Iditarod Ceremonial Start

As we mentioned yesterday, our hu-grandmom (mom of the hu-dad and our cousins, Tartok and Ruby), is in Anchorage, Alaska, for the start of the Iditarod. Saturday was the ceremonial start and we thought we would share a few pictures with you.

Karen Ramstead

A very relaxed Karen Ramstead before the ceremonial start.

Aliy Zirkle

Aliy Zirkle runs in front of her sled

Mitch Seavey

Mitch Seavey


Silvia Furtwangler's lead dog Whistler - Whistler made headline news when he escaped a few weeks before the Iditarod, but has since rejoined the team.

Polar Bear

Polar Bear Gifts' mascot entertained the crowds.


  1. houndstooth on March 4, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    The Hu-Grandma must be having a fantastic time up there! I hope they all have a safe, smooth race!

  2. KB on March 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Cool! Did you know that the human-powered race on the Iditarod trail is underway now? Three bikers and one runner have finished so far… In my dream life without a messed up spine, I’d be riding my snowbike in that race 🙂

    I caught some photos of coyotes doing the Cheoah Snow Slide which I’m about to put up in my daily post.

  3. jack & moo on March 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks fur sharing – seeing the Iditerod is on our mom’s “bucket list”1

    Jack & Moo
    PS – looks like a pretty friendly Polar Bear, ha-roo roo roo!

  4. RumpyDog! on March 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Oh Dog! We should SO be there!

  5. rottrover on March 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    How furry exciting!!

  6. jan on March 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the pictures. We are following the race closely even though Poodles were long ago (and unfairly) banned from competing. 🙂

  7. Pup Fan on March 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Cute pups!

  8. Ina in Alaska on March 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I was one block away! I was near Lance Mackey, DeeDee Jonrowe & one of the twins. It was a great ceremonial start!

    Whistler was at large for almost a week. There were many Facebook posts about sightings- the entire area was searching for him until he was finally captured with the great help of Facebook.

    Is Hu-Grandma going on one of the Iditarod tours along the trail?

  9. Carolyn on March 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I am so glad you reconnected us to Karen’s blog as I had lost track and it was great to get a slew of pics in my email this morning. She looks fabulous! And so do the dogs. Lucky Hu-Grandma for getting to go!

    Are Tartok and Ruby visiting the Herd while their mum is gone?

  10. Nancy on March 4, 2012 at 7:46 am

    What breed of dog is Whistler? What breeds of dogs are on the teams? Guess I always assumed they were all Siberian Huskies! Thanks for the great photos.

    • D.K. Wall on March 4, 2012 at 7:53 am

      Terrific question. Most of the dogs that run the internet are known as Alaskan Huskies, which are a mix breed of dog mixed for speed, stamina, and ability to stay warm in the extremes (though few have the same cold weather ability that a Siberian does). An Alaskan is significantly faster than a Siberian Husky.

      We, however, love the Siberian Husky breed so have been long time fans of Karen Ramstead, who runs only pure-bred Siberian Huskies. Realistically, she will never win the race, but – as she likes to say – she spends very little time dealing with cold weather issues like coats, etc., that many Alaskan Huskies need.

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