Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Monday, March 10, 2014

On by...

Which is what a musher says when they are wanting to take the trail and pass someone. Until the last stretch, the one asked has to yield. From the final checkpoint at Safety for the last twenty-two miles into Nome, it is each musher for him/herself and can get wild. There have been a few very close races including the famous win by a nose--where one musher's lead dogs stretched enough to get under the arch first. It may not be that close tonight but it could and this will definitely be one for the books from what I am reading.

Aliy is in second place, leaving the White Mountain checkpoint an hour behind four time winner veteran Jeff King who moved up the last day or two and grabbed the lead last night between Elim and White Mountain, passing Aliy. They ran within sight of each other all day yesterday. Despite some horrendous conditions, this is going to be the fastest time ever. John Baker, a native Aleut who won in 2010, set the prior record of 8 days 18 hours and some minutes. It is likely Jeff or Aliy will clock in around 8 days, 10 hours and even the rest of the first 3-5 mushers may beat the prior record. The two Seaveys are next after Aliy, two and four hours behind her. Some others who were front runners at some point have fallen well behind and stand no chance to make the first five. It is been one hell of a race, truly! I've been enthralled to watch things unfold.

Now, my little bit of personal news, or possible news-to-be. I've been an Alaska fan since about 1953 when I read my parents' copies of the two books by Bud and Constance Helmricks about their years homesteading in the Alaskan wilderness. Then I got hooked on the Iditarod reading about Libby Riddles' amazing victory in 1985, she being the first woman to win after daring a blizzard that most of the male mushers elected to sit out. Then Susan Butcher won four times in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There have been a number of other lady mushers who did well even if they did not win but made a big mark on the race and have become legendary. I want to do a book on The Women of the Iditarod and also see something of Alaska for myself. I know I have to go in the summer as I doubt I could handle the cold and sunless winter months but I'm going to try to get there this year. If I can find a kennel, stable or some other place that will hire me for room and board, I think I can swing air fare and use the free time I would have from such work to visit and interview and so on.... So wish me heaps of luck!!

I'll post a short special once the race is over--at least the first few mushers are in and then let this subject go for awhile, honest!

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