• Jennifer Hennessey Bremseth

Chalk, Checkers, and a Headache



The days during this year’s Iditarod have been adventurous and like spending time in a world of its own! Moments shine out as I organize which ones to capture here first! Some of the most smile inducing facts are the silly traditions that make this sporting lifestyle so special. Tang for one. We all end up with vacay habits that seem to appeal abit less lol when back home but seem divine when on a get-away. So here among those of us stranded by our own will as we wait at checkpoints along the trail, the reliable go-to is drinking Tang! And when we were stranded an extra couple of days due to no-fly conditions in the “town” of Iditarod, you know it’s a “rescue” on the last day to fly us out when the Tang has already run out ... clearly we stayed longer than what was packed for! Lol those notations of “oh no the last of the tang!” and understandably, a little worry by the group as we were also on water ration and used melted snow for everything that we could to spare the last drop of gallon drinking water for cooking and coffee, and my massive water habit of a gallon a day (we had plenty overall due to planes bringing us extra supply so no worries on the organization end). Also, sitting in front of me non-stop and the talk of trail tails of the past are the great goodness of sandwich cookies lol! When working around the clock in unusual and nonstop conditions, cravings become what’s handy and easy and cookies plus tang seem to be the staple super-fuel of the hardworking volunteers of the Iditarod! And fuel them it does as everyone worked tirelessly like a well-oiled machine ‘round the clock for days! Teamwork is a definitely a staple tradition! So fun to be immersed among such a selfless, hard working group! Everyone couldn’t help themselves as they craved what was their go-to goodies in year’s before and yet chuckled everytime with a declared “why!?” as they couldn‘t help but indulge. Lol. More on traditions, so what about ones with the Idita-dogs? Aside from their adorable booties and little naptime pjs, let’s talk names. Theme litter/team names are so in and so fun! As I learned about the sport and these amazing athletes I learned that yes I would meet a dog named none-other than Tang on the trail, which I did! Also themes are hilarious and out there! Some teams are named for school items like Chalk, Eraser, Book.... and one of DeeDee Jonrowe’s past teams were named for games!! Checkers, Scrabble, Clue, Solitaire... A team on the trail this year had a name theme of “reasons not to have ...” such as Headache! My goodness! What a world of making the best of what life brings and embracing the beauty of the little things! One tradition stands clear in that the Iditarod is about the dogs and oh so loved they are! More to come soon from this vet’s Iditarod diary!




With legendary Iditarod musher DeeDee Jonrowe who was doing media coverage along the trail this year via snow machine




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