This is a view to downtown on 2nd Avenue. This is where the teams start and finish. This is the Open North American and it was the 66th year of running. Friday and Saturday the teams run 20-miles and on Sunday it is a 30-mile heat. I love it. I grew up in Tok and spent many weekends at the race track cheering on greats like Gareth Wright, Roxie Wright, George Attla. I love the sound of the dogs with their high-pitched barks. My Dad worked in the announcers shack so when they count down to the start it's almost as if I can hear his voice. I miss those days...I had a great childhood.
I can guarantee you that these dogs love to run. The way they jump and lunge waiting for "go" tells you how much they want to run. While every sport has a few bad apples, I can attest to the fact that these animals are some of the most cared for in the world. I know one racer that has 3 or 4 at a time sleeping in bed with her. They are their children.
Some of you may find furs offensive, and I'm sorry for that. It isn't how I was raised. My dad and brothers were trappers and it's just a way of life for many people here. I wasn't the only one that asked this man to take his photo with his wolf hat.
This was a race sponsored by AARP. The musher in the purple on the left is Barb Moore. This is a race about old dogs and old mushers. If you are interested you should read this blog where you get a detail explanation as to this race and some video from it. Those old dogs showed that they may be slow, but they haven't lost the love of running.
I mopped floors and scrubbed the stove...what joy! And managed to plant a few seeds. Now it's late and it's been a full day. Hope tomorrow is, too!!
Here's a clip of Egil Ellis. He has won the Open North American more times than anyone...Ten!! He's originally from Sweden and uses a hound-husky mix. After many years of blowing the competition away many of the mushers have bred in hounds and heelers for a faster dog. Sprint dogs are completely different than the dogs they use for the Iditarod and Yukon Quest. Those dogs are slow and heavier, sprint dogs are very thin and very fast.