Virtual Trail Journey: Checkpoint -Trail Information

Virtual Trail Journey

Did you know that Iditarod dogs train for about 3,000 miles before they do the 1049 miles of Iditarod? My handler has decided to experience this distance on her bike! Yup, since the snow melted, right here on the rural roads of Wisconsin, she has ridden her bike 3000 miles – that’s a lot of …

Virtual Trail Journey – Checkpoint Pronunciation and Quick Facts

How do you say Shaktoolik?  I’m not sure if I’m saying Unalakleet correctly and how cold does it get in Unalkleet?  What about Koyuk?   I get these types of questions on a regular basis.  Seemed like it might be useful to create a guide with pronunciations and pertinent information for teachers and students.  So …

Virtual Trail Journey – Ceremonial Start in Anchorage

About the time that school started this fall, Handler came into the dog lot and said, “Hey big dogs, I started the 1049 mile virtual trail bike ride today. Do you want to hear about Anchorage and the Ceremonial Start?” We answered, “YES” with a load and enthusiastic howl. Handler sat on the roof of …

Virtual Trail Journey – Willow Restart

Restart? How can a race have two starts? This is more than I can wrap my young dog brain around! It’s true though; Iditarod has TWO starts – the CEREMONIAL START in Anchorage and then on the following day the RESTART in Willow. Once the teams leave Willow, it’s pretty difficult for spectators to see …

Virtual Trail Journey – Yentna

The distance from the Willow restart to the first checkpoint, Yentna Station is 42 miles. These are easy miles for the mushers and dog teams as most are on frozen rivers or well traveled snowmachine trails. Most of the traffic at Yentna Station goes straight on through, stopping just long enough to check in and …

Virtual Trail Journey – Skwentna

The distance from Yentna Station to the second checkpoint, Skwentna is 34 miles. These are easy miles for the mushers and dog teams as the trail follows the Yentna River until joining the Skwentna River a couple of miles short of the checkpoint. Most mushers find the trail easy to follow but a few take …

Virtual Trail Journey – Finger Lake

The distance from Skwentna to Finger Lake, population 2, is 45 miles. Roughly, it’ll take four to six hours to cover the mostly uphill route but the trail isn’t too tough. The teams will run across rivers, lakes, swamps and wooded areas. Like I did, with Handler’s help, you can find out a lot about …

Virtual Trail Journey – Rainy Pass

The distance from Finger Lake to Rainy Pass Checkpoint is about 30 miles with some really tough spots along the way. It’s beneficial for mushers and dogs to take a good rest at Finger Lake before heading to the Rainy Pass checkpoint on Puntilla Lake, a run of three to five hours. From Finger Lake …

Virtual Trail Journey – Rohn

I’ve got a question about Rainy Pass so I was really happy to see Handler come into the dog yard. I took careful notes on everything Handler told us about Rainy Pass but I’m still a little confused as to how the checkpoint called Rainy Pass can be at 1,800 feet elevation but Rainy Pass …

Virtual Trail Journey – Rohn to Nikolai

There is so much to share with you about the village of Nikolai, there isn’t enough time or space to tell you about the trail between the two checkpoints. With the stories, pictures Handler has and what I’ve discovered about the trail from the Bower’s Trail Notes in Iditarod’s Guide to the Last Great Race, …