How… Do… You… Do!!!

30 09 2009

Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Vern Lundquist…



Guess Who’s Back

29 09 2009

We are.  No post today on our adventures down south, but probably can get something up with photos tomorrow or Thursday.

Here was the itinerary:

Thursday, September 17th: Chicago (Cubs game and visiting Lauren)

September 18th – 20th: Gulf Shores (beach and Michele’s triathlon)

September 21st – 25th: Brian in Mobile, Michele in Shreveport

September 26th: Tuscaloosa (Roll Tide)

September 27th: San Diego (Chargers-Dolphins and visit Jamie)

September 28th: Back to Juneau via day spent in Seattle (Kelly, John, Ashley, Abigail)

The Klondike Road Relay Wrap-Up

15 09 2009

I have determined – and will preface this post by saying – I don’t think I can accurately sum up this road relay.  I will do my best to explain what exactly went down, but it’s something I think you have to experience to truly get the feel for it.

First things first: our team name.  (Quick side note – while I did not run a leg in the race, I did wear a team jersey and drive the RV for much of the time, not to mention the moral support I contributed.  So I will use the phrase “our team.”)  Team name… we were sponsored in part by Karen’s dad’s furniture store, named Godnick’s Furniture.  Our team name was “Are You there Godnick?  It’s Me Klondike.”

This team name was (a) a play on a Judy Blume book, (b) a mouthful to say to other people, (c) rarely understood due to Godnick’s Furniture being a Vermont business, (d) too long to fit in the official team name block so the “dike” got left off, and (e) still got a laugh from some folks when they heard it.

Here’s the breakdown of who ran what leg: (1) Michele, (2) Eric, (3) Tom, (4) Kelly, (5) Karen, (6) Mike, (7) Leif, (8) Evan, (9) Mattie, (10) Lisa.

Michele, Karen, Mike’s mom Lynn, and me took the ferry on Thursday evening to Skagway.  Here’s the gang on the ferry ride…


Friday, we drove from Skagway to Whitehorse (Canada!)  to pick up our RV for the trip.  As it turns out, this is a really nice drive, especially with all the leaves changing.  Unfortunately, much of the race takes place in the middle of the night, so the runners don’t get to enjoy the scenery.  Here’s a little of what they missed…



Don’t get me started on the foliage!!!




We picked up the rest of the team at the ferry terminal and headed to dinner at the Skagway Brewing Company.   After dinner, we were within 90 minutes of Michele’s start time.  I conducted a few pre-race interviews, and then Michele headed toward the starting line.  We took our team photo there, which I posted yesterday.  Here’s the scene at the start line…


Every runner was different in how they wanted the RV to drive with them.  Michele wanted us to drive ahead about 1-2 miles, then wait for her to come by.  At this point, everyone cheers on the runner, gives them water or Gatorade, then loads up to do the same process over again.  It was kinda funny, though, how the numbers cheering dwindled as the night got deeper.  At 9:45 during Michele’s run, the whole team was out yelling.  By Kelly’s leg at 2am, the cheering section was a little smaller.  But with some people running a 10-mile leg at 8am, no one was offended that those runners wanted (and needed) some sleep.

Here’s what the checkpoint at the end of each leg looked like, and then one of Michele nearing the finish…




Eric ran Leg 2, which I apparently did not photograph, other than this one of him taking off…


I took some video of Eric coming across the finish line and tagging Tom for his run.  Seeing as he is Canadian, Tom got to run the leg that crossed the border into Canada.  He ran on while the border patrol folks checked out the RV to make sure everything was on the up and up.

Shortly after crossing the border, it was time for Kelly’s run.  Here she is getting prepared, and you can see Eric on the right relaxing after his run…


This is Evan, who ran Leg 8 on Saturday mid-morning.  He took a different route for his preparation…


This is Kelly coming up on the finish line of her 12-mile leg, and Karen is preparing to run…


Here’s Karen in the pitch black.  She was not too fond of running alone in the dark, so the RV kept a steady pace not too far behind her…


And here’s me adding the moral support I mentioned above (i.e. You Can Do It!)…


I took this photo of the sun coming up while we were waiting for Karen to arrive at the checkpoint and tag in Mike…


Here comes Karen across the finish line and Mike getting ready for 16-mile mammoth trek.  This is really the only good changeover photo I got, though I got some excellent video of most of the others…


We drove a few miles ahead to wait for Mike (though there was some confusion between Mike and our RV as to what mile he was on).  We stopped at a really nice scenic overview that had a lake with the sun coming up in the background.  Not a bad spot to relax at 6am…



Mike’s leg ended in the metropolis of Carcross.  The population of this Yukon town is at 431 right now, but they did have a gas station with coffee.  And Carcross is home to what many consider to be the smallest desert in the world.  Check here for more on that.


