Sunday, March 12, 2017

Iditarod 2017 Unalakleet Checkpoint

Photos from the top mushers coming into the Unalakleet Checkpoint today March 12th, 2017.

Wade Marrs arriving coming down the Unalakleet River.

In the back-ground Nicolas Petit is approaching.

Wade Marrs

Nicolas Petit

Nicolas feeding/snacking dogs.

Nicolas's dog

Mitch came in loaded food and items from his drop bag.

Mitch leaving . . . he was just here minutes!

Dallas and team arriving

Dallas's team

Wade Marrs' team

These photos I took and the ones above my husband took.  Below the photos didn't load in order but they are all from today.

Walking up to the check point

Mitch leaving--like lighting!
Mushers' bags

One of my favorite mushers!

Sleds and of course Dee Dee's in pink!

Sled for Allen Moore or Aliy!

Wade Marrs coming into the check point.

Receiving his gold for arriving at the coast first! 

He was so sincere and humble!

Mitch organizing and packing food for the trail.

Mitch checking in and organizing

Nicolas Petit so comforting to his team!

One of the vets, he also visited my classroom.

Dallas arriving

One of Dallas's dogs soaking up the sunshine.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Iditarod & SKIKU! It must be Spring!

One of the great joys of living in Unalakleet is that we live on the Iditarod Dog Sled Trail.  Unalakleet is a major checkpoint, as the mushers hit the coast here and have all new elements to deal with as they head north to Nome.

A little bit about UNK only we have about 725 people living here.

Thursday night in the Community Center, longtime musher Junie Towarak was talking about his days on the Iditarod Trail and life with his dogs.  In his time once he got to Nome he would then turn around and run his team back home as he didn't have the funds to fly the team home.
I was heading out to ski practice and the berms have been set in place for the dog teams. Unalakleet is known/named for "When the East Wind Meets the Sea." The berms give protection to the teams from the winds and also quiet time to rest.
Last night, I went out for an evening ski and stopped by the checkpoint to see if any dog sleds had arrived.  These sleds are here waiting for their mushers.  The mushers may switch out sleds for the coast run.  These sleds may be lighter for less dogs online to pull, or their other sleds may have been damage and they have a backup waiting for them at the UNK checkpoint.

I love this time of the year here as it is still winter!  The ground is covered in snow, the sea is covered in ice, the sky is blue as can be, the stars are as bright as can be, northern lights are often dancing around for us all to be forever grateful for and LIFE IS PRETTY AMAZING!  In fact, I am constantly thinking nothing can be better than this and need to remind myself this is my LIFE!  I am so grateful for all that I do have and for Mother Nature opening up this great strecth of endless beauty no matter what direction I look.

Recent Northern Lights here in Unalakleet. Taken by a friend, about 2 weeks ago

No matter how many times I see the lights I am truly amazed by their magic.  Grateful beyond words to be able to say I see the lights often!

Yesterday at 3:30:01 Spring Break started!!!!!!!!!!!!  As a teacher, HOLIDAYS are always a treat!  As a ski coach . . . more ski time is a treasure!  On the 8th our first ski coach from SKIKU arrived to work with our skiers.  This is a wonderful organization that reaches out to the rural Alaskan communities to promote nordic skiing.  Yesterday, four more coaches arrived and they will be here until Thursday skiing with our skiers, and offering adult ski lessons. The first thing I do is toss them into the wax room to help wax about 30 pairs of skis for our Community ski race on Monday.  They are all top skiers that have a passion for the sport and can not wait to instill that love of skiing with others.

Yesterday, my Kate Davies Buachaille yarn arrived for a Fair Isle Vest I will be casting-on soon!
Spring break is looking pretty darn perfect, skiing with kids and learning from visiting coaches, watching the Iditarod, oh some Northern Lights tossed into the mix, and a new knitting project!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thinking of You My BLOG!

This is the time of the year, I think about you BLOG.  I am sad to say that is all I do!  Skiing is busy, work is busy, ski races have started up in the far north, just when everyone else is wrapping up their race season ours has barely begun.  I also love that our ski season is long! This means I am still skiing every day! I am so GRATEFUL for endless days on skis!  I  know this is a WONDERFUL treasure in life!

Blog, my apologies for my neglect!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Refugio

Refugio: a shelter or safe place, usually one thinks of Refugio up in the mountains or in a remote place (This is my definition.)

At least 5 days a week I spend time in my Refugio as I like to call the place I work out in here in the village.  This is presently my classroom as it is the only place with a large enough open floor space to do yoga and a sit up routine.  The other place is the wax room but that is not possible with ski season in full motion.  I call my room "The Refugio" as it is that space one needs to go to for a break.  It brings up great images of a mountain hut up high in the alpine world I love.

Look at this great Refugio
The above Refugio is located int he Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France.  It looks like a wonderful place to relax, slow down, and to soak up some peace.

Here is Refugio Frey in Argentian outside of Bariloche. If you have never been in this part of the world I can highly recommend a visit.
These are places I think of as I head over for my morning work out in my classroom.  A place of peace, quiet, and open country.

This cabin above is in Montana and you can rent it from the forest service.  In the winter you can ski into Beaver Creek Cabin. During the snow-free months, you can drive, bike, or hike into the cabin.

Although my classroom and wax room at not high alpine cabins I still get a sense of peace and quiet as I start my days.

The other new addition to the time in the Refugio is Salomon TV ski videos!   These are amazing and they really inspire me, plus connect me to the ski world on a different level that I do miss. My other favorite video that I watch through sit-ups and my back yoga routine is this one set up high in the Italian Alps.

I feel it is important that we all have a Refugio. A place one can go to, to draw energy from, that gives us peace, and yet inspires us all on some personal level.