The Iditarod sled dog race is going on right now. Everyone around here is watching because John Baker, a local guy, won it last year and is doing well again this year so far. The racers are tracked via GPS, and I signed up to follow them. While I was in Selawik, I was blocked from the site at the school because as a visitor I get a student profile on my computer, so lots of websites are blocked, so I'm glad to be back here. The race is 1,150 miles long. John is nearing halfway, around mile 460 right now, and nearing the Ruby checkpoint where they run along the Yukon River for a few hundred miles. It looks like he's in 2nd position. The times are getting faster and faster but always depend somewhat on weather and trail conditions. Last year with his win, John set a new record time. The race takes 8 or 9 days, so check on it through the weekend, and keep your ears open on Monday or Tuesday to see who wins!
John Baker is #11
Check out the Iditarod website here.
Check out John Baker's website here.
I just came back from my 3rd trip to Selawik. It was cold, but sunny and gorgeous. There were people flooding into the village. The Friends church is having some periodic conference. On Tuesday, when I went out to the village, Bering Air was sending two planes at a time. Then, this weekend, NANA will hold a meeting in the school. NANA is the native corporation for this area and, I believe, the 2nd most lucrative one. Someone today told me that they're taking $40,000 worth in door prizes! She also commented, "More people are coming for NANA than to the church, it's all old people at the church," she herself being old!
Weather this morning
It didn't take more than 10 minutes to frost up
My first visit to Selawik was in October. I went to the top of the bridge over the river and shot a picture to the main side of the village. I tried to capture the same scene this time. It's close but not quite the same. Here they are.
The first time I landed I noticed this old plane just "parked" near some houses. I don't know what the story is. I asked a couple of people at school, and they didn't know either. I'm used to the idea of having a junker car in your yard, even a bus...but a plane!
Here are a few more shots around town and a parting one that I couldn't shoot fast enough of the village as we were taking off.
Not sure if Selawik has a main street, but this looks like a good one.
Selawik is built in the middle of a wetland. In the summer, you can't walk just anywhere. The whole village is built with a road system of boardwalks and bridges that you can drive ATVs over. In the winter you can branch out more with snow machines, but people still use the boardwalks.
I couldn't snap this picture fast enough as we were leaving, but you can see here the main part of town and the big bridge over the river. There are buildings all over the point that's cut off too, and the river on the far left has a little bridge over it to where the airport is off of the left side of the photo.