Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fur Rondy 2009

Fur Rondy is the annual winter carnival in Anchorage that kicks off the Iditarod. The event dates back to the Fur Rendez-vous of days' old, when trappers would come into Anchorage to trade their wares. The festival still has fur auctions but now features ferris wheels and outhouse races. We had a snow filled, cold, classic winter carnival day. The parade differed from other parades I have witnessed. First, it was very quiet. We had one band at the beginning, but no others participated. The "floats" were vintage cars, Harleys, and tractors. My favorite was the Studebaker with the license plate, "STUDLY." The crowd cheered some, but the clapping and salutations were muffled by the coats, scarves, and gloves. Some of the eye candy on display was the beautiful furs people wore. Some have very intricate patterns along the edges, mimicking carvings on a totem pole.

WARNING: Disturbing read coming next (scroll to the next paragraph if you are an animal lover). There was a "wolf man" walking the crowd and allowing people to take a picture of him. He had a wolf pelt, complete with head and teeth, that he wore atop his fur hat, almost like a headdress. The body of the wolf hung down his back, complete with tanned paws. To me it was disturbing but yet somewhat of a novelty. I have my own views of hunting wolf vice another animal that you could actually consume, but suffice to say, I did not pose for a candid shot. Nonetheless, it is just part of living in Alaska.

A shot I wish I did get was the port-a-potty. Why? Well, first, it was a very, very cold way to obey the call of Mother Nature. Nevertheless, I did laugh out loud when I took a gander at the urinal post in the house, and I saw ice in the bottom. Haha! Only in Alaska do you have to worry about pee freezing into a cube in a port a potty. In my lifetime, I do not think I had to take off that many layers to pee, and yet still be outside-- somewhat.

I wish I had been in a prime spot to take pictures of the OutHouse Races. Teams build their own outhouse, complete with bars along the back against which they push the house around the course-- while occupied. Yes, you read correctly. Some poor sap had to sit there and be thrown around the course of snow, as his or her team not-so-expertly manuevered the house around obstacles and over speed bumps. The names of the teams were great. A police unit sponsored, "Cop a Squat" and then there were the typical names you would expect, such as "Streak Marks."

I took a lot of pictures, so if you like the hilarious photo below, click on the following facebook link to see the other pics. Don't worry, you don't have to be a member to see my photos. I did not purchase the hat, but I did succumb to the fabulous warmth of mink earmuffs that are lined with beaver. They don't match my cloudveil blue jacket, but my ears have never been warmer.


Flo said...

I love the photos!! It's really cool to see so much of the community out celebrating, Anchorage looks beautiful when it's snowing!

Lance said...

Is there anything that one could say about that shot that "can't be inappropriate"??? As for your 'layer' discussion...well, obviously you just need to wear fewer layers! Love the photos. Lance