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Where's the Iditapod?

I'm deeply, deeply tempted to sign up for the Blogs'n'dogs seminars held in Banff, Canada if they run it again next year. I'm utterly in love with the idea of dog-sledding (is there a happier hound than a husky?) and blogging is OK I suppose. For those of you unconvinced about the merits of hooking yourselves up to canine V8 and charging off through the frozen north I can recommend Winterdance by Gary Paulsen. A hugely entertaining account of his attempt to run the Iditarod. Here's an excerpt. As you see the main problem for the novice isn't getting the dogs to start..it's getting them to stop.

In subsequent runs I left the yard on my face, my ass, my back, my belly. I dragged for a mile, two miles, three miles. I lost the team eight, ten times; walked twelve, seventeen, once forty-some miles looking for them. The rig broke every time we ran, torn to pieces, and I finally borrowed a welder and rebuilt the thing every night. Every farmer within forty miles of us knew about me, knew me as "that crazy bastard who can't hold his team". I once left the yard with wooden matches in my pocket and had them ignite as I was being dragged past the door of the house, giving me the semblance of a meteorite, screaming something about my balls being on fire at Ruth, who was laughing so hard she couldn't stand.

Read the whole thing, there are some authors who really earn their advances, this is one. Now that podcasting is so mainstream surely the time is right for an Iditapod? According to The Anchorage Daily news quite a few of last year's "mushers" were into their iPods.

"I tried (cassette) tapes," Ramstead said. "But by the time you got done messing around" with a bag of tapes, adjusting the headphones and getting ready to go, she said, "the batteries were dead". A friend made her iPod an insulated bag. She slips in a chemical hand-warmer to keep the batteries strong, she said. Ramstead is listening to Charles Frazier's best-seller "Cold Mountain," and several inspirational books, she said. "I had to be really careful" when selecting novels, she added. "I don't want to be listening to anything too spooky. There's enough scary stuff on the trail as it is."

I for one would be happy to produce an Iditerpod from the comfort of my own well insulated home (provided someone can supply us with something like this). Anyone interested drop me a line.. will work for Pedigree Chum ;)

January 7, 2006 in Strange Enthusiasms | Permalink

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