Thursday, March 1, 2012

Antique Snowmobiles, Iron Dog Race Take Center Stage

by Nancy DeWitt

Another fun Tired Iron vintage snowmobile rally has come and gone. We, along with hundreds of others, had a blast out on the frozen Chena River last Saturday. The snow was a little too soft and sugary for our Model T Snow Flyer's taste, but Willy was able to coax her from the boat landing down to the staging area for the Jurassic Classic race. We didn't dare give rides (we were boxed in anyway), but kids had fun sitting in the Flyer.


 
One of the things I love about Fairbanks is that there is rarely a shortage of things to do here, even during the winter. If we get bored, we sometimes use children as human bowling balls and try to knock down big plastic "moose poop" pins at the end of an icy lane. Great fun!




At Tired Iron one could also try their luck at hitting a golf ball into the top of an outhouse, or take a ride in a dog sled. One of Saturday's highlights was watching the winners of the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race come screaming in to the finish line on the river. Congratulations to the winning team of Dusty VanMeter and Marc McKenna. They covered the route in record time (just over 35 hours running time) on their Ski-Doo snowmachines.




My favorite event at Tired Iron is the Jurassic Classic race. The organizers describe it as "intended for sleds no faster than 25 MPH, and for drivers that still have their faculties, but not necessarily their original teeth, hips, or knees." One racer was 84, and at least two others were older than 90! They all raced around a loop designed for a good view "for your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and for our CPR crew." Click on the photos for larger view of some of the sleds that participated.







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