This Discovery Channel show can be watched on Netflix on Demand (which incidentally is worth Netflix in and of itself) and follows 9 "teams" on the 2008 Iditarod dogsled race in Alaksa. I put "teams" in quotes because teams consist of a "musher" and 16 or so dogs. I'm not counting the dogs as teammates. My favorite teams so far are:
DeeDee: breast cancer survivor who has decked her entire sled, dogs and snow-dress in pink. This is DeeDee's 26th Iditarod.
Rick the Diabetes Guy: Rick has diabetes and keeps losing his medicine.
Cocky Jeff: Jeff King is the Tiger Woods of dog sledding. I bet he gets the same amount of ass. You should see this guy sign autographs.
Martin and Rohn: Martin and Rohn are a father-son duo who are racing against each other. It's very sweet. Also, Rohn's hot in a Levi Johnston kind of way.
And finally, Lance: Lance is like spindly, straight-shootin', faux-wood paneling man. He's in it for the belt buckle, regarded as the Grand Prize of the Iditerod, even though the winner also gets $69,000 and a pick-up truck.
All of these people are huge Alaskan celebrities, but it's all about Jeff and Lance. These two talk like you, me and everyone we know have spent our entire lives dreaming of one day being Iditerod champions. Like the Iditerod is part of every American's life since birth, like the Superbowl but important.
I've always thought, "What's the big deal about the Iditerod? It's a sled ride. I could totally do that."
Now that I'm an Iditerod expert and enthusiast (thank you once again, Discovery Channel), I will admit this shit is really hard. It's 1,000 miles and one has to like dogs. So I'm out right there. But watching these people is fascinating in 43-minute increments. They all have complex recipes of gruel they feed their "team", they've all got these devoted families who work and train year round so that dear old mom or dad probably WON'T bring home $69,000 and a pick-up truck, and they're all sponsored.
By Taco Bell. And Wells Fargo.
Plus, they go through unrelenting parts of the Alaskan wilderness with names like "the Buffalo's rib cage" and "Widow's Gorge."
Also, not to go all Into the Wild or anything, but I really do love Alaska. I could live there, in boots and hats and rustic furniture.
"What ever happened to Beth?"
"Oh, you didn't hear? She moved. To Alaska."
"No, I'm serious. She lives in Ketichican and has a show on public access. She also runs Bingo Night at the Kiwanis Club and is training for something. The Idea-race or something."
Quote of the race thus far, which I can't stop saying much to the confusion of my co-workers:
"Larry's my brains, Hobo's my speed."
-Jeff Mackey, re: his dogs...