Daily Journal

2001 Iditarod Started ~~ Saturday March 3 ~~ 10:00 a.m. Anchorage
2001 Iditarod Ended ~~ Monday March 19 ~~ 10:53:16 a.m. Nome
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Pictures of the Day
Day 15

Location: Nome

Time: 11PM

Hello again from Nome!

Unfortunately, the weather continues to be hindering our progress.  The low ceiling (lots of clouds) prevents small planes like ours from flying.  So, here we were in Nome for another day without mushers!  They are moving slowly on the trail, slowed down by the lack of snow.  The lead musher, Doug Swingley, is due into Nome early tomorrow morning.  He left White Mountain about 9 PM, and it’s about a 10 hour run from there to Nome.  What time do you think he will get here, with the facts I just gave you?

I took a few pictures for you of Front St. in Nome.  That is the business street in town.  Most important is the famous burl arch finish line in front of the hotel.  Right now it’s pretty empty, but tomorrow morning it will begin to be a busy place!

You can see the City Hall in Nome, which is across the street from the Carrie McLain Museum.  I found out that Carrie arrived in Nome in 1905 when she was 10 years old.  When was she born?  She lived the rest of her life here.  She was a teacher, homemaker and City Clerk of Nome.  She collected photos all of her life, and helped to start this museum in 1967.  She died in 1973. 

You can also see my hotel entrance.  It’s like an old time hotel right out of the frontier days.  Do you remember that Alaska’s motto is "The Last Frontier"? One person that was here during the Gold Rush Days is Wyatt Earp. Your parents might know about him.  I included a photo of a roulette wheel that was in the museum.  This was used often during the Gold Rush.  You could say that it is an antique.

I wandered around the shops again and included two photos so you could see the beautiful crafts that are made by local Native People.  Their work is so beautiful!   The beadwork and the ivory carvings are outstanding.  The ivory is from the tusks of the walrus.  I am trying to buy some more things, but it’s hard to decide which to get!

After lunch I went to Iditarod Headquarters and talked with Dee Dee’s mom and handler.  They are here to greet her when she arrives.  I found out that Dee Dee lived in Massachusetts for a year, attending 4th grade in Shirley.  See if you can find it on our class map.  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s west of Belmont. 

We were talking about the hardships of the trail and how kind the mushers are to each other, regardless of the competition between them.  She told me that John Baker lost one of his dog harnesses, and Dee Dee gave him one of her extras.  How about that? 

Late this afternoon we decided to go for a dogsled ride, so we could feel like we were here for the Iditarod.  It’s been so long since we’ve seen the mushers!  We took a taxi to Aaron Burmeister’s kennel, which is here in Nome. 

In the taxi was a young girl with her grandma.  She announced that it was her 4th birthday, and she had just picked out a doll at a local store.  She was just glowing, as you can see in the photo of Norrie.

The kennel was a few miles out of town.  The landscape was fascinating.  We felt like we’d been dropped on the moon!  At the kennel we met Calvin, one of the dogs that had been dropped from the race.  Buster and Daisy were two of the dogs on the eight-dog team that took us out.

The ride was beautiful!  It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere with not a care in the world.  I sat in the sled most of the time and marveled at the dogs running in front of me.  I love the precision with which they work together and listen to the commands.  I asked if I could lead them, and the trainer said yes!  I was nervous!  He got into the sled, and off I went leading the team!  He gave the commands.  I loved it!  What a wonderful feeling it was to be going through the wilderness with those beautiful dogs leading the way in the silence.  All that could be heard was the sound of their feet and the runners of the sled gliding across the sparkling snow.  I think I’ve found a new career for after I retire!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a picture of myself leading the dogs, but I did have someone take one of me on the snow machine.  No, I didn’t drive it.  I just posed.

Well, so goes another wonderful day filled with experiences I love sharing with all of you.  Tomorrow the mushers will begin to come in and the excitement of the Iditarod will continue!   I have to be up very early so good night until tomorrow. 

By the way, let me tell you why my journal gets posted almost one day late.  I put it together in the morning, because I’m just too tired at night. After writing it and choosing the pictures of the day I take it to a prearranged place (school or office), and then I send it to Belmont.  It goes to my wonderful webmaster – Natasha Bochkov.  She posts it for me on the webpage, which she designed.  I could not be doing this without her!  Thank you, Natasha, for helping to make my dream come true.

Now I’m off to dream … good night from Mrs. McClintock

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