Monday, March 5, 2012

Fun Iditarod-Ride

Team Baker walks to the start line
in downtown Anchorage

The ceremonial start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race is crazy fun with hundreds of dogs and thousands of people. On this one day each year there is a designated trail from downtown Anchorage to the BLM Campbell Creek Science Center which is approximately 8-miles. Each dog team has an individual lucky enough to win a bid for a thrilling ride in the sled. 

Crawford, Simeon, and Laura
at the Anchorage start

This year John had Simeon Patkotak, Sr. from Barrow as the Idita-rider in his sled. Simeon's enthusiastic smile began before getting in the basket. During the ride he waved to the crowds of people cheering along every inch of the trail. And Simeon was still smiling long after the ride ended. 
Simeon Patkotak, Sr. with John and
Crawford Patkotak in second sled

It was truly an honor for John to have Simeon with him. These days there are very few sled dogs in Patkotak’s hometown and the opportunity for him to travel with dogs is reminder of a time when dogs were an integral part of life for the people of the Arctic.

When Baker and the Patkotak family visited later, the conversation about the brief ride rekindled memories and produced new stories. 

Check out the video of the ceremonial start at:

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