Oregon musher, Liz Parrish, has spent the past 10 years training, dreaming, and saving – all for the 2008 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The self-employed innkeeper of the pet friendly Crystal Wood Lodge in Klamath Falls, Oregon – Parrish accomplished her dream by finishing the 2008 Iditarod while simultaneously celebrating her 50th birthday.
“Since then I have felt incredibly fortunate to have done it and shared it with the dogs. I can’t get my head around the whole thing — it’s too huge,” states Parrish.
In training for her 2008 Iditarod adventure, Liz Parrish has been able to use the extensive trail system surrounding her lodge located in the southern Oregon cascades.
During the first years of mushing Liz’s team consisted mainly of purebred Siberian Huskies, but then moved on to a team compiled of Alaskans. Her kennel, Briar’s Patch Sled Dogs – actively maintained a heavy schedule of races in preparation for the Iditarod. Including completion of the Eagle Cap 200 & the 350 mile Race to the Sky in Montana. Parrish maintained a pool of 18 dogs for inclusion in her 16-dog Iditarod team.
Over the years Parrish has actively participated in & supported Jamie Nelson & Ann Stead’s Mushing Boot Camp, through her Crystal Wood Lodge destination. The use of the Crystal Wood Lodge facilities has allowed Nelson & Stead to host a yearly Boot Camp at Parrish’s location – due to the ease of use in lodging and trail systems.
Though Parrish has decided not to run the race again in the future – the accomplishment will live on with her & her dogs for the rest of her life.
“I got all choked up and cried. I accomplished what I set out to do.”