Author: Heidi Sloan (143 posts)


Eggs on a Sled?

Dear Friends, We know that sled dogs helped get mail and supplies to gold miners in the 1800s and early 1900s.  Did you know that they also helped transport eggs?  The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., has a display that talks about eggs being part of the Alaskan mail system!  It was difficult …

Training Sled Dogs to Accept Booties

Dear Friends, Winter is here and we sled dogs are loving our training runs with the mushers!  Many of you know that we wear cloth booties on our feet when we run the Iditarod.  These fit over our four paws and a Velcro strip keeps each snug on our ankles.   The reason we wear …

November Teaching Ideas

Listening Center Have you ever explored the photography of the Iditarod with your students?  A center you could use with your students is called Faces of the Iditarod.  The link is located on the homepage of iditarod.com, down on the right side.  Jeff Schultz, official photographer of the Iditarod for many years, started a project …

2018 Teacher on the Trail™ Heidi Sloan’s Most Memorable Moment

Teachers on the Trail™ do not travel with dog teams and sleds, though we may dream of doing so.  Instead, to travel to the interior communities that serve as checkpoints, we ride in small bush planes with the Iditarod Air Force!  Flying over the pristine wilderness of the Alaska Range with rivers winding like snakes …

Changes on the Iditarod

Dear Friends,   We just completed the 49th Iditarod Race!  It began in 1973, planned out by Joe Redington who wanted to preserve the historic Iditarod Trail and revive the Alaskan sled dog tradition, which was rapidly disappearing. What was the Iditarod like back then? When the mushers lined up to take off on their …

Tricks and Trophies

Dear Friends, The final two mushers arrived at the finish line early this morning!  Victoria Hardwick won the red lantern award.  It is awarded to the team coming in last place.  Why does the last place competitor get a prize?  The Iditarod is nicknamed The Last Great Race.  It’s a very tough race with extreme …

Be a Part of the Community History

Aaron Burmeister and his team reached the finish line Monday morning in 2nd place.  He told the Insider crew that this was his 20thIditarod.  One comment he made really resonated with me, as I feel that it represents many mushers and one reason they tackle this difficult sport and race.  “This year was a different challenge …

Is Resting Really a Rest?

Dear Friends, If you are watching the mushers’ GPS trackers, you will sometimes see their names on an orange bar which means they are resting.  What is really happening during a rest? First of all, we dogs get to rest much more than our humans during the Iditarod.  Mushers have to deal with sleep deprivation, …

Staying Warm

Dear Friends, Have you been reading the articles on the race?  Did you see that Dallas Seavey checked the thermometer on this sled and it said -52?  Wow! That is COLD!  How do the mushers stay warm?  Examine these photos of mushers on the Iditarod Trail and see if you can infer how they survive …

When the Iditarod Comes to Town

What does it mean to the people in Alaska’s interior communities when the dog teams come through?  The children often get half or whole days off school to help out or watch the mushers check in.  They may help with heating water for the mushers, give volunteers snow machine rides from the airport, or decorate …