Sports

E.C.'s Iditarod

Iditarod_dogs

The idea for this post today came to me while I was editing the Thars manuscript.  I felt like it was slog.  Felt like I was slogging through wet snow and everything was harder than it should be.  And that got me to thinking about an actual dog sled race that I remember from my past.  The Iditarod dog-sled race.  

Back when I was living in a suburb outside of Anchorage, Alaska (in the winter of 1980/1981) I vaguely remember going to that city during the Fur Rendezvous to see to dog sleds as teams were preparing for the upcoming race.  They didn't impress me much back at the time, but I was awfully young at only 12 years old. 

Over the years my family has had a lot of dogs.  Mostly golden retrievers but a few spaniels (bird dogs) along the way.  I used to enjoy going running I occasionally took the dog of dogs at the time with me.  And I can tell you from experience that dogs like to run.  Their is a wildness to animals.  They like doing things outdoors.  Its in their nature.  So, no I don't think it's animal cruelty to have dog sledding team. 

Writing is a lot like a long-distance race.

Iditarod-Trail-Sled-Dog-Race-routeIts a long journey with a lot of dead times where your just getting through it.

Iditarod_ONeIf this picture doesn't make you feel the cold, then I guess you're just a better man than me!

January/February is my least favorite time of the year. Where I live in Washington it's grey, cold and usually quite miserable.  Good time to write, I guess.  Just wish I could get these novels completed.  Guess I wish I was a faster writer, and was more on-the-ball.  But most days I'm like --

Iditarod_cool_dogsIs that dog wearing swimming glasses like dork city or what?

Still you've gotta start and finish somewhere!!

54fe27fb8ec7e.image Iditarod_end
See the start and the end of the race.  That doesn't look so bad, right?  (Except there's 880-1000 miles between these two places!)  #Eeek

I was kinda curious how big the purse was.  Did you know the top winner of the 2020 Iditarod dog-sled race ONLY won a little over $51,000 ?  Not much drop off for #2 at $43,000, 20th place still got you 10 grand, with 21-34 after that getting you just over $1,000 -- but to get paid you had to finish.  Sigh.  I can sooo relate.   I've gotten a dime off any writing I've ever done.  Doing for the love of the sport, I guess, much like these mushers who are slated to compete in the 2021 Iditarod dog-sled race that is slated to start on March 6th.  

After looking at several profiles it dawned on me that these were just dog lovers who were looking to fuse that with little test and competition. -- which is very relatable to MY OWN writing journey; I'm not doing this for wealth and fame, I'm doing his as a labor of love, yet with a type of long-suffering competition angle to it.  E.C.'s Iditarod!

Scary_over_iceDon't know about you, but going across a lake of ice would make me nervous.

I don't know if my form of daring compares with the 53 mushers slated to compete in the 2021 Iditarod.  But the stamina angle is definitely there.  I've been working my Legend of Thars series since 1994, that's like 27 years, and now a days they're FINISHING the Iditarod race in about 10 days.  In a way you can't help but admire these people's bravery.  Out there in the freezing ass cold mushing a sled.  Definitely something I wouldn't want to do, but then again writing novels is something that a lot of people feel the same abrasion towards, especially in today's microwave society.  

27 years and counting I mush on until life ends.  Some quests in life come easy.  Others are grueling and have to be earned.  Writing and competing in the Iditarod have a lot more in common than you would would think they would have.  Both are lonely journeys!

Sled-dog-puppyActual picture of ol' E.C. most days LOST in field of white pages!!

 


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