Richard has two sons from a previous marriage. My oldest stepson, Robert, from Vallejo, California, flew into Anchorage shortly before Ryan flew out and spent almost a week with us. Ryan and Robert got to spend a little time together. Tonight, Robert flies back to San Francisco (where he works for the San Francisco Fire Department), and then he'll go directly back to work in the morning.
|Robert and Dad|
We had a really good time visiting and seeing some of the beautiful sights. He has been on a cruise of the Inner Passage of Alaska, but he agreed that isn't really seeing the REAL Alaska. I always ask the "kids" (big and little) what their favorite thing was. Robert's was the tour to the Ididaride (isn't that a clever name).
Ididaride Dog Sled Tours are run by the Seavey family. They are three generation Iditarod winners. In 1973, Dan Seavey (father of the owner of Ididaride) was one of the founders of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a 1,000-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome. He placed third in the first race and fifth in the third race.
Dan's son Mitch ran his first Iditarod in 1982 placing 22nd. In 1995, Mitch ran his second Iditarod and placed 20th. He has competed in every Iditarod race since. He won the Iditarod in 2004. In 2013, Mitch became the oldest to win the Iditarod at age 53. In 2012, one of Mitch's sons, Dallas won the Iditarod Championship.
The Seavey Dog Sled Tours run in the summer with wheeled sleds and also in the winter. This is what I consider a real Alaskan adventure. It begins with a two-mile dog sled ride. The minute the dogs see the harnesses brought out, they begin to bark and jump around. The most excited dogs are the ones picked to be harnessed to comfortable wheeled sleds.
|Robert in blue shirt and hat on wheeled dog sled|
waiting to hear "Mush"
They told us that most people can’t own mushers because they demand so much attention. They need to run several times a day, every day. They are happy to be hooked up and pulling sleds. The minute the sleds leave the kennel, the dogs not chosen stop barking and lay back down.
The dogs pull the sleds through the Alaskan wilderness to the base of Resurrection Mountain and along Box Canyon Creek. The guide explains how they train and steer the dogs, and tell stories from the trail.
Upon return to the kennel, there is a tour of the beautiful kennel facilities, a guest is dressed up as an Iditarod musher, and then you get to cuddle the adorable husky puppies. This tour was chosen as one of Alaska’s Top Twenty Attractions, and is a must-do for all visitors to Alaska.
|5-week old husky puppies. They are so cute.|
A Little History of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race:
The most famous event in the history of Alaskan mushing is the 1925 serum race to Nome, also known as the "Great Race of Mercy." A diptheria epidemic threatened Nome, especially the Alaska Native children who had no immunity to the "white man's disease". The nearest quantity of antitoxin was found to be in Anchorage. Since the two available planes were out of commission and had never been flown in the winter, the governor approved a safer route.
The 20-pound cylinder of serum was sent by train 298 miles from the southern port of Seward to Nenana where it was passed just before midnight on January 27 to the first of twenty mushers and more than 100 dogs who relayed the package 674 miles from Nenana to Nome. The dogs ran in relays, with no dog running over 100 miles.