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Virtual Trail Journey – Anvik (Southern Route)

Leaving Shageluk and mushing on toward Anvik, the teams will have fewer miles to go than they have covered.  Anvik (AN-vik) is the first checkpoint of the southern route on the famous Yukon River.  No one would be so bold as to say that it’s downhill to Nome from Shageluk because the Yukon River and …

Virtual Trail Journey – Shageluk (Southern Route)

Shageluk is almost 160 miles from Takotna, the last village populated with humans.  Since departing Takotna, the teams have traveled through the ghost towns of Ophir and Iditarod.  Handler didn’t actually visit Shageluk as the 2006 Teacher on the Trail because ’06 was an even year so the teams followed the northern route. It was …

Eye on the Trail: Photos By Poyzer – Deshka Landing

Ramey Smyth comes from a storied mushing background.  Ramey’s mother, celebrated harness maker Lolly Medley, was the second woman to ever finish the race and his father, Bud Smyth has finished Iditarod five times.  Lolly Medley began presenting a Golden Harness award to the outstanding lead dog of the race.  Since her death, the City …

Eye on the Trail – Beyond Skwentna

You know you’re a serious Iditarod fan if the weather app on your phone contains locations along the Iditarod Trail – Willow, Skwentna, Nicolai, McGrath and Iditarod.  You’ve seriously got the bug if you check the weather where the mushers are before you check your own weather!  The temperature this morning under a clear sky …

Eye on the Trail: Telephoto Story – Cindy Abbott

Cindy Abbott, Iditarod’s 2015 Red Lantern Recipient, spoke to the teachers about her experiences on the trail.  Abbott also shared basic race information to give the teacher’s a better understanding of the Iditarod as they use the Last Great Race as a theme for education in their classrooms.  Abbott is the only woman to have …

Eye on the Trail: Nome Awards Banquet

Folks in Nome headed to the Nome Recreation Center for the Iditarod Finisher’s Banquet on a calm, sunny, warm afternoon.  All the mushers were off the trail.  The Widow’s Lamp was extinguished.  The banquet would put Iditarod XLIV in the history books. Chefs from the Lakefront Alaska Hotel of Anchorage prepared a meal that was …

Eye on the Trail: So much to do, So little time in Nome

It won’t be long and the festivities of the Finisher’s Banquet will get underway.  The banquet is held in the Nome Recreation Center which for the past week has been the site of the world’s largest basketball tournament.  Over night it’s been transformed into a banquet facility. The City of Nome is one hopping place …

Eye on the Trail: Helwig Earns Red Lantern

Rookie Mary Helwig made Nome at 2351.  Seems that it’s never too late or too early for a celebration at the burled arch at the end of the Iditarod Trail.  There were people shoulder to shoulder lining both sides of the chute for it’s full length waiting to say welcome to Mary Helwig and farewell …

Eye on the Trail: Finale for Gallea

At the Finisher’s Banquet in Nome last year, Cindy Gallea announced it would be her last Iditarod.  Needless to say I was surprised to see her at the Wednesday pre-race vet check.  Having said, “Last race,” Cindy also said, “It’s difficult to let go of something that is deep in my soul and that gives …

Eye on the Trail: Franklin and Bacon Make Nome

They’ve become good friends over the miles as they traveled in what looked like a little train.  They share the special bond of Iditarod.  Kim Franklin and Kristin Bacon came into Nome one behind the other like a little train and parked under the burled arch side by side.  There was a large crowd and …