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.
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?
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.
We backed our trailer up an empty ramp to a warehouse. Still no people out and about. And then the door opened.
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.
“Rohn,” they called. “Fifty two pounds!” The whole room booed. Those ice bags tipped us over the limit!
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.
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