The most interesting part of the museum was this new exhibit called "Gyre." A gyre s a circular ocean current that is developed because of the Earth's wind patterns and the forces created by the rotation of our planet. The circular motion of the gyre attracts and draws in garbage. This exhibit showed how much trash we are finding in our oceans. After looking at this exhibit, I believe we need to step up and help our oceans. If you are going to the beach for spring break, like I am, please consider picking up trash. Mother Earth will love it and so will Mrs. Wolff. :)
Between the six of us we have probably taken thousands and thousands of photos. Here are a "few" of my favorites thus far.
Last night we were able to attend the musher banquet. At the musher banquet there were several things happening. There were items for sale, a silent auction, dinner, autograph signing, music by Hobo Jim, and of course the drawing of starting order. I got to meet every single musher. They drew their starting order (which were written on poker chips) out of a mukluk. They had an opportunity to say a few words and then came down a LONG line of people waiting for autographs. I had a poster laying out for them to sign. We also got to sing along with Hobo Jim and his "Iditarod Trail" song that all of Eanes Elementary learned and sang at last week's assembly. It was an exciting night! If you could get one musher's autograph, who would you want?
In the afternoon we rode the bus to Vern Halter's Dream a Dream Dog Farm. He is a former Iditarod racer but now sponsors and supports other racers who use his dogs. This year he is running Cindy Abbott. She began the race last year for the first time but was unable to finish due to medical issues. What do you call it when a person begins the race and then cannot finish? Vern explained a lot of equipment and the process of getting ready for the race. I have video of this talk and will post it later. Afterwards we got to meet all his dogs. Java will be one of Cindy's lead dogs.
Today we went on a field trip to Wasilla and the Iditarod Headquarters. Mushers and their handlers had to check in with vets today by 5:00 p.m. They had the option of visiting their approved race vet or coming here to the headquarters. About 40 mushers showed up today. We saw Jan Steves, Charley Bejna, Robert Bundtzen, Marcelle Fressineau, Karin Hendrickson, and Jason Mackey, as well as many others. The dogs had their pre-race physicals. Vets checked HAW & L. Do you know what each letter in HAW & L stands for? Make your guesses. We watched as vets check every aspect of the dogs. They double checked the micro chip which will be rechecked at the restart of the race. They looked at feet, body shape, listened to hearts and lungs. Most of the vets at this location are rookie vets getting their first try at checking in dogs.
After our conference today we went on a field trip to artist Jon Van Zyle's lovely home and kennel. When we arrived, they took us to the dog yard and all 8 dogs were chained to their houses. Most were on top of their houses enjoying all the attention. Then they unleashed the dogs. They were so energetic and friendly.They loved being petted and loved on. We had lots of opportunities for great dog photos AND dog kisses. At one point Daddy found and caught a mouse and that brought a lot of excitement. Once we had our fill of dog love, we were invited into their home and Jon's studio. They served snacks and drinks. Among the snacks were dried salmon and reindeer sausage. Both were delicious, although I couldn't really tell that the sausage was different. We were allowed to look around at their home and Jon's art. They even had pieces for sale. Jon and his wife, Jona were such lovely hosts. One of the most interesting things in the home was a female walrus skull with tusks still attached. Do you know how to tell the difference between female walrus tusks and male tusks? Send me your guesses...
I am a first grade teacher and I am so excited to participate in this project with my colleagues.