Friday, May 15, 2015

Plowing along toward the next checkpoint

I have not posted lately but I have been working behind the scenes. I will be heading out for a brief stay in Alaska the last part of June. I've been corresponding with a very nice gentleman in Anchorage who has gotten enthused about my project and offered me a place to stay as my base camp and to help me a little with other aspects of my research. We'll meet and be sure we can tolerate each other the last week of June and I'll set things up for the fall trip.

I'm waiting on pins and needles to see which pair of SP Kennel dogs are going to be producing the litter or litters this summer. Aliy Z has promised to let us know on her blog in June and I can hardly wait. They are very careful to spread the demands of motherhood out and not overtax any of their good female dogs who are still actively racing. Chica, who whelped the Surfivers last summer, ran in most of the races this past season; the year before, Olivia did the same. It may be Quito's turn again this year or perhaps another daughter or grand daughter of Cha Cha or one of the other founding mothers who helped build the great line of SP dogs. I will hope to see those pups in the fall! Meanwhile Ginger is now healthy and recovered from her digestive issues for which I am very thankful. Her four brothers are all big husky guys, pun intended, as they approach a year old in July.

Now a bit about another project that has been perking in the back of my mind ever since I was there last August. The little village of Knik, just west of Wasilla, is really where the modern Iditarod Trail and the Race began. It was a busy port before either Anchorage or Wasilla became significant and was also the home and base camp for Joe Redington as he honcho'd them into being.

A small museum exists there and half of it, the upstairs area, is taken up with Iditarod history and memorabilia. However the building is old and they are barely keeping it held together--almost to the baling wire, bubble gum and duct tape stage although the lady who runs it is doing her best. Priceless trophies and other memorabilia are stored in cabins and sheds due to lack of space. I find this very sad.

I suppose the ITC could go in and take over and probably move stuff to a location in Wasilla or even Anchorage but I think that would be so wrong! It needs to stay right where it is, over the roots of the Iditarod Historical Trail and the first race. So, after my book gets to a less demanding stage, this will be my next project. If women like Dorothy Page and  Joe Redington's wife Violet could get in there and kick butt and help get things going for the race itself,  I can do the same for the preservation of that history! I suspect there are politics involved and maybe some kind of power struggle in the background but I just see a bad situation that needs to be made better!

Any funds I collect for my research travel and producing the book that I do not have to use, will go directly to this project. I will be beating the bushes some more for sponsorship and support of that effort just as I have done for the creation of Women Who Run With The Dogs.

Hear are a few photos I took to give you an idea of the existing situation. The site is a short loop off a state or county route that runs west from central Wasilla; it is called the Knik-Goose Bay Highway. Locals call it the KGB which I found amusing! (The Russian secret police/intel force) And remember, the K is not silent--the name is pronounced ku-nik

Some of the memorabilia stored in
an adjacent cabin/shed building.
Semi-secure but dusty and rarely viewed! 

Part of the displays in the
Iditarod section of the museum.

Knik Museum; Iditarod
portion is upstairs.