Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Iditarod....A Day at the Races

I rather know what to expect, style-wise, from the Carolina Cup or the Kentucky Derby. I wondered how people might dress for the Iditarod in chilly Alaska. Would they, as I had, wear everything they owned in order to keep warm?
No, it seems that cold-weather race days can be as stylish as spring horse events. And hats were very big (and popular) here too....
Thinking this man was being attacked by a rabid three-tailed lynx, I tried to wrestle his hat from his head. I fear he did not appreciate my Good Samaritan efforts. Fur was popular and not just for hats....
I saw a number of traditional Eskimo parkas....so much lovelier, I think, than puffy plastic coats. This one, in the photograph below, had elaborate pleats over a fur underskirt and a collar that looked like bear paws....
My new acquaintance, native Alaskan Louise Crow, tells me that Eskimos know better than nearly anyone how to stay warm in extreme cold and that the rest of us can learn from Inuit clothing.
As for the younger set, it seemed mittens and snowsuits were the order of the day....
These little mushers in training were adorable tykes. Look at them go.

I later heard that Alaska's mavericky ex-governor was among the race fans. Though I did not see her, I now have a newfound respect for her ability to look attractive in this harsh environment. How does she avoid hat-head? A permanent red nose? Why does she look trim in her coat while I cut a figure that resembles the Michelin Man's? I'd very much like to know.

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