First off, we finally have some snow falling again. After two straight weeks of gorgeous sunny and warm skies, we’re back to winter in Alaska. Yay! Not that I have a passion for shoveling white stuff, but we need the snow cover to help supply our rivers with spring and summer run-off to keep our salmon runs healthy. Not a whole lot of snow expected – just a few inches before it turns to rain, or melts off in more sun. Any snow at this point is a good thing though. The roads are open and most of the river ice is gone. That’s all good. Not enough snow along the banks to be an issue, as we approach April.
Early March of course is the Iditarod and the “Iditaread”. Last year, Tanis and Eden took the first two spots on our IDEA HomeSchool’s Iditaread, with Eden raising some eyebrows for reading her 1,000 pages in less than 24 hours (the kids are technically enrolled in the Galena School District’s distance education as opposed to being strictly “HomeSchooled” – Galena is a checkpoint on the Iditarod route!). Iditaread is a race to read one page for every mile of the Iditarod to try and beat your chosen musher before they reach Nome. This year, Eden shaved two hours off her record time and read 5 Hardy Boys novels from the 1920′s (not the horrible ones from the 70′s!) between 10am and 830pm on Saturday.
Her brother crossed under the burled arch yesterday morning after two days of constant reading. Beaten by his little sister again! His books are a little more challenging – Helmet for my Pillow, Under the Wire and Angels in the Night. He finished up after an all-nighter at 830am yesterday. When he eventually crawled out of bed, he looked pretty pathetic, with what we called “Iditaread Hangover”. I have to admit that I couldn’t read 1,000 pages in one or two days! Sure as heck, I couldn’t do it at 10 and 14 years old! I was never this competitive as a kid though.
Saturday morning, we plopped down in front of Teen’s laptop to watch the restart on the www.iditarod.com web site, only to have the site go down after the first few mushers departed through the three miles of spectators lining both sides of the route. Last night, the Iditarod Newsletter we received explained why the site went down… Animal rights activists hit the site with a cyber attack to shut down the race coverage.
“Iditarod.com comes under attack from nefarious groups from time to time. On Sunday, March 2, at exactly 12:35pm AKST we experienced a deliberate attempt to block access to Iditarod.com“
There are those who “mistakenly” believe that sled dogs are mistreated and the Iditarod in particular represents animal cruelty. You know, you are free to hold any opinion you want in America. Unfortunately in today’s Amerika, if you disagree with the position held by a tiny minority, they must shut down your ability to exercise your freedom. The Iditarod represents a truly amazing story of triumph over adversity. Today’s competitive sled dogs are truly exceptional athletes and they LOVE what they do. This is what they were bred to do and anyone who has ever witnessed a working breed doing what they were meant to do, it is amazing and inspiring to behold. Not allowing these exceptional dogs to pull a sled would be cruel.
Our world has changed. It isn’t enough to agree to disagree. You must reach out and do harm to those who do not look at the world through your limited and distorted lens. I’m afraid this only goes downhill from here. Hard to believe sometimes that there is any downhill left, but apparently our slide into stupidity has no bottom.
The same people who will shut down the Iditarod web site are the same people who want to end all hunting AND fishing. Even catch-and-release barbless fly fishing is “cruelty to animals” to this tiny minority. You know, I have no problem with someone who opposes hunting/fishing/sled dog racing and chooses not to participate. If their belief system includes stopping me from enjoying the things they oppose, well they can go %$#@ themselves. Get a life.
Sorry. I’m just tired of those who demand that I change to accommodate their views. I don’t demand anything of them. Go ride your bike to work and eat grass clippings for all I care. Leave me the hell alone to live as I choose. Funny how “Pro-choice” only applies if we choose their particular choices and not for educating our kids and what charities we support and what cars we drive and lightbulbs we use and the food we eat and the doctors we visit and… and… and…
Anyway… It is snowing and the river is looking good and I’m proud of how hard my kids worked this weekend. I’m getting more and more Libertarian as I get older and crankier.