It’s March in Alaska and that means so many things. First of all, it’s the start (and finish) of the Iditarod. Who can’t get excited about that? All the mushers (who may not exactly be looking like what you’d expect of world-class athletes), those hardy dogs, the uncertainty of the weather and the trail, and all the stories that unfold each day of the race (so many good stories there at Alaska Dispatch; real them all!). Those news stories will tell you that Dallas Seavey won the race, but really it was the kids in Bonnie’s class who completed 1,168 “miles” (of book reading) first. One book equaled one mile and with the help of Hans’ middle school students, they crossed the finish line about 9 hours faster than Dallas. Woot-woot!
Not only were there dogs and mushers, and kid readers racing from Anchorage to Nome, that same trail hosts people-powered racers in the Iditarod Invitational race. That is: people walking, skiing, snowshoeing or biking on the trail. Where else would you find such a thing in March? This year the beginning of the trail had so much snow that the bikers were pushing or carrying their bikes for miles and miles.
March also means the start of spring. Don’t be thinking green now, be thinking sunshine. Lots and lots of sunshine. Don’t forget your sunglasses! The sunshine is deceiving however, the night-time temperatures here this past week were -37 and it only warmed up to -8 during the day.
We haven’t had snow for a long time, and the tundra is wind-swept. Some new snow would be nice for skiing.
This March has also been good for seeing wildlife. Right out the window, every day, at all times of the day, we see foxes. One day one was prancing a little fancier as it passed by with a ptarmigan in its mouth. There’s been a scrawny, pumpkin colored cat slinking by, too. But we get a little more excited when the big moose walks right past the window.
March–it’s been quite a month already and it’s only half gone.