Iditarod Dreams

We had plans to ski last Sunday, but high winds kept the chairlifts  at Whiteface Mountain grounded for the first part of the morning.  Instead of waiting it out, we headed into Lake Placid for some pancakes and a dogsled ride.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Iditarod, the 1150-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.  A few years ago, my husband and I visited Iditarod headquarters and got to meet some of the amazing dogs that make that journey.  But it was summer, so we couldn’t  actually ride on a dogsled.

That’s why we jumped at the chance to take a ride with these gorgeous dogs on Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake.

The dogs were excited to find out they had some business.

The ride around a frozen Mirror Lake was brisk but spectacular!

This is our musher, whose name has escaped me, but he was very, very cool and friendly.  Interestingly enough, he never actually hollered “Mush!”  He hollered “Hike!” instead.  We were slightly disappointed but got over it.

While we circled the lake, other winter weather lovers were skating or riding toboggans down an icy chute set  up along the shore.

This is Lightning.  He likes to run in the back of the pack and was the friendliest of the sled dogs — the only one the kids could pet after our ride.  The rest of them couldn’t wait to pull us around on the sled but wanted nothing to do with us when the ride was over.  You can see in their eyes that these dogs still have a lot of the wild left in them — one of the reasons they do so well in the actual race in Alaska.

The real Iditarod is going on right now.  Here’s a great website where you can follow the progress of the teams.

5 Replies on “Iditarod Dreams

  1. My suitcase is up in Alaska right now, watching the Iditarod. Okay, maybe not watching, but my friend, illustrator Amanda Shepherd, borrowed my suitcase, and is there!

    So exciting!

  2. I love all the memories your blog brings. I learned how to ski on Iceface. I was going to ask you if they still had the snow chute (actual name escapes me) onto the lake. It’s a blast, but make sure to keep your limbs tucked in. We burned many snow clothes going down that. Also make sure to go on the bobsled ride out at the luge/bobsled track.

  3. Beautiful photos Kate! Ooooh, you actually went to Wasilla? I am soo jealous! You lucky dog you!

    I’m glad to hear that you are also an Iditarod nut! I fell in love with sled dogs when I became hooked on the TV show, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon as a child.

    I later worked for a kennel in Hartland, Vermont where the second Yukon King came from and actually ended up getting on the runners myself and mushing.

    I think “Mush” was a Tv/Hollywood thing. I don’t remember if Jack London used it in Call of the Wild, but mushers all use the command “Hike, as well as “Gee” and “Haw,” for right and left.