March 13 Bib # 13

Filed under: Iditarod! — iditalearn2010 @ 7:36 pm

Morning, dawn of the last day of the race, a conversation between Lance Mackey and Gary Paulsen….mackey

We sat in the dark with the blue glow of his cooker burning alcohol the only light to mix with his dim led headlamp and he talked softly about his dogs. He spoke of them as people, as friends, and had a yearling dog to drop before it got tired. He took it out of harness and walked it slowly to the dropped dog area and then came back and made a hot meal with meat and kibble to take back to him, all the time speaking of his friends, his dogs, and how lucky he was to have them, to be with them, how priviliged he felt to be allowed to ride the sled.

Watching him is like an education in dog care. Many are good, and perhaps some are better, but I have never seen anyone so dedicated and focussed on being with them. As he left the checkpoint (at nine-thirty eight AM on 13 March) at White Mountain there were crowds of people and media folks around him, blocking him, and some children who wanted his autograph. He pleasantly signed for the children and chatted with people until the camera man lying on the ground in front of his lead dog, Larry, moved out of the way and then he started off.

But a hundred and fifty feet away, past people, past the crowd, on the trail he stopped and hooked down and went to the team, petting each dog, talking to all nine of them in soft tones, gentle tones and then back to the sled, alone with them, moving solidly down the trail at a steady pace.

Seventy seven miles.

To Nome.


  1. I tell you what, after seeing Lance’s interview with Sheryl and reading this excerpt–these were two very moving moments in our study of the Iditarod and pointed out that the connection between musher and dog is very powerful and that many life lessons can be learned in our studies. Lance with seeking his dream and not giving up. The musher showing empathy and compassion for his dogs. Lance with his graciousness as the front runner and taking time to talk with people, especially the kids is a tribute to his character. Gephart and Mackey working together on the trail to conserve their dog’s energy and catch the leaders at that time is unheard of in other competitive sports. The fact that Buser and King were spurring on Lance to go and win the race shows the professionlism and quality of character of these two fellow competitors, who instead of trash talking their opponents like so many other professional sports, they take the high road and urged Lance on! The mushers, dogs, and this race are a tribute to what good can be accomplished when people work together! Go, dogs, Go!!

    Comment by Mr. Brown's class — 03/14/2007 @ 10:15 am

  2. Hi Mrs Cater.
    What is your Favorite part of your trip?
    How are all the checkpoints different?
    What place do you think you would get if you entered the
    Iditarod with Dylan?
    MIss you,

    Comment by Maddie — 03/14/2007 @ 6:15 pm

  3. Hi Mrs Cater!
    Who is your faveorite Iditarod racer?
    Who did you want to win Iditarod?
    When are you coming back to EP?
    miss you,

    Comment by Charlie — 03/14/2007 @ 6:28 pm

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