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Out & About: Irondogging the Iditarod Trail


OUTMUSHINE – Snowmobiler Bob Jones of Kettle Falls started following the Iditarod Sled Dog Race near Anchorage on March 3 in mild 25 degree temperatures, but he soon got a real-time briefing on local snow conditions.

“I got terminally stuck a couple of miles short of Yenta Station, and when I stepped off the machine I went in above my waist,” he said, recalling that he’d just seen moose browsing in snow above their knees.

Jones’ companion, his son-in-law Josh Rindal, who works at Fairchild Air Force Base, helped for an hour to get the sled moving.

“Then Josh immediately got stuck worse than I had been,” Jones said in an email.

“When we finally staggered into the station, they told us that it had snowed 30 inches two days ago. That was on top of the big load already there.”

Read more of Jones’ Iditarod Diary in Rich Landers’ Outdoors Blog at


Lottery program offers disabled-hunter access

OUTHUNT – Inland Empire Paper Co. is donating 25 special access passes for a disabled hunter and companion to enter the timber company’s land.

The Inland Northwest Wildlife Council is handling a drawing for the passes.

Applications are due by April 6 for the drawing on April 9.

Get applications at the council’s booth during the Big Horn Outdoor Adventure Show, after the show at the INWC office, 6116 N. Market, or online in the council’s February newsletter,

Info: Larry Carey, 328-6429.

Swan, crane festivals signup under way

OUTPRODUCE – Organized outings and access to experts are among the benefits of visiting festivals celebrating the arrival of migrating birds.

Tundra Swan Day in the Pend Oreille Valley, set for Saturday, is a good example of locals sharing a wildlife spectacle in their backyard.

Based near Usk in the Kalispell Tribe’s Wellness Center, the day includes a tour to see tundra swans at Calispell Lake, plus lunch and presentations by speakers on topics ranging from swans to area wolverine research.

Preregister for the tour at

Cost: $10 adults, $5 youths under 13, includes lunch.

Info: (509) 447-5286.

Sandhill Crane Festival in Othello, March 23-25.

Preregister for events at othellosandhillcrane

Info: (866) 726-3445.

Program highlights local butterflies

OUTSEE – Spokane butterfly expert John Baumann will present a free program about butterflies of the Inland Northwest on Wednesday sponsored by the Spokane Audubon Society. Program is set for 7 p.m. at Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., off Upriver Drive.

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