Trail Mix Logistics are the hard part in Iditarod coverage

first_imgThe Berington sisters arrived at the Takotna checkpoint together Wednesday just before noon. (Photo by Zachariah Hughes/KSKA)There’s really not a lot of “planning” for this. I’m only two days in, and I feel like more attention goes towards tracking flights, coordinating deadlines, and finding Internet than it does to figuring out who’s at the front of the race and why.When I walked in to the school at Takotna I saw KTUU reporter and producer Kyle Hopkins, who’s been on more than a few Iditarods. He asked how it was going, and I unloaded on feeling like I’m floundering in trying to just stay on top of what’s going on.“Logistics are the hard part,” he said frankly.Helpers welcome mushers to Takotna checkpoint mid-day Wednesday. (Photo by Zachariah Hughes/KSKA)It reminds me of the few times I got to actually drive a dog-sled, up in Nome. Enchanting, bewitching, enthralling–these are some of the words that swim to the surface when I try to describe the sensation of runners shifting under boot as dozens of dog legs fluttered in the foreground. “Sense-making,” though, is the aptest explanation I’ve found, though. All the work of keeping dogs made sense if it was in service to that feeling.Mushing is glamorous, but I don’t think that’s the case with the warren of tertiary tasks demanded of keeping a healthy, happy dog team. Poop-scooping, feeding, fall training through mud, the battery of bills: plenty of chores that are anathema to glamour.But maybe the rugged mushers and the bedraggled radio-reporters have a similar ambition with following the trail: strip away the clutter for a while. When the drop bags have everything you need, when the soup is hotter than you expected, when the Wi-Fi works, when all the parts click together and you’re just running through beautiful places you might not otherwise have cause to be–maybe that’s the goal.And eventually, possibly, a shower in Nome.Until then, fat, slow snowflakes are dropping on Takotna, and the news deadline is still a few hours away.last_img read more