Some people say only two things are certain in life - death and taxes. Yesterday I spent much of the day in town in order to have my annual tax return preparation meeting with my accountant. With today's federal tax laws I think it critical for anyone who operates a small business, even one so small as my Nor' West Company black powder dealership, have the assistance of a good accountant to keep out of trouble with the Feds.
In any event, since I had to be in town anyway, I ran some errands including purchase of dog food, groceries and so forth. I was trying to find some new latches for some of the kennel gates but it seems that nobody in town carries them. I'll have to order those on-line.
I also had to recruit a new handler on rather short notice. Our friend Tiffany McLean had to return to her home in Vancouver BC unexpectedly. I was fortunate in that a fellow I've known for a while was available and in serious need of an inexpensive place for he and his 8 dogs (mostly Siberian huskies and Siberian husky mixes) to live.
Jeff has been a member of the community for just a few years, but has already served a year as the Two Rivers Dog Musher's Association president, and is a very active volunteer at all of our local races. We had a good, long discussion about the position last night and I think he will fit in very nicely as a member of the Stardancer kennel.
Today will mark the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race down in (Los) Anchorage. The ceremonial start means nothing at all toward the outcome of the race, but is nonetheless a HUGE public event, giving folks a chance to see the teams and mushers at their very best. The clock won't start running until the official restart of the race at Willow tomorrow. From that moment on, EVERYTHING the musher and his or her team does counts, for good or ill, toward their eventual finish.
I've renewed my Iditarod Insider subscription so I can follow the race more closely. This year 67 mushers will start the race, and about 20% of the field are mushers who live close to my home. Of course "close" is based on Alaska standards and up here "close" can qualify as anything within 100 miles. There are a lot of great teams running in this year's race, and it's going to be a fun one to follow.
Next weekend we will be running our local Two Rivers 100 and Two Rivers 200 races. The Two Rivers 200 is an Iditarod and Yukon Quest qualifier and is pretty popular in the area. My friend Kyle Belleque is flying in from Dillingham with his team of old-school dogs to run the race using some of my old-school gear. I'll be handing for Kyle during the race, so may not be posting much over that weekend.
Meanwhile, my own teams needs to run, and I need to run them. I'm planning on being out on the trail frequently over the next few days and will, of course, keep you posted on my activities as well as the action out on the race trail.