Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Fur Rondy

A few weeks back, actually precisely on February 27th, I'm driving into work and what appears to me as an accident further up on the road, turned out to be something entirely different. As I near the barricades and police lights at the intersection in question, like a flash, a dog sled flew through the street. Ah, it all makes sense. What makes sense, you ask? The night before, while driving around for work, I saw dump trucks full of snow driving around downtown, and streets being barricaded.

Yes, they close streets downtown, and cover them with snow so they can hold sled dog races in the city!

So, the Fur Rondy (or in its full name the Fur Rendezvous) is a carnival held near the end of winter that commemorates two events. The carnival itself evolved from a 74 year old tradition of a gathering of fur traders. The second is to start off the Iditarod, which is seperate from the in-city sled dog races.

From February 2009

We didn't get to the carnival, but here's a picture of it while I was driving past.

And for anyone who is curious how the Iditarod got started:

The Iditarod Trail, now a National Historic Trail, had its beginnings as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond to the west coast communities of Unalakleet, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain and Nome. Mail and supplies went in. Gold came out. All via dog sled. Heroes were made, legends were born.

In 1925, part of the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for epidemic-stricken Nome. Diphtheria threatened and serum had to be brought in; again by intrepid dog mushers and their faithful hard-driving dogs. (src: http://www.iditarod.com/learn/)


Anonymous said...

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adam said...

Thanks Sarah! Glad you're enjoying it =D