Blair Braverman @BlairBraverman Dogsledder. Author. Adventurer. If you like these tweets, you'll love WELCOME TO THE GODDAMN ICE CUBE (@eccobooks). Feb. 13, 2019 2 min read

IT’S DROP BAG DAY. Drop bags are the supplies that teams send up the trail to different checkpoints. Mine are already packed with 1500 lbs of pre-sliced meats, but I need to add a few last items before we turn them in today in Anchorage.

Here are my notes from packing meat last week (beef, chicken skin, tripe, and a mix of beef and beef fat, mostly; also various meat blends that we bought in 50lb blocks). This will be a full-day endeavor so I’ll post updates as we move along.

Got the last nonperishables on my list

Many mushers buy a set of very special treats — like individual steaks — to send to Nome and feed their dogs at the finish line. Hmm, I wonder what our Nome treats should be?

😂

Don’t worry they’re already getting bacon for the checkpoints

Got the chicken. Time to check out.

Bless this cashier. She’s seen it all. All she said was “Do you need these bagged?”

And in a friendly way: “The bag with the bacon is heavy.”

Got my receipt checked at the door. “You having a barbecue?” asked the guy, eyeing my 20 bags of chicken thighs. “I’m packing for the Iditarod,” I told him. “Oh,” he said. He sounded disappointed.

OH SHOOT I FORGOT TO BUY ICE

That is not a joke. The checkpoint of Rohn has very little snow, and the river is kind of a hike away, so mushers send bags of ice to melt for the dogs.

Okay so things got very hectic for a while (much more hectic than this picture shows) but we got through it, loaded all the bags, and headed to Anchorage

We followed the directions from an email and ended up in... a weird industrial trucking area? Which seemed kind of right but also maybe not? There were no signs of life and then we saw this sign

We backed our trailer up an empty ramp to a warehouse. Still no people out and about. And then the door opened.

So many people!

There were a ton of volunteers! They didn’t waste a minute.

Everyone was hard-working and super friendly and pretty soon all my drop bags were inside. We put special zip ties on them all for extra security.

Then it was time to weigh the bags. The guys hooted every time they got to a Shageluk bag, so maybe they’re from that village or volunteer at that checkpoint. “Nicolai,,” they announced. “Forty two pounds!” “Ophir! Thirty nine!”

Each bag is supposed to be under 50 pounds.

Except...

“Rohn,” they called. “Fifty two pounds!” The whole room booed. Those ice bags tipped us over the limit!

It was a friendly boo, though.

When it was done, we got our weight totals, which I think are about average. We sent just over 2000 pounds of food and supplies (mostly food) up the trail.

And now it’s real. Drop bags are finally done!! The volunteers did such a great job and it’s a huge relief to check this off the list.

The end.


You can follow @BlairBraverman.



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