We headed to Willow today to watch the official start of the Iditarod. Yesterday, the ceremonial start was held in Anchorage, and the teams packed up and headed to Willow today to officially start the race. We searched for, and found, a unique place further down the trail to get away from the crowds, and had a fantastic time in a quiet setting watching the mushers go by (quiet enough to be able to have short conversations with the mushers as their dog teams glided by).
First, the boys sought out a snow mound sufficient to form into recliners (why bring chairs when nature has already deposited chairs all around you).
It took a couple of tries, be we did eventually get all of us and a musher in a selfie pose (the mushers had a good time commenting on our selfie attempts as they went by).
Grayson got a few 'high-5's' from the mushers. Landon is evidently 'too old for that'.
Not much to say about this group of pictures, other than the dogs were excited to be out on the trail, and the mushers couldn't have possibly seen a better day for it....+25 deg F, sunny, and great snow on the ground. We've been to these starts at -20F before, and that makes for a whole different challenge.
Hopefully, they have good weather the next 8-13 days on the trail.
The expression on this husky's face says it all!
Jolene and boys encourage a team as they pass.
Comparing these pics to the ones we took 9 years ago at our first Iditarod start...quite a difference in the boys.
Wishing them all the best of luck.
Of course the boys found ways to occupy their time between dog teams, playing in the snow.
There was some beautiful scenery, and opportunity to be up close to the teams as they passed (but not too close).
Grayson, preparing for another 'high-5'.
Dino didn't get to go (don't want to risk distracting the dog teams). But he was happy playing in the snow this week.
His igloo dog house once again looks like a real igloo.
His coat is now completely grown out with winter hair, and he looks twice as large as he really is.
Snow tunnels and forts.
And surprise attacks out of the snow, video below.