Yesterday we traveled to the Iditarod headquarters where the official vet checks took place. We were thrilled to meet many mushers who were very busy and focused on having their dogs checked by the volunteer Iditarod vets on duty. This is required to be able to race the Iditarod.
Jan Steves was the first musher there, and it was a pleasure to visit with her. She loves her dogs so much, and she started mushing in 2009. Wow!
She was also the Red Lantern winner her rookie year; which is the coolest thing! I snapped a photo of the official red lantern trophy in the headquarters. I love the idea that the last musher is honored in this way. It is not when you finish, but that you tried that matters! She answered some questions I had, and I so appreciated her time! Here is the link to her bio, photo and video below:
I have been meeting mushers this week during the teacher conference, both past and present. These are amazing people who have a real passion and love of dogs and Alaskan heritage. Today I met Angie Taggart a two time veteran. She is a teacher from Ketchikan, Alaska, and ran her first race in 2011, again last year, and is taking a break this year. She was actually quite tall, and was kind enough to "lower" herself to meet me in the photo! I also have a picture of her belt buckle. This is given to every musher and team that survives the trip and passes the finish line into Nome. It doesn't matter when you arrive, you are honored with this special buckle if you are a rookie musher. Angie was the 105th woman to ever finish the Ididarod, and she was wearing it proudly when I met her. She said, "It was the greatest time of my life."
Watch Mike the Guide as he explains how to mush on a sled and lead a team without falling off!!
It has been a whirlwind of activity here at the Iditarod Teacher Winter Conference. We are treated like out of town royalty and we have been amazed at the access we have been given to the dogs, vets, teachers, and officials here. Wonderful food and friends make this a wonderful teacher training. I am a little behind in my blogging, so I am going to try and catch up with a post about dog sledding. I was really surprised at how my impressions changed about how to mush at the Ididaride dog sledding tour. We are all so glad we had this first experience before the race started to see what dog sledding is really like.
Before we went dog sledding we had time to kill, so obviously we goofed off. We made snow angels, practiced "sledding" and played with moose antlers we found. It was fun being a kid again!
I am a real musher! We had the time of our lives at Mitch Seavey's homestead. Mitch Seavey, of course, won the Iditarod last year, and his family has 3 generations of Iditarod racers in his family. His sledding tour company was absolutely on our bucket list. It was an amazing experience!
We arrived in Anchorage around midnight, but after a few hours of rest, we woke up, dressed in our sled gear, and headed out to Seward, Alaska to fulfill the dream of all of us...to dog sled! We went to Mitch Seavey's homestead, and his dog sledding tour company called Ididaride. We stopped along the way to snap amazing photos of the beauty of the wild around us!
So, this was the longest flight for me. We were exhausted adjusting to the time difference over several time zones. However, we all got excited watching the airplane map on the video screen on our seats as we flew over Canada and made our landing in Anchorage. You could see Russi You can see Mrs. Brewer and Mrs. Wolff were watching all the action! Let the journey begin!
About Ms. Wright
I have taught 20 years, and 17 of them here at EES! I love Project Based Learning and thematic teaching to help lessons come alive! I love animals and respect nature, and I bring that passion to my students! I am thrilled to be a part of this special project!