Greetings Iditarod Junkies! It’s been a bit since I’ve made it back from Anchorage ~ but my desk is now clean (sorta) and the e-mails are responded to (mostly), so now I’m taking a bit to catch you up some of the pre-race festivities from last week…

The Brew Crew

So this is the “Brew Crew”! The Inlet Tower hosted a four course dinner with Jeff on Wednesday evening and this is the group that showed up! It was so nice to be able to sit and visit and get to know each person a little bit. Dinner was absolutely delicious and I ended up eating way more than I should have. I snapped this pic at the book signing/reception for Jeff & Donna at Aurora Fine Art on Friday evening. From L-R: Kathy, Haley, Charlie (Alaska Brewing Co. Rep.), Jeff, Randy, Kim and Jason. They were a very enthusiastic bunch and we kept running into them everywhere! Randy will always hold a special place in my heart for his “one more question” line… So glad that you guys could make it up for the start! Make sure to keep in touch and send us some pictures!

Thursday was another busy day. Jeff had his musher meeting that took up most of his day. I was busy running errands around town ~ running here, running there and meeting more great people. Jeff & I had the opportunity to grab a quick bite for lunch while meeting up with Donna & Colleen from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Arriving in time for the Musher’s Banquet at Sullivan Arena that evening were a well-dressed group from Denali that you may know: Donna, Ellen & Jennifer! I must say that they all looked spectacular ~ and left me wishing for something other than my “hat head” hairdo. And, oh – my – goodness. Talk about a huge group of people!

The Musher's Banquet

This was my very first trip to Anchorage for the start of Iditarod ~ and although I expected it to be really busy, I think that I was poorly mistaken. Race fans everywhere! It was very exciting to see so many people in one place that share the thrill of Iditarod.
There were some speeches, a live auction, and of course the mushers all drew their bib numbers. With a field of 96 mushers you may be able to imagine that it took a while for everyone to get a number… Ellen and I were poised waiting to catch pictures and video of Jeff as he headed on stage to pick his number. A little birdie had told us that he may be heading to the podium with the “Rocky” theme playing in the background. And he didn’t disappoint! After making sure that Lance Mackey was in the room – he let ‘er rip! Chuckles were had by many!

After making his pick, Jeff headed through the tunnel of media and fans – stopping for interviews and various autographs. By the time he made it back to the table, Donna and Ellen looked like this…hehe. (Alright, that was me being a smarty pants and asking them to do that… !)

It was a long nite...

Friday morning came early for all of those who were up late the night before. Jeff and Donna headed out to a breakfast hosted by his sponsor Cabela’s, at the Millenium.

Cabela's Breakfast

Jennifer & I awoke quite groggily and skidaddled over with a few special creatures in tow: Dave, Jason & Jennifer! I do believe that these little puppies were the hit of the weekend! (No offense Jeff….you’re definitely the rock star!)

Jeff’s Iditarider Elaine, did a great job of puppy-sitting while Jeff spoke to the Cabela’s tour group and answered questions. Here’s a picture of her and Dave. Awww…

Dave & Iditarider Elaine Strong

I know that you are all checking back diligently! I’ll post some more pre-race stuff soon… so until then…Happy Trails.


PS – You can click on any picture – in any blog – and view it larger!!