Today was our second full day in Nome. Being a Saturday, John and Rhonda also had off, and after a good breakfast and getting a few things done around the house, we headed out for the start of the Nome-Golovin Snowmachine Race. This is a 200-mile race to Golovin and back and there were 60 or so entrants. These guys (and a few ladies) did it in less time than it would take to get to my mother’s and back (160 miles round trip) using interstate highways! Lots of folks turn out for this, and Rhonda and I talked about the fact that there was no one up by the road to ensure there were no accidents. Sure enough, one happened. A spectator, for whatever reason**PLEASE SEE NOTE AT BOTTOM**, decided to cross the path the racers take and did so just as one of the drivers (who was going 90 miles an hour) came over the road. Though I didn’t see the actual accident because there were cars obstructing my view, I did hear the terrible crunch and saw parts flying 30 feet in the air (no lie!). Turns out John and Rhonda knew who the rider was. Others who were watching tried to motion to the other racers who were still coming to slow down while some went to the aid of those injured. I thought for sure someone would have had to have been killed. The driver was thrown a long way but only had a sore knee. It is a wonder that the spectator lived and it was sickening to see someone lying on the ground as they waited for the ambulance. When it finally came and after they did their initial evaluation she actually got up and walked (with some help) to the ambulance (I believe she had a leg injury). But before she did Stacey Green (the racer) came over and I snapped this shot.
It destroyed his sled and ended his race just minutes after it started, but in the end they both walked away with their lives! Btw the driver is 47 years old and lost his son a couple of years ago in a snowmachine accident.
After that excitement we had lunch and then took a drive out one of the other roads (I can’t keep the names straight)! It goes out past a Girl Scout camp and also by this place…
I have no idea what Wyatt Earp was doing in Nome, but when he came here, this is where he stayed (or so I’m told!). It’s pretty run down and falling apart. I’m not sure who owns it, but I’d sure love to do some metal detecting around there this summer!!!
It was a beautiful drive. We saw a moose and her yearling, more ptarmigan, and on the way back an arctic fox tore across the road trying to stay ahead of a cross country skier and his dog. We got back into Nome and discovered we’d missed the finish of the race! I still don’t know who won, but I won’t forget the start anytime soon!
Rhonda and I worked on a project the rest of the afternoon (she’s selling some things at the Iditarod craft fair this week) and John took Kevin out on the snowmachine to teach him how to use it so that we can go out next week. I’m really looking forward to that. Kevin said they found the herd of musk ox up near Newton Peak. Of course he forgot the camera!!!! I won’t when we go :)
They don’t have a TV here, and I keep trying to stay on top of what’s happening in Japan, though it’s difficult to upload video with this connection. I wondered, when I heard about the tsunami, about the six degrees of separation thing, and sure enough discovered that Rhonda’s daughter-in-law’s father was from the city that was hit and has heard from some relatives via Facebook but has not heard from others. I’m sure many perished, and my heart goes out to the people affected. And it’s not over yet. I keep praying they get the reactors under control. Things are bad enough already and this would only compound their troubles.
That’s it for now! Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead tonight!
NOTE FOR THE RECORD: Yesterday Kevin and I ran into the woman involved in this accident. It isn’t well known, and I want to set the record straight, that she was actually motioned through. I’m told that that was actually captured on video. It doesn’t change a thing, but I thought it was important to state that fact here just to set the record straight.