Sunday, March 2, 2008

Not about eating or Seattle: Iditarod 2008

I am obsessed with the Iditarod, which just started this weekend up in AK. But, as much as I appreciate the mushers' amazing journey, for me it's a dog thing. I imagine that, someday, I'll quit doing what I do now and I'll move to the country, have a giant garden and raise dogs. I've been a dog person my whole life; I used to volunteer for the dog shelter on 15th because I wasn't allowed to have a dog in my apartment. The other day, I tied Callie (our black lab mutt) to a table outside Columbia City Bakery while I pushed Ruby in her stroller into the bakery. Then, as I was coming back out, a guy said to me, "don't forget your dog." And it just completely pissed me off. Um, because I have a stroller I'm going to forget my dog? Dick!

But clearly I'm getting off topic here. The point is, as much as I can get into the people stories, it's the dogs that amaze me.

Lance Mackey and Larry the dog, both of whom won the Iditarod last year

But I also imagine being there for what's surely an awesome, snowy, crazy-drunk celebration at the finish line in Nome, Alaska when, after 1,150 miles and 14 days of arctic winds, frozen paws, facial frostbite and sleep deprivation (yes, they sleep OUT IN THAT COLD!), the racers cross the finish line and finally take a rest. Oh, and they probably party their asses off. I mean, I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing Alaskans know how to get down, beer-drinking-wise.

So anyhoo, it's on my life-list. To scream from the bitterly cold sidelines, to hug one of those exhausted dogs, and then to drink 17 beers in a smokey tavern warmed by a real wood fireplace.

But for now, I'll be watching and reading, and maybe daydreaming just a little that this

is me.*

(it's actually Melanie Gould, one of the amazing women that go out and, you know, sometimes win the "last great race on earth")

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