Iditarod Trail Party

VERY LONG UPDATE 2/24/2014 --

Okay folks, it's nearly time "fur" our "rendevous" at the trail. There's finally snow and, by golly, there might even be S-U-N for us on Saturday. Get excited, very excited!

The Location: Trailgate will be stationed on the portion of the University Lake Trail that is east of the lake, between the lake/forested area and Wesleyan Drive. The point on the map above is where I watched the race last year; our exact location could vary, but it will be in and around that segment of the trail. (I might move us south and west, around the curve of the trail, depending on parking at the medical center. My assumption is those lots will be closed, so plan to lug your paraphernalia.) Post if you're confused. I will probably bring a bunch of balloons to help everyone track us down.

The ceremonial start is at 10am downtown. I plan to get to the trail at 9ish to stake out a spot and setup. The mushers probably won't start running by us until 10:30 and should steadily pass through our zone for the next few hours. Running of the Reindeer is at 4pm so I plan to start packing up at 3ish.

As a veteran trailgater, here is what I suggested each person bring to maximize safety, comfort, and enjoyment:

- First of all, DO NOT BRING YOUR DOG. Seriously. This breaks my heart too, especially since we're meeting at our beloved dog park (!), but leave the critter at home. Dogs in this situation are extremely dangerous to the mushers and will also be a big pain for you to control. Trust me.

- But most definitely bring a camping chair/seating device of preference

- Your warmest boots and wool socks; you will be standing  mostly still on snow for a very long time

- The beverages you wish to consume and an appropriate storage container/cooler to keep them somewhat out of sight. (More on this later.) If people wish to bring something to share with the (large!) group, go for it, but do not feel obligated.

- Thermos with a warm beverage; the "21+" variety of beverage is the most warming I find. For Eryn, this clearly means mulled wine and we thank her in advance for sharing.

- Hand warmers, extra layers, a blanket (or at least have this stuff in the car just in case)

- Bells, whistles, streamers, etc. for cheering

Now, for communal Trailgate supplies. Please post in the comments section which of the following you can contribute:

- We need at least one folding table; more would be better. Warning: All items placed on the table are considered shareable.

- Portable, battery-operated speakers for iProducts; bonus points for a good raceday playlist

- Utensils, plates, napkins, plastic cups*, trash bags. If everyone just cobbles together whichever of these things they have stashed in their house, I'm sure we'll have plenty. (*In my experience, APD turns a blind eye to imbibing on the trail during Iditarod, however, I recommend we still make an effort to mask our consumption.)

- Potluck food -- I suggest each person brings something to share. Since there is only a way to keep stuff cold rather than hot, bring-a-dish options are somewhat rudimentary. Some possible uninventive items include: chips, salsa, guacamole, beer cheese, other dips; veggies, hummus, other dips; cheese, meat, and crackers; chicken and tuna salads and pita; muffins, brownies, cookies. More inventive could be casseroles, pigs in a blanket, mac and cheese, or things in crock pots that might stay relatively warm for a least a portion of the time. Snacky foods are the easiest and this reality doesn't bother me. Again, post what you plan to contribute, although it's also a potluck reality that we'll end up with 45 bags of tortilla chips despite any and all efforts to coordinate otherwise. (Fortunately for Gus, they're gluten free!)

- Beverages are addressed above. If there is interest in collectively purchasing a pony keg and an idea of the timeline for doing that, post something in the comments. I could be easily convinced to go this route, provided we decide on a good beer. FYI: Tuesday is $5 growler day at Glacier Brewhouse (beer will still be good by Saturday if you don't open the bottle - tough, I know) and Midnight Sun offers a $4-per-growler discount on a select beer M-Th before 4pm. Otherwise, bring what you like and share if you're feeling friendly!

What did I miss? What does/does not make sense? Feel free to suggest edits and additions to the plan. And of course feel free to bring non-running friends. The more the merrier!


Details to follow as they evolve, but SAVE THE DATE! The basic idea is to gather everyone together for food (potluck style), drinks, and fun along a local trail (University Lake area?) to cheer on the mushers and pups during the ceremonial start from downtown Anchorage. Trust me, this is a fantastic way to spend a day outside in February! Race starts at 10am and the last musher will likely pass us by 3pm, plus some party prep and clean-up time along the trail. Yay!

