Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fur Rendezvous, Sunday

Saturday we just wanted to go see Fur Rondy. On Sunday we decided to jump right in and experience it. We started bright and early (for an Alaskan winter) at 10 am at the Peanut Farm, which is a local sports bar. They were hosting Ice Bowling on the pond behind the restaurant.

The lanes are a little shorter and right next to each other without gutters or dividers. And since the ice isn't perfectly smooth, and gets progressively less smooth as you throw a bowling ball across it, it makes for some interesting bowling. I, in one throw, successfully managed to get a strike on two lanes as the ball ricocheted off the back barriers of hay. Luckily for the bowlers, there were volunteer children (or maybe the employees' kids being forced) to retrieve the balls and reset the pins after every throw.

I hit no pins on my first and last throws of the day, but managed to knock every pin down on every throw in between (except one) to finish the 10 frames with a score of 258 (about 40 higher than I have ever finished in real bowling). Rebekah came in at a very respectable 99, which was around where the rest of our friends came in.

(Rebekah got a little intense)

After a small stop off for lunch, we went to Jason and Brittany's place just in time to watch the 3rd period and overtime of the memorable Gold Medal Olympic Hockey game between Canada and the USA. We were convinced that it was destiny for the US to win after the tying goal with less than a minute remaining in the 3rd period, but somehow Sid the Kid managed to pull off the winning goal for Canada.

From there we walked down the street to watch part of the World Championship Sled Dog Races, which occurs during the first weekend of Fur Rondy. Many of these mushers are the same that compete in the Iditarod, which begins the following weekend. However, these are their sprint dog teams instead of the endurance teams they will use during that race. The World Championship Sled Dog Race is a three day race completing a loop in Anchorage. It lasts only a couple of hours per day and is based off elapsed time. As with all sled dog races, they let a team go every couple of minutes so the teams are spaced out for the safety of the dogs and drivers.

Next we drove down to Ship Creek to view the entries in the Snow Sculpture Contest.

It was amazing what the teams were able to make out of blocks and piles of snow.

The winning entry (and our favorite) showed a Native Alaskan in a small one person fishing boat and a giant fish. The entry was very detailed and looked like it took a long time to complete.

After parking downtown, we walked down to 4th Avenue to participate in the Running of the Reindeer. This was the 3rd annual event, and basically it is a 6 block run. First they let a group of people start running down the snow covered street.

About 10 seconds after the start they release a half dozen male reindeer (oh, and they have sprayed the urine of female reindeer in heat on the trailers at the end of the race) which run as fast as they can through the crowd to the end.

Chaos ensues as many people are scared by the proximity to the reindeer. However, the reindeer just try to avoid the people and no one has been hurt in the race in the three years it has been put on (by the reindeer at least, a few people have fallen on the snow and ice).

Did I mention that people like to wear crazy costumers?

As we walked back to our cars, we stopped to watch the blanket toss going on at the carnival. It looked like fun, but we were all worn out from the long day and decided to go home and sleep.


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