Mike tagged in Leif for his leg, and we again drove about 3 miles ahead to wait.  Sometimes there were no turnouts in the area you needed to stop, so you just would slide the RV over to the shoulder.  Normally, this would get you honked at, at the very least – but there is an understanding during the race, so no dirty looks.  And while it was not an official “scenic overlook,” the view from here is not too shabby…


Here’s Leif cruising along…


We drove ahead to Emerald Lake to wait for Leif on his next water check.  This is a really cool spot – and as you can see by my visor, I am blending in well with our Canadian neighbors.  However, about 20 minutes after this photo was taken, Michele and I got our first napping opportunity since we woke up at 8am on Friday.  We snoozed for about 45 minutes or so…


But after the nap, I was back at it…


This is Evan carrying us through Leg 8.  Looks as if his PBR prep was not a bad choice…


Here’s Mattie getting ready for her run, Leg 9.  She was dubbed “Klondike Barbie” by our team and forced to pose for this promotional photo…


When you’ve just finished running 30 miles between the two of you, this is what happens…


Here’s Mattie getting a sip of Gatorade as Evan runs alongside, likely stealing my words of wisdom and claiming them as his own (You Can Do It!)…


This photo can give you a good idea of how hilly the route is.  Michele and Eric had the greatest elevation increase for their legs, but every leg had its share of nasty hills.  This is Mattie on the downhill portion of one of those rolling hills…


And finally, just a mere 19 hours after it all started, Lisa comes running across the finish line to end the race…


And in the end, everyone still managed to have a smile…


The Klondike Preview

15 09 2009

This past weekend Michele and I had the rather wild experience of participating in the Klondike Road Relay.  I am not going to get into all the specifics at this point (hopefully tomorrow), but it’s basically a team relay run from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Canada.  We had a team of 10 runners that took on different legs in an effort to make the 110 miles between the two towns.  Fortunately for me, I was the official driver of the RV and did not run any of the exhausting legs.  Michele ran Leg 1, which was an 8.8 miles trek almost completely uphill.

The race started for our team at 9pm, and our last runner crossed the finish line right around 2pm the next day.  Of course, the majority of the race is in pitch black darkness, with the sun not coming up for us until the very end of Leg 5.

Anyway, it was a really fun weekend overall.  We took tons of photos as always, and I documented the event on video (ending with about 20 or so small clips ).  Below are a few photos to give you a taste of what went on.

This here is an RV…


And this is what the scenery was like on the road…


Here’s Michele and me pre-race…


Here’s the whole team pre-race…


This is Michele finishing up Leg 1…


And finally, here’s me taking on my leg of the race!  Actually, I ran 0.4 km with Karen at around 4am…


Fishing With John

9 09 2009

All right, it was actually Fishing with Jay.  And Jessica.  And Jayden.  But maybe you have heard of the cult TV show called “Fishing With John.”  If not, you can click here to read a little about it.  We got the call on Sunday morning that they were headed out if we wanted to join in on the fun.  Of course we did.  While it was a little chilly out, the water was completely smooth.  And the fishing turned out to be great as well.

Once we got the Sraders’ dog, Kiska, in her life preserver, we were ready to go.  There is also a motto about dogs in Alaska: Dogs don’t float.  Though we think most can swim pretty well.


After minimal success in our first spot (some rockfish), Jay took us to a spot where he claimed you could “fish for anything.”  And you know what, he was not lying.  In said spot, our boat managed to pull in (a) halibut, (2) rockfish, (3) yellow-eye rockfish, and (4) Irish Lord (a.k.a. double ugly, a.k.a. not a keeper).

Jim started off the catching by pulling in his first keeper fish of the year.  And for those of you who know Jim, he was – of course – unable to just smile at the camera with his catch.



And here’s Michele prize-winning fish, the yellow-eye rockfish.  This thing was really awesome.


Here’s Jay saying, “I think there’s an annual limit on this fish of around 1 per year per person.  Great catch.”



But I still can’t figure out why it’s called a “yellow eye” rockfish.  I actually like to imagine this fish with money wrapped around it and the Geico commercial song playing in the background (“I always feel like, somebody’s watching me…).


Jayden came through with the biggest catch of the day, pound for pound.  He brought in this halibut, which made enough for about 6-8 servings.


And last but not least, what fishing trip is complete without a little humpback dive action?


Barkley’s Day of Football

8 09 2009

It was a big Saturday for us, and for Barkley. While I was personally excited to see how Greg Paulus did as quarterback for Syracuse (not too bad, by the way), Barkley was not as interested in that game. He mainly just wanted to relax and get mentally prepared for the Georgia-OSU game…

He was pretty excited when the Dawgs took the field.  He sat on the ottoman so he could be the closest to the TV…


I must say, he really enjoyed the first quarter and most of the second quarter of the game, but then Oklahoma State started to get on a roll.  He had not given up hope at halftime, but after the Cowboys’ returner took the ball all the way to the UGA 24 yard-line, he began to lose interest and focus on looking out the window.


And as soon as the 4th quarter began, Barkley looked to Michele and said, “Can I please put my hounds tooth collar on now?”  She said that was no problem.  Then, as you can see in the photo below, he let out a huge “Roooooooollllllllllll Tiiiiiiiide Roll!”


Good News and Bad News

8 09 2009

The bad news first – I have yet to get photos from our fishing trip with the Sraders downloaded onto the computer, except for one I took with my phone (seen below).


We were rather successful, with Michele catching ol’ yellow-eye there at the top left.  Don’t worry, though, more photos to come.

The good news?  My buddy Leighton sent me this awesome YouTube clip that I feel obliged to share.  This will certainly tide you over until tomorrow.  Right?