Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Honeymoon is Over - on to Iditarod 2009

We have had a rather short honeymoon with our new President. Like most people, we had great expectations, but reality has set in and I can’t help, but wonder if Sara Palin was elected, how much more exciting things would be - like the 2009 Iditarod!

Frankly, I’m sick of hearing about the budget, the stimulus package, pork, and the sardines we had for dinner yesterday because it is Lent. If I hear the words “no meat” and “no pork” one more time, I’m going to go into my “slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch…” routine and not in a pleasant way, either.

I could sit down right now and write about 600 Maxine greetings for Hallmark; one for every member of congress and Rush Limbaugh.

Now, if Sarah was our VP, we’d all be pumped about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race that started in Anchorage today, instead of Biden's Delaware world punkin chunkin championship.

This year, 67 mushers and over 1,000 dogs hit the 1,150-mile trail from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Now THAT’s more exciting than watching Paula Deen make cozy vegetarian comfort food, or Andrew Zimmern, with a premonition, eating a cockroach, right?

As you know, mushers enjoy rock star status in Alaska. It gives me goosebumps.

Most of the contending mushers are competing against star performers Lance Mackey, Rick Swenson, Martin Buser, DeeDee Jonrowe, Paul Gebhard, Mitch Seavey, and Jethro Bodine (last year, he found the groupie camp in a desolate tundra).

The long-shot this year is Sebastian Schnuelle of Whitehorse, Canada, who finished in 10th place last year. Schnuelle resembles Blackbeard the Pirate (his trademark), except he doesn’t light his locks with candles. Bodine is still bringing up the rear from the 2008 race, somewhere near the Bering Strait.

Of course, the $610,000 purse is down 34.7% from last year’s $935,000. Race officials claim that’s because they paid out too much money during the past few years. This year's winner will receive $69,000 and a new pickup truck.

"I still really do need a new truck," said Mackey, who confessed that he has gotten three speeding tickets since he traded in his 2008 prize truck for a Dodge Charger.

"I like going fast, not just on dogs," Mackey said.

You can log on to the Iditarod web site at for exclusive race coverage and feel the excitement!

If adventurous, there is an Official Tracking System you can use.

News Source USA Today

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