the anchorage fur rondezvous is happenin'!
this alaskan tradition dates back to the 1930s as a way to usher in spring (did you read that??? spring!!) and to coincide with the miners and trappers who were returning to the city with their goods- (really a town of about 3000 back then).
its a rather "politically incorrect" carnival- showcasing dog mushing (a main street in town is closed for the week and truckloads of snow hauled in) and dead animal pelts. seems that just about everyone here has a fur hat, coat or muff tucked away in the closet and pulls it out for this occasion. i will admit some of the native coats were amazing...
the family and i met r/l and l down at the festivities on sunday, where in 10 degree temperatures we checked out the snow sculptures, (we are entering next year), the fur auction (a true cultural experience) and then rode the ferris wheel, yes i said ferris wheel. did i mention it was 10 degrees?? people here arent quite right....
the dog mushing demo was very exciting and we also saw this thing called skijouring where you are harness yourself to your dog and he or she hauls ass, pulling you on your skis... wow. could i have gotten a ride out of porter in his younger days.
the rondy ends next week with the ceremonial start of the ididarod on saturday in downtown anchorage. the real start is usually here in wasilla (10 or so miles from us) but we have lost our snow pack so they begin up the road a ways in willow. we are thinking of heading up to watch next week.
now dont go posting nasty comments about the animal pelts. i know, i know. but although i was bewildered, and somewhat disgusted, i was also a bit amazed by what i saw. i am living in the last frontier and seems like things are just a little bit different up here.