The day started, of course, with an early morning dropping of the dogs in the hotel parking lot, followed by a breakfast "strategy" meeting of the team. Basically, since there's quite a crew of us here -- Aliy, Allen, Bridgett, Doug, Mickey, Kaz, Leslie, Tamara and me -- we all conferred about our to-do lists for the day then had a couple of hours to get stuff done.
At noon, Aliy and I drove over to the Millennium Hotel to set up for her keynote presentation. She talked about her personal "Trail To The Iditarod" -- how she got started mushing, what her life as a musher is like and what the Iditarod is all about for her -- using some of the media from this website to illustrate various points. Her presentation was very well received, and it was great that most of our crew was able to swing by for at least part of it.
After that, Aliy, Allen, Bridgett and I dropped in at Eddie's Sports Bar for a quick, late lunch and to thank them for their sponsorship. Then we headed straight back to our base of operations at Hawthorn Suites, our hosts and Kennel sponsors. Once here, Aliy and Allen participated in a "meet and greet" during which they gave a brief talk, showed a few videos, exhibited a race sled and its contents and autographed everything that was put in front of them. It was another very well attended and appreciated event. We wrapped up the day with a full-team pizza dinner meeting to go over final logistics for the next couple of days.
Throughout the day, the dogs were dropped in the parking lot and -- being the stars of the show that they are -- got a lot of attention from guests and passers-by. They all really hammed it up and were a real hit, especially with the young people. I've got some nice footage of everything from the day, but haven't had time to edit and post it yet.
Which brings me to an important note: Over the next couple of days I will really be scrambling to keep up with the teams and capturing media. I will be out "on location" for the Ceremonial and Official starts, and I will try to post highlights from these exciting events the same day. Once the teams actually head out on the trail I expect to have some time to catch up and post other interesting things. I will also be keeping close track of the teams, and will be posting updates as often as I can. I may also be able to bring you some audio reports from Aliy and Allen at a couple of points where they may have access to telephones and -- if all the stars align just right! -- I may even be able to make my way out to a checkpoint or two.
All of this is just my way of saying that I think you can count on the Dog Log being very active throughout the Iditarod. You may not get everything the moment it happens, but you'll get as much as possible as soon as possible... Stay tuned!