Almost every Saturday I go downtown to write at Side Street Espresso, my favorite cafe. Side Street is located on G Street between 4th & 5th Avenues, which makes it pretty convenient to the ceremonial start of each year’s Iditarod sled dog race in Anchorage. Thus, the block Side Street is located on is one of the staging areas for the race. Made some extra business for George & Deb, so they got extra help, including these two women running a hot coffee/hot chocolate booth right outside the cafe. (There were a lot of folks inside too.)
Thanks to Side Street’s location, it was easy to enjoy some of the excitement of the race without missing out on the writing. I simply looked out the window now & then & picked up my camera if something interesting was going on. Of course I also caught some pics on the way up the street when I first arrived downtown — including the topmost photo of this post of one dog still hanging out in the dog box on a musher’s truck. And after arrival, I took two or three breaks from writing to go outside & catch some pics. Like this one, of one of Martin Buser’s dogs –
I took a lot of photos that I’m not including here. Those that I decided to include especially focused on those most incredible athletes: the dogs. (Some of them I cropped to focus better on the dogs.)
My spot by the window inside Side Street put me near the truck of musher Paul Gebhardt (bib #12), so I especially got a lot of pics of his dogs. His truck is the one on the right in this photo, which I took from inside Side Street:
Here’s a photo of his dogs I took on one of my trips outside –
I got a big kick out of this dog, who was pretty restless & amused him/herself for several minutes by stepping back & forth across the chain they were tied to. I guess that wasn’t interesting enough, so s/he crawled under it a few times too.
At one point they all had a good howl.
I figure that all these critters, humans & dogs alike, have taken off from their restart in Willow by now, on their way to Skwentna. [Later correction: the Willow restart isn’t until Sunday at 2:00 PM.] I wish all of them the best on their trip to Nome. Meanwhile, enjoy this slideshow. You can also catch a bunch of fine Iditarod pics at Alaska Commons. [Update: And see Jeanne Devon’s great account & numerous pics at The Mudflats.)
(After you start the slideshow, you can view them fullscreen by clicking on the little gizmo that looks like four arrows pointing to the four corners of the screen. All photos can also be viewed in several sizes in my Flickr photostream.)