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  • Sylvia M.

    I apologize for the no show on my part. I mis-alarmed myself that I had said 'yes'. I thought my calendar alarm was a reminder you all were gathering in case I could make it........ sorry

    March 2

  • Meredyth

    We are set up a bit south-west of the original location. Park in the "North Employee" parking lot at the CDC. We are on the trail literally 25 feet from the lot. Look for the tree with the pink balloons!

    March 1

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hey, got a # i can contact u with. Having a hard time finding the spot. CDC?

      March 1

    • Meredyth

      Call me[masked]

      March 1

  • Meredyth

    Okay, realistically I won't get there before 10am. Should still leave plenty of time before the dogs make it to our spot. I have one folding table in my possession and another one tentatively secured.

    Look for the pink balloons attached to a camping chair!

    1 · February 28

    • Eryn R

      *planning to get there at ten. We'll have some foodand drinks anda fewchairs

      2 · February 28

    • Sarah J.

      Eryn, I'll shoot you a text to make sure we're heading to the right spot. Jon and I are shooting for 10:15.

      March 1

  • Mike M

    You guys are out of control. I'd join you, but I'll be in not-so-sunny CA until late Saturday night. Have fun!

    February 25

  • Eryn R

    Nice planning Meredyth! I hadn't even thought of mulled wine, so clearly you are the one with the effective brain. I will bring that at least. i think the idea of growlers instead of keg is a way better idea. easier to conceal. i can probably also bring fresh squeezed OJ mimosas as it will be the a.m. when we start. Looking forward to it. Also, I will be bringing 5 people with me. all relatives, so it will be easy for everyone to find our group as we are a LOUD bunch:)

    1 · February 24

    • Meredyth

      EUREKA! I forgot about mimosas! Excellent call! Can you bring the famous juicer and a thousand oranges/grapefruits like last time? Since I'm classy I'll definitely bring a few bottles of Cook's.

      February 24

    • Eryn R

      i'll bring pre-juiced oranges and grapefruit if you bring the cooks:)

      February 24

  • Meredyth

    As promised, "The Plan" for Saturday has been posted! Please read the event update and comment accordingly.

    February 24

  • Eryn R

    Should we start planning this? We should probably have a table for food/drinks and everyone can bring chairs if they want. I guess plates and plastic silverware too? Has anyone been to one of these? Is it too late to get a pony keg?

    February 23

    • A former member
      A former member

      Maybe we can make a list of things to bring so that not all 20 people bring forks and plates?

      February 23

    • Meredyth

      Yes to a table, yes to chairs, yes to utensils/plates. No idea about the pony keg but it's $5 growler day at glacier brewhouse on Tuesday which is probably cheaper/easier anyway. Not that I'd turn away a keg of any size...

      2 · February 23

  • Meredyth

    I will post a draft of a plan tomorrow! Hang tight!

    February 23

  • Nicole L

    So are we going to be grazing along the trail for the potluck? :)

    February 22

  • Meredyth

    I've heard chatter of moving the Iditarod to Fairbanks... Does anyone know the scoop on this and/or how it impacts the ceremonial start in Anchorage (and thus our trailgate party) on Saturday, March 1? Hopefully news of not moving the race is solidified by this weekend, in which case I'll start posting updates on how everything will work. Essentially, we'll pick a spot on a trail to meet, coordinate food, drinks, and other supplies, and wing it from there. In the meantime, everyone please start doing your Snow Dance.

    February 17

    • Meredyth

      As luck would have it, ADN just announced that the start is staying in Willow. We can proceed with the Trailgate Party as initially planned, woohoo!

      2 · February 17

  • Kenton C.

    I was just reading today that due to the crappy snow conditions, this event will most likely have to replace the sled dogs with members of the olympic ice skating team, upon their arrival back from Russia. Also, the "A-rod" part of the 2-week festival name will be dropped, so this year it will be known as the "Iditz". Television blooper cameras will be placed at all abrupt turns in the race course. I just wanted to update everyone.

    2 · February 10

  • Kristy

    Is this a family friendly even where we can bring everyone or do you prefer it to be kid free?

    January 3, 2014

    • Meredyth

      As long as you're okay with the kiddos being around adults drinking adult beverages, bring 'em along!

      2 · January 3, 2014

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