With color and splash, Monica Zappa and her team arrived under the burled arch a little over 11 days on the trail. Her partner, Tim Osmar, was on hand to celebrate with her. Monica was all smiles, as usual, and I remember seeing her on the trail in Galena when most mushers were very tired, but she was still gracious and fun to talk to.
She came down the line to the front of her team, and snuggled with her lead dog, Blue Steel. He has the most beautiful eyes, and he is a total ham for the crowds. He fell over and let Monica give him plenty of tummy rubs as we all snapped photos and ooed and ahhed. It was obvious these two love each other very much and have a very special bond.
Monica and Tim showed their appreciation to every member of their team down the gang line. It was obvious to everyone that Monica has a very special relationship with her dog team. There were lots of love and licks to go around!
Monica is a commercial fisherman by trade, and worked with me this year on a special Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ post about the Alaska landscape when we created clay art dioramas. We wanted to know what mushers see on the trail. She filmed life at her kennel for children to see the beautiful landscape of the Caribou Hills and even fed a bald eagle that had flown by for breakfast! It was great inspiration for our art projects. Her dedication to sharing the sport of mushing with children makes her the great role model she is. Check out the post here:
Monica’s dogs had their own celebration with some salmon, as they waited to head to the dog lot. All in a day’s work!