I am simply stunned by the amount of positive support for Make-A-Wish Kid Hannah, today. Signs downtown, signs along the trail, signs at the finish line – THIS is why we love Alaska, and this is why our family is committed to organizations promoting the outdoors, kids, and the 49th state.
Hannah and #38 musher Ramey Smyth left the starting line of Iditarod 2013 a little after 11 a.m. this morning, weaving their way through downtown Anchorage to the wooded trails of Campbell Tract, receiving high-fives, waves, and shouts of “Go Hannah, GO!”
I spent the morning in the start chute with her dad, who took one look at the signs and shot a wild series of iPhone messages back and forth to Hannah’s mom and sisters, still at the staging area. “Wow,” was all he could say.
Hannah and Ramey went by in a foggy flurry of legs, muzzles, and ganglines, as Dad and I rushed to the Campbell Tract to greet both the sunshine and the team. A warm hour of hospitality later (thanks AK Dad and familes from Rilke Schule German School), and here they were! Ramey had stopped the sled just before the airstrip, pulled off his bib and placed it on Hannah. Standing on the runners was #38, proud as can be, Ramey directing the team from behind. That got a smile.
The Smyth family gave their time and energy to this project, and I can’t think of a better team to usher Hannah into this new phase of her life. I think she’s ready, though. And I think we all learned something, today.