96.1 FM, 780 AM, Yours for Western Alaska

The Calm After The Storm

Iditarod 2012 is over! Life is returning to its regular pace, and Nome is calming down after the flood of visitors and excitement.  Routine responsibilities are back, but the memory of the craziness of Iditarod Nome is still fresh. Congratulations to Dallas Seavey, and all the rest of the finishers on a job well done!

At KNOM, coverage of Iditarod kicks into hyperdrive when the mushers get to Nome. We go into 24 hour coverage with people on 12 + hour shifts. Mine happened to be 10 pm to 10 am. The first seven hours of which I was assigned to be in the spotter vehicle, covering the last three miles of a musher’s final leg: Safety checkpoint to Nome, a 22 mile segment of the 1000 mile race. It was awe inspiring to be out away from the lights of town, sitting in the dark, watching a tiny speck of light from a headlamp slowly get closer, and then being able to see the dogs in the light and hear the jangle of their harness and patter of paws with occasional yips.  It was breathtaking to follow beside them as they finished their race, sometimes going as slow as 3-4 miles an hour, sometimes as fast as 10 mph. Seeing them come up the ice ramp from the sea ice onto Front Street and then down to the finish line, the dogs still wanting to run even after a thousand miles, was a glimpse into another era!

Capping off our Iditarod coverage was the Iditarod Finish Banquet. I have never seen so many people crammed into a gymnasium before. There had to be a couple thousand people in attendance. And the food! Strawberries, shrimp, halibut, prime rib, and fresh fruit salad…it was amazing! I haven’t had fruit as good in months! Little old ladies filled up ziplock bags with leftovers to smuggle out in their purses. It was adorable, and I was jealous that I didn’t think of it for some of the fruit salad and strawberries. The strawberries were arranged by the ton in little dog sleds, they were so cute. The mushers were scattered throughout the gym, sitting at tables with friends and family and regular people. It was really cool, hobnobbing with the rock stars of the arctic world. Within an easy table length from where Ben, Matthew, Matty and I were sitting were Martin and Rohn Buser, Deedee Jonrowe, and Jamie Kinzer. And they were just the ones that I could recognize at the start of the banquet! As the awards ceremony started I began to realize that the mushers were all around us on all sides. Well not really, but kind of! The banquet was a fitting end to an exciting week/ start of a new quieter week!

This week is back to regular, if somewhat recently neglected, duties; I will be adding new music to our library, working on a couple weekend shows, Album Spotlight and Music Detour, and a couple of Movie Soundtrack spots for the month of April. I will produce Crew Picks, a weekday spot where our staff get to pick a song and voice an intro/explanation for why they picked it. I actually like producing Crew Picks because I get to see what my coworkers’ tastes in music are!