People, Places, or Dogs

Eye on the Trail: Dogs – Ernie & Cletus

Iditarod is more than a race.  It’s people, places and dogs.  Each aspect adds immeasurable character to the Iditarod.  Iditarod is all about the dogs yet we often know them only by how fast they ran and where they finished as a team.  Certainly every musher could tell stories about every dog they’ve ever run.  …

Eye on the Trail:  Place – Skwentna

If asked what Iditarod is, you’d say it’s a 1,000-mile sled dog race that goes from Anchorage to Nome.  Nice clean definition but there’s so much more to it than that.  It’s PEOPLE, PLACES and DOGS! Here’s a story about an Iditarod PLACE.  Skwentna at mile 67 of the Gold Trail Loop will be the …

Eye on the Trail: People – Joe and Norma of Skwentna

If asked what Iditarod is, you’d say it’s a 1,000-mile sled dog race that goes from Anchorage to Nome.  Nice clean definition but there’s so much more to it than that.  It’s PEOPLE, PLACES and DOGS!  Here’s a story about PEOPLE of the Iditarod.  Iditarod has many legendary figures.  Many have stood on sled runners …

Eye on the Trail – Iditarod Mushers Run Mid-Distance Races

Mushers have just completed food drops in both Fairbanks and Anchorage.  Earlier in February straw was bagged and placed on pallets to be ready for shipping, likewise with HEET and lath.  Preparations for Iditarod XLIX are moving along.  As race fans, how are you preparing for the race? Since the first of the year there …

Eye on the Trail: Iditarod and Flat @ Mile 432

Have you ever wondered where the word or name Iditarod came from?  I’ve heard 3 explanations.  First, Iditarod was a word used by Athabascans that meant FAR DISTANT PLACE.  Second, Iditarod was a word from another indigenous language that meant CLEAR WATER. Finally, a ROD is a measure of distance and so one miner might …

Eye on the Trail: Remembering Yentna Station’s Dan Gabryszak

Master of the Yentna Station Roadhouse, Dan Gabryszak, succumbed to cancer on January 12, 2021 just eight days after being diagnosed.  Dan and his wife Jean have called the lodge on the big bend of the Yentna River home for forty years.  Early on, the Jr. Iditarod asked the Gabryszaks to host a checkpoint and …

2021 Rookie Musher Meeting

  On Saturday, December 18, the 2021 Iditarod Rookie Musher Meeting took place via ZOOM.  An Iditarod “rookie” is someone who hasn’t completed the Iditarod.  As of the writing of this article, there are 15 rookie mushers signed up for Iditarod 2021.They hail from Alaska, Wisconsin, and even Canada and France. Four of them are …

Eye on the Trail: Recognizing and Thanking Diane Johnson

When Diane Johnson became director of Iditarod Education in the fall of 2005, the program was in its infancy.  Today as Diane passes the roll onto a new director, the program is well-developed and serving educators and students around the world.  It reminds me of a photo I captured a year ago in Katmai.  A …

Eye on the Trail: Julien Takes – Cape Nome

  Photo guy Julien Schroder captured shots of Aliy Zirkle, Matt Hall and Paige Drobny between Safety and Nome.  Of great note is the open sea.  Mushers are re-routed into Nome as it’s not feasible to follow the tradition route on the sea ice from Safety to access Front Street in Nome.

Eye on the Trail: Julien Takes from Rohn

There are many aspects of Iditarod that make the event quite astonishing, not the least of which is the aspect of team work.  Right now race photo-guys Julien Schroeder and Jeff Schultz are snowed in at McGrath and Rainy Pass respectively.  I’ve shared out some of Jeff’s earlier photos as Eye on the Trail: Schultz …