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Monday July 15 2013- Wasilla AK

The weather this morning was cooler at 56 degrees and cloudy. We left around 10 AM to go to check on where to buy diesel tomorrow morning and where we can dump our tanks. We can add water here at the Elks Lodge.

We found the Shell station ( $4.12) for diesel. We drove to the Chevron station which has a dump, but it is going to be difficult to get into that station. Since we were close by, we went to The Colony House Museum again, they were still closed.  So we went to the Mat-Su Visitor Center, out on Hwy. 3. They no longer have a dump station, but they sent us to an RV park up the road which has one for $8.

We went to Wasilla to the Visitor Center / Dorothy Page museum. The brochure states that they are open Mon-Sat from 9-6. It was closed, open  on Tues-Sat, oh well.  The next stop on our list was the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Headquarters. The GPS sent us all around, including to Home Depot, before it finally sent us down the road, saying  go straight for16 miles. We went one mile and spotted it on the right.

Iditarod Trail Headquarters

The Iditarod Trail is now a National Historic trail. It originally had it beginnings as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps. The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is a commemoration of those yesterdays, a not-so-distant past, that Alaskans honor and are proud of in their history. The race occurs the first Saturday in March each year, starting in downtown Anchorage, with a ceremonial start . They restart the race again near Wasilla.

We started our visit in the gift shop., where I purchased a button, rather than a pin. The pins were too expensive. The button is a yearly contest where school children submit a drawing and the winner is put on the current year’s button. A fund raising activity.

We watched a movie called “Why do they run?”. Basically this was showing why the dogs like to run the race, to quiet the animal rights activists who are complaining that the race is cruel.

I can understand that if you think about it, a 1029 mile dog race across the Alaska wilderness would seem to be cruel to the canines. If you really understand dogs and know their non-verbal language, you can plainly see that these dogs love to race. There are veterinarians who check the dogs at every stop, about every 100 miles. The dogs receive a special diet, they train for the race, and they are well cared for by their owners.

We saw a picture of Susan Butcher, 1954-2006,  on their wall. She won the race 4 times. In 2005, when we were in Fairbanks, we took the Paddle-wheeler tour, which included a stop at Susan Butcher’s home, where we watched her race her dogs on her property. She died of cancer the following year; it is sad to see someone so young pass away.  It was nice to see her picture, with her puppies, and to see her winner pictures on the wall.

Iditarod Trail Headquarters

Iditarod Trail Headquarters

Once we finished looking inside the building, we went out to look at the puppies.

Iditarod Trail Headquarters

We also took a sled dog ride. As soon as we started walking towards the sled, the dogs jumped up and went crazy, getting excited that they were going to get a chance to run!

Iditarod Trail Headquarters

The wife of the musher took our pictures.

Iditarod Trail Headquarters

Iditarod Trail Headquarters

When riding a ski lift, you see a lot of items having in trees. Things like bras and Mardi-gras necklaces. This is the first time we have seen dog booties!

Iditarod Trail Headquarters

We left the facility and went back into Wasilla. We went in search of the sign that we had seen in 2005. We knew it was at the train station, as we were on the train when we went through Wasilla.

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We went to lunch at the New Frontier Brewery. Bob had a stout, which he said was very good. He also had a Ruben and I had a 1/2 order of nachos, most of which I took home with me.

Our plan had been to take the 42 mile Hatcher Pass scenic tour, but the clouds were hanging so low that we knew that we would not be able to see anything so we returned to the motor home.

I rec’d another robo call from Express Scripts about my Synthroid. I had spoken with them on the 11th. Obviously the issue was not fixed, so I had to call them again. The gal that I spoke with was an idiot, so I had to ask for a supervisor, Passion, who agreed that there was an issue. She also agreed that it was their system and apologized for the problem She has promised to take care of the problem and the pills should be sent out on Wednesday. I will be keeping up with this online, as we have to get our mail sent out from Sioux Falls prior to us leaving Alaska. We cannot get meds in Canada. If you do, you have to pick them up, in person, at Customs. So my meds have to be sent prior to our leaving Alaska.

We also had to check on the next place we are staying. Their dump station is not working, so I called to check to see if it was fixed. It was not, so we will have to dump in the morning.

Bob had called the Seward Fam. Camp for our reservation there, but they only accept working DOD, not retired DOD employees. So we had to find a different place to stay in Seward.

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