Magic City Morning Star

Advertising | RSS Feed | About Us 

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2013 - 12:38:22 AM 

An eclectic mix of news and information
Staff Login
Donate towards our web hosting bill!

Front Page 
  -- Local
  -- State
  -- National
  -- IRS News
  -- Win at Work
  -- History
  Tech Notes
  -- Comics
  -- R.P. BenDedek
  -- Kenneth Tellis
  -- M Stevens-David
  -- Down the Road
  Today in History
  -- Editor's Desk
  -- Guest Column
  -- Scheme of Things
  -- Michael Devolin
  -- Tom DeWeese
  -- Ed Feulner
  -- Jim Kouri
  -- Julie Smithson
  -- J. Grant Swank
  -- Doug Wrenn
  Agenda 21
  Book Reviews
  -- Old Embers

Web Directory Reviews
WDR Directory of Directories
Restore The Republic - The Home of the Freedom Movement!

Home Country

By Slim Randles
Mar 2, 2005 - 12:30:00 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
It's the first Saturday in March, 1973, and more than 40 dog mushers are ready to leave the semi-pro baseball stadium in Anchorage and drive their teams more than 1,100 miles to Nome.

Could they really do it? Well, they did it that year and every year since, of course, in the monumental Iditarod Sled Dog Race, but that first year? The mushers themselves kinda looked at each other and shrugged and wondered. No one alive had ever driven a team that far. I was there, and was privileged to have driven a team in that first race.

Some top-name mushers referred to guys like me - homesteaders who used dog teams to get back and forth to town - as "recreational mushers," meaning not serious racers. That was true. Our dogs were valued members of our families, just as your dog is in your family. We just had more of them and they pulled a sled for a living.

Iditarod is pronounced eye-DIT-a-rod. The men and women who drive teams in this long, cold camping trip pronounce it IDIOT-road, with reason.

I had seven dogs, the minimum allowed, and I had to borrow a dog to make seven, giving me the nickname "Seven-Dog Slim."

The dog I borrowed had kennel cough and I had to stop every couple of hours and dose him with cough syrup, which he hated and caused him to run all out in panic when he saw me coming with the bottle. I still think I'd have won that race if all my dogs had kennel cough.

Our race ended ignominiously with a helicopter ride after I crushed an ankle 300 miles into the race. But there?s something about the first Saturday in March for those who have been there. Wherever we are and whatever we do now, each year on that day we say a prayer for the men and women on trail and wish them good weather, packed trail, and happy dogs. It?s a very long way to Nome.

Brought to you by "Ol' Max Evans, the First Thousand Years." At

© Copyright 2002-2013 by Magic City Morning Star

Top of Page

Home Country
Latest Headlines
Chicken Ranger
Object Lesson
Fake Lawn

A Dinosaur of Education - a blog by James Fabiano.
Shobe Studios
Wysong Foods - Pets and People Too