Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Iditarod Musings, Starbuck Is Cuddly, and Flat Stella

The first Iditarod musher has come into Tanana. This description just captures Alaska, to me:

Nicolas Petit sipped Champagne at a candlelit table here Tuesday evening. In front of him, 3,500 one-dollar bills overflowed from a gold pan and plates of food continued to appear filled with Alaska seafood, smoked duck, lamb loin and more.

It's his lavish bounty for being the first Iditarod musher to reach the Yukon River.

The community here also had a bag of gifts for Petit. The mayor, Donna Folger, and the president of the Tanana Dog Mushing Association, Patrick Moore, presented the Girdwood musher with a beaded Athabascan chief necklace, a mug and a sweatshirt.

"Thank you. That's fantastic. I appreciate it," Petit told them inside of the crowded community hall, decorated with colorful lights strung across the walls. "I need a new hoodie because this one is starting to smell bad."

Outside Alaska, sports stars brag about their cars, mansions, and sexual exploits. In Alaska, they happily accept a traditional Athabascan beaded necklace, a mug, and a hoodie and say, "I need a new hoodie because this one is starting to smell bad." :)

The article goes on:

While Petit piled straw on his dogs outside before sitting down for his five-course meal, he said he didn't expect to be in the lead. He passed [Martin] Buser on the trail, while Buser was giving snacks to his dogs, but he said he still expected at least one other team to be ahead of him. It wasn't until he asked a snowmachiner outside of Tanana about the lineup that he learned of his lead... Inside the checkpoint Tuesday, Petit asked a resident to eat with him, and the community chose village elder Blanche Edwin...

How gracious on both sides! Honestly, I'm such a piggie that when presented with a pile of food, it would probably not occur to me to ask someone to dine with me. I'd just kind of fall down stuffing my face. It continues to be true that we have something to learn from everyone.

I had never had anyone to root for in the Iditarod before. Now I've got my eye on Jodi, Cricket's first human! But I still can't bring myself to care that much about race standings or who wins or places where. I just hope all humans and dogs come home safe!

In other news, here are photos of Starbuck being snuggly:

Look at all of those paws!

"Talk do da paw!"

Here is one of her looking uncharacteristically dignified:

A Roo selfie with our Flat Stella, who is here from Connecticut!

Flat Stella saw a moose! I think she's going to return to Connecticut with officially the coolest report in the kid's class!

1 comment:

mdr said...

$3500 in one dollar bills? Alaskan way!