Monday, November 29, 2010

An Iditarod highway

Hello All,

I just read an article by Craig Medred .
It makes me feel like I was just kicked in the belly by a horse and thought I would share it with all of you. I understand the Iditarod trail I first saw in 1998 was a far cry from the one that the first Iditarod mushers faced on stretches of the trail resurrected from decades of little or no use.
What I did see though was an adventure for human powered racers worth preserving that has become a passion for me. I have been on the trail for the last 13 years either as a racer or trail breaker. I have made bad decisions, wrong turns, been disoriented in blizzards and had my ass kicked badly as a trail breaker on Rainy Pass but never once have I felt the need for an "improved" Iditarod Trail.
I have held my ground all these years against the "gentle folk" who would have me change our race to make it more visible, more suited to the average "adventure tourist" and more profitable but I have lost every time I tried to prevent more urbanization of the trail by the powers that be ie: more markings, shelter cabins etc.
In the trail user meetings organized by the BLM and attended by Alaska Ultra Sport, Iditarod, Iron Dog and the Serum Run I am known as an anti-progressive when it comes to sanitizing the Trail and when decisions about improvements are announced they just look at me, smile and say, "I know this won't make you happy Bill but---."

When you compare the measly few thousand dollars our race brings to Alaska to the bone Donlin can toss the state I guess the writing is on the wall.
Hello Iditarod Highway. I am really not looking forward to going to McGrath on a pipeline pad.
Hope you're getting out and having some fun.
Bill M.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Freeing rain from Anchorage to Barrow

Once again one of these warm weather patterns has hit Alaska. All the way from Anchorage to Barrow, there are reports of freezing rain. Roads and sidewalks are a solid sheet of ice. Schools were canceled in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley. We have seen this before in previous years. I remember 2003. I found the best means of transportation is a bicycle and really good studded tires such as the Nokian studded tire.
This is an article in the ADN today.
Some of our friends in Anchorage and Palmer are finding ways of coping with this fluke of nature.
We hope this crazy weather pattern doesn't last much longer and we return to real winter and great trails.