Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ashton -- and Uncharted -- in Action

You learn things about people when you hang out in the bitter cold with them. Alan, for example, has learned to temper his photographers' adrenaline, knowing that it's best to save your energy for a good variety of shots than to exhaust yourself by taking every single photo opportunity and ending up with a lot more shots that look exactly the same. Then there's John, who carries his civil engineering love of animal waste digesters into many other areas of his life -- including a stop at the American Dog Derby in Ashton, Idaho, where he gleefully took photos of defecating dogs, presumably to add to his collection. (Sorry, John, it's just too funny not to mention it; if you want revenge, please post the photo you have of me clutching my frozen chin with a look of agony on my face.)

Yes, we survived the derby, which you'll be reading about on Uncharted soon enough. But here's just a sneak peek. First of all, the leading picture here is of Klondike Barbie, being pulled by a very enthusiastic chihuahua at the dog derby's mutt races.

For the uninitiated, the American Dog Derby is one of the largest sled dog races in the United States. More information on the race's origins and history may be found here.

The event, of course, is all about the dogs. Dogs abound. There are hundreds of dogs at the derby. Shy ones like this. Boastful basset hounds. Before the races started at 8:30 am, the air in Ashton was rich with the yelps, whines, growls and barks of these dogs. Very surreal.

Here we see Frank Caccavo, fifth-place finisher in the 60-mile race, bringing his dog team into Ashton.

And here, a closeup. I truly aspire to this Sourdough look.

And finally, here are John and Alan, frozen, sunburned, and totally happy to have been in Ashton for the day.

I apologize for this lackluster entry. I'm a bit tired. The story, I promise, will be better than this. Of course, the quality can only go up from here.

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