Karen Ramstead leaving Koyuk Checkpoint as she drops onto the sea ice (Iditarod 2012)
Karen Ramstead has declared 2014 her last Iditarod. She has run several and this energetic soul has many irons in the fire she would like to attend to. But, didn’t Jeff King say something like that a couple of years ago? Only to come back this year (2013) and take 3rd. I watched this competitive musher blow through the Koyuk Checkpoint and give Mitch Seavey and Ali Zirkle a run for the money.
Racing the Iditarod is hard work and expensive. Karen has been non-stop promoting her team of beautiful Siberian Huskies since the end of the 2013 Iditarod, where she participated as a race judge.
I worked with Karen in designing her Winter Chicks identity. She will be selling water bottles and caps with the Winter Chicks logo to help finance her 2014 Iditarod bid. Winter Chicks is her team of crazy women biking across Iowa (440 miles) in July when the temperatures and humidity are both 100. I hope she makes it. Yeah I have no idea what biking in Iowa has to do with going to Nome but Karen knows. I just make the impossible, possible—a Siberian Husky peddling a bike.
You can read more about Winter Chicks and Karen’s preparations for Iditarod 2014 on her North Wapiti Kennels Blog. Karen I wish you the best.
Winter Chicks cap
You get a bonus with Karen’s kennel named on the back of the cap.
Karen better have several of these when she crosses Iowa in July.
When I first volunteered for the Iditarod in 2012 I was sent to the Koyuk Checkpoint as a Checker. While there I saw the scene below and recorded it. I used a blurry, overcast photo to help me finish this sketch. The image didn’t match how I felt about Koyuk, so I added color and blue sky.
This year (2013) I was again located in Koyuk (with an amazing crew by the way). Patti Martin, a teacher for Koyuk, would shuffle the checkpoint volunteers back and forth on her ATV to take showers at Malemute High School. I was blown away when we crest the hill and this exact view was literally staring me in the face with the same lighting and colors. The six sided roofed building is the church. I’ve also attached a crude map of the the west end of Koyuk locating the checkpoint, and the church I sketched.
Karen Ramstead who has run the Iditarod many times as a musher, was the checkpoint judge at Koyuk this year. She has written an excellent post on her blog, North Wapiti Kennels, about the “Anatomy of a Checkpoint” If you would like to know more about how a checkpoint operates I encourage you to click on the link provided and check it out.
Koyuk back streets.
Map of west end of Koyuk.