Sometimes you make stops along the way and there is nothing particularly special to notice, but today was not one of those days. It seemed that today was not one of those days. On our way out to Willow School to do a couple presentations we stopped at Vern Halter’s Dream a Dream to take a look at a special map that he has. Well, that was not to be as there was a mountain of snow in front of it, but we did meet Sylvia Furtwangler.
Sylvia is a rookie born and raised in Germany, now living in Norway. She talked with us about running the Yukon Quest, which she started twice and finished once in 2003. The first time she ran the Quest she brought her lead dogs and leased the rest of the team from another musher. She said it just didn’t work for her since she didn’t have the bond with the new dogs that she has with her own. She had to scratch. The next time she brought her whole team with her from Norway and the experience was so different, “we were connected,” she said and that made all the difference. She is looking forward to the 2012 Iditarod so her young team can learn from the experience. She just wants to enjoy it and build a good experience for the team. The trip out was quite a journey as they went by fairy, then overland, then a ten hour flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Seattle. Thank goodness she had friends in Seattle that came to the airport to help her walk all the dogs before the next leg of the trip to Anchorage. We wish her luck and hope to see her on the trail.
The kids in Willow were a great audience for my first classroom presentations and helped me make up a game that went with my presentation perfectly and used the letters of IDITAROD. One student would pick a letter from the word Iditarod and another would choose a word starting with that letter that was a character quality that helped you pursue your dreams and be a finisher. I tried to tie in stories about the Iditarod when they picked one for me that worked like “determination.” I told them about the year that Martin Buser cut off the end of his finger days before the start and everybody told him to stay home. He was determined to run the race anyway and he did. We finished up with one young man that said what about dog? We all laughed for having missed such an obvious choice.
On the way back we stopped off at headquarters so that I could put some faces to names that I have been corresponding to and found the vet trailer busy doing a pre-race vet check.
We were invited in to watch a microchip being put in, a blood test drawn and an EKG being given. I also picked up some information about the vet study that will be done this year during the race, but need to do some reading so that I can explain what it is all about. Stay tuned.
Rookie and I are going to get some rest as tomorrow will probably prove to be as busy as today. Also I have some reading to do for you.