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A Denali Destination

Where Dogs are King

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Preparations and a “Vs.” Interview

How could it be just 11 days until the start of the 2008 Iditarod?!? Goodness gracious – my how the time does fly!

The Sweepstakes Team (part of it anyway...): Chris Provost, Jeff, Bob Himschoot.

The Sweepstakes Team (part of it anyway…): Chris Provost, Jeff, Bob Himschoot.

Our Iditarod Veterinarian check was Sunday, and all dogs got a clean bill of health! They are ready to head to the start line. Now all I gotta do is figure out which ones to bring since I had 21 dogs go through the checkup, and each of them are anxious to be chosen for the big race.

The Vs. crew getting Mr. King set up for an interview.

The Vs. crew getting Mr. King set up for an interview.

Dickens and Berkley get the nod for sure and will be the most experienced, spectacular leaders in the team. I’m looking for great things from them both. Deets, who had to sit out last years race due to a sore wrist, is ready to rock-n-roll as well. I’m very excited about this guy! (Deets was part of the “Lonesome Dove” litter – his littermates include: Call, Augustus, Lori, Woodrow, and Claire.)

Salem leading the team back from a run around the Homestead.

Salem leading the team back from a run around the Homestead.

An added challenge for the 2008 preparations are additional preparations being made for the All Alaska Sweepstakes, which will begin in Nome on March 26th (after our 5th Iditarod win!!) I have a cast of champions ready to help me for the Sweepstakes which includes both Bob Hemshoot and Chris Provost (“Iron Dog” partners – the 1,000 mile snowmachine race from Anchorage to Nome). Their expertise will be instrumental due to the fact that the sweepstakes race requires that any food and gear needed by me and my dog team needs to be transported by my crew. The rules will even allow the crew to feed and put booties on/off the dogs. In fact they can do anything except ride the dog sled! From our immediate kennel crew, Jason Reppert will be accompanying us as the “dog expert”, and good friend Kurt Hellweg from Springfield, MO will be joining us as “lead strategist”. It is so hard to think about this race with the Iditarod looming so close. I will be depending on these four to do much of the thinking for me – along with Carrie who has been expertly making travel arrangements for all concerned. Thank you all!

Jeff's getting ready to tell some stories...and getting warm in that suit - it was nearly 45 degrees - ABOVE!

Jeff’s getting ready to tell some stories…and getting warm in that suit – it was nearly 45 degrees – ABOVE!

Just moments ago the phone rang (again…) and the “Vs.” cable network film crew is closing in on the Homestead for what will no doubt be a painfully long day of interviews and the first of an endless rotation of the same questions over, and over, and over, and over, and over… (do I sound like I’m really looking forward to this? It is however the price that you pay for win #5!!). Honestly it is wonderful to know that the market is out there to share the Iditarod Sled Dog Race with millions of viewers – like you! I’m glad they’re here for a visit.

Dave takes a team out for a training run ~ what a job, eh?

Dave takes a team out for a training run ~ what a job, eh?

Wow! Thank you for all the positive comments on “Cold Hands, Warm Heart”. It is really fun to hear from so many of you! Just the other day our book made it onto Cabela’s website. It’s pretty easy to find – there is a link on their main page to me, the book, and a section on “what Jeff King wears”. Check it out here: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/home/doorway-home.jsp?vendor=door_iditarod.jsp&cm_re=home021308*body*iditarod. They are also soliciting comments about the book at this location, and I would love to have any of you that are Cabela’s customers and are excited about my book to go to the Cabela’s website and add a comment.

The Vs. crew and Jeff. Make sure to check out their finished product after this years big race!

The Vs. crew and Jeff. Make sure to check out their finished product after this years big race!

I’ll make sure to write again before we head to Anchorage, so until then…Happy Trails!
Jeff

Comments

  1. Enjoyed the photos! I am new to the Iditarod and am very much looking forward to following this year’s race. I look foward to your upcoming posts, as well as getting my copy of your book! Best wishes on your drive for number five!!

  2. I, too, am looking forward to another great Iditarod. You are right, Jeff, the interviews and public appearences all go with the show. It certainly does help the sport. It looks as if Lance Mackey has a powerful team again this year. You couldn’t ask for a better ending to a race. I am sure, Jeff, that you took mental notes of his race stratgies, etc, etc.,etc…. However, this is a different year, different set of circumstances, that’s for sure. That’s why I look forward to the Iditarod! It reminds of a good horse race. You get yourself positioned on the track, make your move and pray Mother nature does throw a curve ball at you!!!!!

    Looking forward to following your journey through the Alaskan “country-side”!! May this year’s experience be all that you have dreamed of. May you and your talented team mates have a safe journey! GO TEAM! HIKE! HIKE!

  3. Wonderful.! Looks great.
    I became a huge fan of Jeff.:)
    I should’ve visited there this time. That’s so cooool.! I’m looking forward to great race this year.

    Taesub Kim.

  4. Those are wonderful photos! I am looking forward to following your progress on the Iditarod website from the warmth and safety of my home here in London, England. You inspire me! Go Jeff!

  5. Jeff, Carrie & Crew,
    Howdy from Nebraska!
    I love the pictures and news. Sounds like it is really heating up around the Homestead!

    Your book, both the audio and the hard copy, are terrific. What a great accomplishment for you. I love looking at the pictures and listening. It is very interesting to hear the stories of your growing up and early years in Alaska. The artwork is incredible. A personal favorite of mine is the one that depicts one of the Yukon Quest runs. Donna captured the intensity of your eyes in amazing detail. I will be sure to post a comment on the Cabela’s site about the book.

    I head up to the north country tomorrow. Can’t wait to get therr and experience all of the excitement.

    The three lucky kids who got the t-shirts were thrilled. All the kids who attended the dance had a great time at “Iditarod Central” in Nebraska. Thanks for supporting the kids and their crazy teacher!

    Good Luck Husky Homestead!!!!!
    We’re behind you all the way!
    Go Get Em!!!!
    Judi

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  7. Hi Jeff,
    I have followed the Iditarod since the 70’s when there was very little TV coverage. I’m glad there is more coverage today. I love your book, I could listen to you tell your stories forever. Please make sure you write more. I ask your mother-in-law about you and the family every month when she drops off her delicious desserts for our church’s Pasta Dinner. Good luck with #5, I’ll be cheering you on!

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