's blowing pretty hard again today. Palmer and Wasilla are very windy cities and many times it's not blowing out here in Big Lake when it is there. Today, it is! Supposed to be gusting up to 70 m.p.h.; it sounds like that right now.

Angie of Northern Girl attended the start of the Iditarod race in Anchorage and she has some fun and beautiful pictures to share. You should check them out.

Nothing new about my Sister down South; still missing you (((((((burgundyrose))))))))

Day 69

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It's Howling Time!

Once again it's time for the Iditarod and once again the Restart is moved. Not enough snow cover? I don't know (maybe it all blew away) but the mushers will be leaving from Willow on Saturday, March 3,2007. Right now the wind is howling and it's so cold that I don't think the dogs will be out howling tonight. I would not want to go on a trail ride right now---even if I was a lead dog.

I saw several dog mushers on Channel 13 (I think) and they all looked pretty happy and excited just like their dogs! I'm pretty sure all the dog food and supplies have been put out along the trail already and all involved are getting anxious to get the sleds on the trail!

I was knitting in the truck during the Tesoro Iron Dog race and lifted my head and looked out the window of the truck when I noticed a nice looking man with a great smile going by. Oh my goodness! That is Buser! I threw down my knitting, grabbed my camera and waved to Doug to get off of the snow berm and come over to take a picture of us. Then I hurried out, stopped Martin and asked for a picture and I must say, I look a happy mess! That is what knitting does to you! ha!

"One of the competitors with one of the fastest athletes this year is Martin Buser, one of the three four-time champions in this year's race. Buser's track record in races so far this winter has shown his dogs have not only speed but stamina. He won the Kuskokwim 300 and his son, Rohn, 17, finished fourth. With 28 dogs between those teams, Buser obviously has plenty to choose from when it comes to the 16 dogs that start out from Willow Sunday afternoon. Cabela's Iditarod."

Rohn Buser also won the Junior Iditarod, about 120 mile race in sub-zero temps. Well the love of mushing has passed from parent to child in this dog mushing world as you can see from the story about Rohn Buser's win. Read more here.

I will be hoping Buser does better this year than he did last, and I hope he does not bust his sled up along the way! I have heard rumors that the trail is not very good. May God keep all of the Musher's, volunteers and officials safe. Oh! and the dogs too!

Day 65