Monday, March 1, 2010

Fur Rondy - Part 1: Overview

For those of you who haven't yet clicked on the link to learn more about the annual Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, here it is again. This was the first time for Jim and I to attend, and I have to say, it was fabulous. I'm already looking forward to next year. 

On the way out of town early Saturday morning, the moose were just everywhere. We saw eleven before we got to Kenai, and three more before we got to the kennel, for a total of fourteen. Once we got to the kennel, all the dogs knew the routine and got into their runs without a problem.... And then we were off! No dogs. Just the two of us. For two whole days. It was wonderful already!

The drive into Anchorage was uneventful, although we could see where some small avalanches had occurred on the sides of the mountains. We got into town around noon and looked for a place that might be able to work on one of Jim's computers while we waited, but that didn't work out, so we went to Alaska Fur Exchange to look at pelts. My, but they had some lovely things in there. We plan to go back again on our next trip for another, less hurried, visit.

We went to Sam's for some groceries, Sportsman's Warehouse for a pair of snowshoes (haven't tried them out yet), Michaels to look at craft stuff, Pack Rat's collectibles store (where they had one of those lever-action aluminum ice cube trays! Brought back memories, that did) and puttered around town as much as we liked. Dinner Saturday and lunch Sunday were at City Diner.

Our Texas next-door neighbor Jane and her friend Amy flew up for the Rondy, and we met up with them on Sunday and met their friends John, Rachel, and Jeff. We saw our Nikiski neighbors Jo and John there, too.

Some big events of the Rondy are going to get their own blog entries, such as the Outhouse Races and the Running of the Reindeer, but there were other events going on, too. Such as these Aleut tribal dancers:

There was the dogsled race, which we didn't stop to watch. It was taking place over three days. Here's a team coming across the finish line:

And a team being unharnessed after their run. Once again, we're astonished at how much they look like Moya.

This statue marks the start of the Idarod, which is coming up soon:

There was also snowshoe softball, ice bowling, blanket toss, the horn and hide auction, fashion shows, beer belly contests, frostbite footrace, snow sculptures, photo contest and more. At the sled dog rides, we were able to ask the mushers where to get a harness for Moya. The line was too long to get a ride on the sled before the Running of the Reindeer, so we skipped that, but even Jim had a hard time resisting the sled dog puppies. So sweet.

I'll have more later on the separate events, so check back in a bit, okay?

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