Nome Sweet Nome at last

After 1,100 mile journey, duo makes banquetNobody said it would be easy. And to answer that one rhetorically, it never is.But 72-year-old Bob Jones of Kettle Falls and his son-in-law, Josh Rindal, made it to Nome, Alaska and the end of the fabled Iditarod Sled Dog Race last weekend. As is usually the case for Jones, who knows the Iditarod Trail better than a lot of the mushers who traverse the 1,100 miles from just north of Anchorage to Nome each late winter, chasing the mushers to Nome is arduous, dangerous, and challenging. Despite the best-laid plans, there are always bumps in the trail.After all, snow machines aren’t necessarily built for the Iditarod Trail.“You’ve got to be able to adapt,” Jones said of following the mushers on snowmobiles. “We aren’t through yet. We still have to get Josh’s borrowed machine back to Unalakleet.”Something borrowed…something definitely not newRead about the adventure of the balky snow machine and the “begged, borrowed, but not stolen” sled the pair borrowed to get into Nome in this week’s Bob Jones Iditarod Trail Journal.For the record, Dallas Seavey, who turned 25 on March 4, became the youngest musher to win the Iditarod. Seavey, who started the race officially north of Anchorage on his birthday, ran his nine-dog team under the famous burled arch finish line in Nome last Tuesday at 7:29 p.m.Seavey described his dog team as a team that had the ability to win the Iditarod, but not a team that could win the race “no matter what.”He said his was a fragile team, but one that was “perfect” if built correctly.“We spent most of the race building a monster, a dog team that could not be stopped,” Seavey said.Seavey took command of the race at the Unalakleet checkpoint, not too many miles from where Jones and Rindall had snow machine issues late last week.Four-team race to the Bering SeaOnce he was able to take command toward the end, he said it took every bit of his team’s energy and ability to fend off mushers Aliy Zirkle and Aaron Burmeister. Zirkle finished second, Ramey Smyth was third and Burmeister got into Nome fourth. The race was a Seavey family deal this year. Three generations of Seavey men, including Dallas’ 74-year-old grandfather, Dan (in his fifth race), were in the field.Dallas’ father, Mitch, was the 2004 champion.Dallas Seavey is a former Alaska high school wrestling champion who spent a year at the U.S. Olympic training center before turning his attention back to the dogs and Iditarod. For getting to Nome first, Seavey won $50,400 and a new truck. Sixty-six teams started the race back on March 4. This week’s Journal inside this edition fo SE Sports.