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January 05, 2012
See the Iditarod – up close and personal
|Jan Steves on a training run for the 2012 Iditarod.|
|Jan Steves photo|
EDMONDS, Washington (STPNS) -- The Iditarod has been called “The Last Great Race,” and Edmonds residents now have a chance to take part in some of the excitement.
Kathleen Nelson, a travel agent with AAA Washington and also a long-time friend of Jan Steves, has put together a tour to allow Edmonds residents (and anyone else) to see and feel first hand just what makes the Iditarod such a unique experience.
“It’s going to be a wonderful trip up there to see Jan,” Nelson, who will be leading this trip herself, said.
“I wanted to celebrate this experience. Steves is the only Washington musher in the race this year, and only the second Washington woman musher to ever run the Iditarod.
“I wanted others to be able to share in her determination and goals.”
Besides just experiencing the start of the 1,500-miles-long race (for perspective, Edmonds to Phoenix, Ariz., is 1,525 miles) that runs from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, tour goers will have the chance to meet and even take a ride on a dogsled with Steves or veteran Iditarod musher Bob Chlupach.
The eight-day tour starts Feb. 27 and will include accommodations at the Hotel Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage; attending the Iditarod Ceremonial Race Start in Anchorage; attending the official Iditarod Race restart in Willow; and sightseeing excursions to the village of Girdwood and the Alyeska Resort; as well as visits to Jan Steves’ kennel to meet her and the dogs, and visits to Iditarod Headquarters Museum in Wasilla and Iditarod headquarters in Anchorage.
There’s also a lot more happening that tour goers will be able to take in, such as the annual Winter Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage, including native art markets, a theater show, winter carnival activities and a snow sculpture competition; and a morning drive along the Turnagain Arm enjoying dramatic views of mountain scenery.
You can watch for beluga whales, Dall sheep and other wildlife along the way; attend an Iditarod seminar and a demonstration on packing a sled for the race; and a group dinner at the Glacier Brewhouse.
Of special interest will be the Musher Banquet on March 1. Tour goers will sit with Steves as the mushers draw for their starting positions and enjoy dinner and Alaskan entertainment.
They’ll also be able to take photos and get autographs of the mushers, buy 2012 Iditarod merchandise and raffle tickets, and have a chance to bid on specialty bottles of 2012 Iditarod ice wines.
All in all, this sounds like a great chance for local residents to experience the 2012 Iditarod, have a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and support our own Jan Steves in her quest.
For reservations and information, call Kathleen Nelson at 206-216-4210 or by email at KathleenNelson@aaawin.com.
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