What a glorious day we have had here in Nome today. Twenty six teams have arrived so far under clear calm skies at night and sunny weather during the day. Several teams had trouble keeping focused on on the finish line and tried to make detours as they came off the ice and down Front Steet. This was the first time the winner arrived at night in some years. The slower pace made for a tighter race with almost half the pack arriving within a day of Mitch Seavey.
Mitch Seavey held off a strong challenge from Aliy Zirkle to win Iditarod 2013!
Sunny weather, a smooth flight and mushers coming and going. What more could you want from a visit to this scenic checkpoint? For some of my clients the highlight of the trip was having Jim Tweto, COO of ERA Air and star of the reality show “Flying Wild Alaska”, greet our plane and welcome them to Unalakleet.
Well a big apology to all of you who follow this blog. I went to Chena Hot Springs with one of my tours after the start of the Iditarod, and they didn’t have internet access. We get so used to it, we come to expect it everywhere. But now we are in Nome and I will be posting images regularly. The ceremonial start was interesting with the fog covering 4th Avenue, it made for some images I hadn’t captured before. The race is turning out to be an interesting mix of characters battling for the lead. I think we all expected Dallas to be the Seavey up there with Aliy, not Mitch. Having a local boy like Aaron up at the top makes it more interesting for the residents along the coast here.
Many of the clients on our tour sign up to be volunteer dog handlers at the race start. Smithsonian Journeys Program Coordinator Alyssa Bobst writes about her experience as a volunteer dog handler on her 2009 tour with us: Article
In 2010 I was contracted by Smithsonian Journeys, the travel arm of the Smithsonian Institute, to be a Study Leader and lead a tour of the Iditarod Race for them. The clients had a wonderful and informative experience, with some coming back the next year to go further along the trail with me. As part of their promotion of the tour, I was interviewed about the race for their website and magazine. Here is a link to the Q&A session: Smithsonian Journeys Interview
Well 6 weeks to go until “The Greatest Show on Earth” , or maybe that’s the circus. Either way, 6 weeks until the race begins and it should be a great one! Lots of former champs, recent champs and future champs in the mix. I even saw an old friend of mine-Rudy Demoski – was entered this year. Rudy was in the 1974 race and finished fourth. He raced another half dozen times or so. I’ll look forward to following him along the trail. After a 27 year layoff from dog racing, he should be raring to go.
All of our Iditarod Tours sold out this year and with 8 returning clients I know it will be a fun time.