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Published: March 13th 2018
I head home tomorrow evening, so this is my last full day here. I had thought I'd venture out today on a last adventure, but after some road experiences on the past two days, I have reconsidered going very far from the city. As I said in an earlier post, the roads in the city tend to be navigable, but snowy and icy. When venturing farther from Anchorage, either north of the city or south and west toward the mountains, the road conditions can deteriorate quickly if you're in a rental car not really equipped for rougher conditions.
Driving around here has been a treat, because I have gotten to see some vistas that I would have missed just being at the hotel. The mountains, while certainly always present, just appear suddenly when I don't necessarily expect to see them. I've tried to capture them in some photos, but just can't seem to capture the magnitude and majesty. And some of the most surprising and spectacular views are from the middle of the road....just after getting on one of the freeways, you round a corner and there they are, lit by the sun and gleaming in the distance.
today, since my last COMMS session was yesterday, I didn't set my alarm and slept over 9 hours, then went out for a fabulous breakfast at Kay's restaurant - what a luxury! I don't have any clear plans for the day, though I ALMOST accompanied a new friend from the UK on a 1/2 day trip to a Mushing School. She had booked it a while back, and by today the trip was full. (Besides, it's over $400 for the half day!). . . But they include transportation from the hotel, a hot lunch, a class (to learn about the dog positions, sled, language, etc.), meeting the dogs, and the mushing trip. So would have been a fun last day trip.
When I went to the front desk just now to ask a question, I noticed how they welcome dogs at this hotel with a dog treat! I have seen lots of dogs in and out of here, more than I've seen at any other hotel, and this picture illustrates their attitude towards our furry friends.
When trail dogs are dropped from the race, they are flown by small plane to one of the hubs (two major checkpoints
along the trail) then brought by commercial flight back to Anchorage. When they arrive at Anchorage International Airport, they are picked up by an Iditarod dog-drop truck and brought to the Lakefront Hotel, where they are checked in and assessed by a veterinarian. The dog's home kennel would have been notified when the dog was dropped, and when to expect them in Anchorage. If the dog's "family" can't pick them up on the day they arrive (for example, if the plane arrives late in the day or the kennel is too far away to arrive that day), the dogs are taken to a women's prison a few miles away, where a prison program provides women who get to care for the dogs until their kennel can pick them up. The honor program for the prison helps both the prisoners and the dogs, by providing love and care for the dogs, and therapy for the women.
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