Page 2 of secondwynd Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 12th 2018

The Comms Room is starting to feel like home. The photo here is of the wall showing of the checkpoints and their status, open or closed, and how to communicate with them (sat phone, internet, etc.). We are notified as soon as a checkpoint is open and staffed, and waiting for competitors, and later when all personnel have left and the checkpoint is closed. As the back of the pack straggles out behind the leaders of the field, the entire race can be strung across several hundred miles. Occasionally teams very far back would be "encouraged" to move along or scratch, especially if they are the only team still there, and have been resting for quite some time. I guess that's the informal dog sled racing version of sailing's "time limit expired," which disqualifies racers who ... read more
Darwin Prospects
Frozen Portage Lake
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 11th 2018

This race is always full of unexpected events. Due to heavy snow, storms, and high winds, one of the checkpoints has closed before it opened, since the planes have not been able to fly in the checkpoint supplies and mushers' drop bags. As you can see on the map, the trail goes mostly west until it gets to Grayling on the Yukon River, where it heads up the frozen river to Kaltag before heading west again. That stretch is about 125 miles long, with the Eagle Island checkpoint about in the middle. Eagle Island is the checkpoint that closed, meaning that all mushers had to pick up all their supplies for a leg that will be twice as long as they planned. The change was announced late enough that some of the teams in the lead ... read more
Denise's dog
Another of Denise's dogs
Frozen Falls

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 10th 2018

Another day at the office! It's interesting to watch the teams progress along the trail, and we each have favorite teams that we're rooting for. The clock never stops on the race; it's a round-the-clock race after the start. The standings change often, as teams take required and optional rest stops. Each teams must take one 24-hour rest and two 8-hour stops along the way; the 2-minute start differential is made up at the 24-hour mandatory stop, meaning that the last team to start must take at least 24 hour rest, the second-last team to start takes a minimum 24-hour plus 2 minute rest, and so on. Thus after the 24-hour rest, the teams could be essentially even. Perhaps obviously, the mandatory rest stops must be taken at checkpoints, where the time can be verified, but ... read more
Dropped Dog at Lakefront
Fat Tire Ride
Sleeping Lady

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 9th 2018

After "work" today, it was off to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. I took my new friend Amy with was HER idea, and I had the transportation! We had a nice time together, wandering around and seeing the animals. I was on the same flight out here with her - She lives in Lakewood and we were on the same work assignment here. The zoo is small, by Cleveland MetroParks standards, but they seem to be working to provide natural environments for the animals, with the limitations of their space. The path wanders around in what seems like a somewhat random manner, so it's hard to be sure you see it all, even with the map they provide at the entrance. Since it is winter, some of the animals are "off exhibit," so there will ... read more
Tigers - Zoomed In!
Bald Eagle

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 8th 2018

Four days into the race, I will hang around, do laundry, and catch up on a few things. With no real exciting activities today, here are some ramblings... Speaking of laundry, when I was passing the laundry area, a couple of guests were trying to do their laundry, and another guest's clothes were in the washer, completed, but not yet moved to the dryer. In moving them from washer to dryer, they removed, among other things, a pair of high top-leather boots...Not what I would have expected to find there! ;-) You can follow the race, no matter where you live! Subscribe to the "Insider" feeds on to view team progress on the tracker application and/or videos and interview (there's a GPS tracker attached to each sled.) We watch the race progress in the COMMS ... read more
Part of a Team at the Restart
All Walks of Life
With Heidi, Christina, and Dan

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 7th 2018

After my shift, I decided to try to go to Eagle River Nature Center, north of Anchorage. It looks like a great place for out door activities, and I've wanted to go there. My main hesitation was that the rental car I had was a Chevy Malibu; I didn't think about the roads when I rented the car. Major mistake! I am only one person, I just need an economy car to get around...NOPE! Now may be the time to share some things I've observed about driving in Anchorage in the winter..... They really don't seem to plow much...the snow gets packed down and people drive on it. As it warms up, parts of the road clear, and parts don't. Though they don't use salt or chemical de-icer on the roads, driving (and sun) tends to ... read more
THERE'S where they put the snow!

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 6th 2018

Today after my shift, I got a bit later start than I intended. I didn't want to drive all the way out Turnagain Arm, since I would have spent more time driving than enjoying the ares. Instead, I went to Earthquake Park, which is part of Kincaid Park, and is closer to downtown Anchorage. The park is part of a knob of land that protrudes south and west of the city. During the cold war, part of the what is now Kincaid Park was an Air Force Base that housed one of the first operational Nike missiles; and the base contained a barracks for over 100 men, as well as an advanced radar system. The site was deactivated in 1979, and in 1980, the Air Force deeded the land to Anchorage. Fire Island, across Knik Arm ... read more
Newspaper from 1964
Edge of the "New" Bluff
Path Through the Woods at the Bluff

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 5th 2018

Today I started my Comms job at the Anchorage Network Center. I am doing 6 hours of data entry functions, helping to track the racers along the 1,000 mile distance. The checkpoints record teams arriving and leaving, funnel the data to us, and we send it back out; we are the point where information comes in and goes back out. After "work," I drove down Turnagain Arm, a long narrow finger of Cook Inlet, which has the second largest Bore Tide in North America (the largest is in the Bay of Fundy). Bore tides occur in narrow inlets where the incoming tide pushes a large volume of water against water flowing against it, causing a rather large wave pushing inland. This week in the Anchorage area, the average difference between high and low tides is about ... read more
Kenai Mountains
Kenai Mountains

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 4th 2018

** sorry this has taken so long to post!** At last, the day I've been waiting for! I got on the 8 AM bus from Anchorage to Willow, about an hour and a half north and a bit west of Anchorage. As I walked from the bus to the registration cabin, the trees were sparkling and beautiful from the hoar frost. It must have been very foggy that night, and all the trees and bushes were covered with glittering velour. I had never seen anything like it. Surprisingly, the covering lasted throughout the day, even though the sun was out in the blue sky. What a beautiful day! I worked 2 hours at the volunteer registration desk, where we checked in volunteers and helped them find their assigned locations. There are so many jobs out, ... read more
Hoar Frost Up Close
Lovin' My Dogs!
Start Gate

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 3rd 2018

Iditarod officially starts Sunday, but today was the Ceremonial Start, traditionally held the Saturday before the start. In common parlance, they refer to the two events as the Ceremonial Start and the Restart. Today's event started at one end of town and the Iditarod mushers each take one lucky passenger on an 11-mile ride down the center of town, then out of town and through the woods, finishing at a somewhat remote location. The selection process for "IditaRiders" starts in December the prior year, when people are invited to submit bids to ride in a particular musher's sled. The more well-known and popular the musher is, the higher the bidding price goes, maxing out at $7500! Anyone can watch the bidding to see who wins in January, and see how much each musher earns to support ... read more
Happy IditaRider!
Loved This Jacket!
Furry Man

Tot: 2.501s; Tpl: 0.04s; cc: 6; qc: 85; dbt: 0.0645s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb