Author: Heidi Sloan (139 posts)


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 …

Slip Sliding Away

Dear Friends, The Iditarod teams are definitely in a race!  Did you know they have a secret to make their sleds glide easily in the differing snow and ice conditions?  It is called runner plastic.  Mushers will carry various colors and types of coiled up plastic they can slip over the runners of their sled. …

Sharing Dogs

Dear Friends, Did any of you choose one of the Seeing Double Sled Dog Racing mushers to follow in the 2021 Iditarod?   Kristy and Anna Berington have been favorites for students to follow because, being identical twins, they get noticed! Kristy has been racing since 2010.  Her best finish has been in 16th place. …

Stuffing the Sled

Dear Friends, I wrote about the mushers packing their sleds with things for us sled dogs, but what do the mushers need?  If you go to iditarod.com, Race Center, Information for Mushers, and then 2021 Iditarod Rules, you will see a list of what MUST be on a musher’s sled at all times.  In fact, …

Iditarod with Text Features and Structures

Paws Along the Trail with Creating Iditarod Booklets If your class followed the Iditarod, you will be surprised at what your students remember even at this time of the year.  As we review for the reading standardized state test, I am still using the Iditarod to motivate and engage my students. A difficult concept is …