I HAD THE MOST INCREDIBLE TIME!!!!
I was having dinner with Lance and Tonya Mackey within 3 hours of arriving in Anchorage!
My friend Janet has been an Idita-Rider for the past three years (twice w/ Lance and this year w/ Harry Alexie). Janet had VIP passes to every event, including the Mushers' meeting, which reminded me of the first Pre-planning meeting of each school year. You could easily identify the rookies and the veterans.
I was as close as possible (back of my head in above photo) for the official Mushers' group photo taken by Iditarod photographer Jeff Schultz. Jeff was standing on a ladder to get this shot.
My view from the floor.
We were all given a glass of champagne for the toast.
This was a great opportunity to mingle and talk with mushers, who are friendly, gracious, and sincerely appreciative to everyone. Mushers are like no other professional athlete, as they have no false sense of self-importance.
Many more great musher photos to follow...
One of the many dogs I fell in love with this past week.
This guy belongs to Warren Palphrey from Yellowknife, NWT.
I spent a good bit of time hanging out with Warren's incredibly dedicated, hard-working, dog-loving wife Kate and their great team of dogs.
Kate and Gumbie
Gumbie is a special dog and will be featured on a later post.
We met fellow Arctic Camsters, Christine Burton at the Mushers' Banquet.