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!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Networking and Connections

This has been a very positive and progressive day. It's all about networking and reaching out to people with warmth and sharing, a willingness to be open and the connections form, link and grow.I was once too shy to do this but it comes easy now and talking with folks on a shared passion makes it easier!

First, as planned, I met with Lisbet Norris, the third generation of Norwegian folks who came to the US and to Alaska back probably during WWII or even before. Her grandparents started the first Siberian Husky kennel way back in the 40s  first down near Kenai and later on a homestead near Willow. They're part of history. Her mother came over from Norway specifically to mush and Lisbet herself has been in Norway and worked in the sport there. She is a very intelligent and articulate young woman and impressed me very much. She said she kind of always knew she'd race but took time to go to college and travel some, learn and grow. Very wise!! Now she'd ready to really dig in to it.

She was a rookie in the challenging 2014 Iditarod
and came in with the final three, just ahead of Marcelle Fressineau who won the Red Lantern.They had traveled much of the race together, three rookies just getting the feel of it. Even so, the time of the three for the race was faster than that of winners back twenty years ago or so. They followed Deedee Jolnrowe's advice to make the rookie run a learning experience and just to experience it with no pressure.

In Lisbet's opinion the biggest difference in the time is the trail. Because the Iron Dog snow machine race is not long before the Iditarod and basically over the same trail, it is beaten down and much more clear and solid than the old days of breaking deep snow and trying to find those illusive markers that may have been buried or blown away. Rarely is breaking deep snow an issue now--even when and where there is snow! Which was scarce over parts of the trail the last two years.

I even met one of her dogs, a two year old female name Mika or Meeka (not sure on this but that was what it sounded like). Lisbet told me this was one pup from an experimental accidental litter she has been working with and this one has become her bed-sleeping pet. Mika is shy like Ginger but finally condescended to take a few treats from my hand while Lisbet held her. She's a beautiful dog, still a lanky "teenager" and Lisbet is not sure if she'll make a team dog or not but will probably give her some chances when the training season gets underway this fall. She says they differ greatly in personality but many "Sibes"  are quite independent and not really wanting to be pets.

I also got a tour of the feed store her family runs, mostly dog stuff, and a good lecture on nutrition. Her father has compiled a formula which he has produced in the Midwest and shipped in that compromises between top quality and cost so the budget pressed mushers can afford it, not the best but definitely in the "better" level than your average commercial kibble.While I was there a couple of customers came in and bought that or other more costly brands and I chatted with one lady who is a musher but not a racer and hosts some of the Iditarod folks who come to train and prepare, especially the Norwegians as I think she is also of that ancestry.She too seemed very excited about my project and will be a good contact and perhaps a help in time.For the most part these are all wonderful people and very open and supportive if you are 'with them' in this special endeavor.

Later I did a little more tourist stuff--drove out to Palmer which is closer to the mountains and very pretty--there is a gorgeous garden in the middle of town that I took some pix of and then I visited the Dorothy Paige museum in Wasilla. She along with Joe and Viola Redington was instrumental in getting the  recognition of the trail and the race to begin back in the early 1970s. She must have been a fighter!

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