Virtual Trail Journey: Checkpoint -Trail Information

Virtual Trail Journey (northern) – Galena

The first town site of Galena was established in 1918 near a native fish camp called Henry’s Point, one of many fish camps located on the Yukon River. Athabascans in the area were nomadic living in spring, winter, fall and summer camps dictated by where and how the wild game was migrating. The town became …

Virtual Trail Journey (northern) – Nulato

The village of Nulato (nu-LAU-toe) is situated on the mighty Yukon 52 miles down river from Galena. Well before the town was incorporated in 1963, Athabascans from the interior and Eskimos from the coast met at Nulato for trading. After the Russian explorer Malakov arrived in the 1830, an actual trading post was built. Because …

Virtual Trail Journey – Kaltag

The easiest way to describe the trail between Eagle Island and Kaltag (CAL-tag) would be to do a copy and paste of the trail from Grayling to Eagle Island.  There’s nothing new, it’s just more of the same – islands, sandbars, sloughs, bluffs and river bends.  After passing Eight Mile Point on the river, the …

Virtual Trail Journey – Unalakleet

The trail from Kaltag to Unalakleet (YOU-na-la-Kleet) follows a portage trail used by the Athabascans of the interior to travel to the Bering Coast to trade with the Inupiaq Eskimos.  Russians also used the trail in their explorations and trading activities.  Just 15 miles out of Kaltag, the mushers climb to 800 feet above sea …

Virtual Trail Journey: Shaktoolik

The village of Shaktoolik (shak-TOO-lick) is located on a little spit of land that juts out into Norton Sound.  There is one road that runs through town out to the air strip with houses, two stores, two churches, the school, the power plant, the city well, the clinic  and the Armory spread along its sides.  …

Virtual Trail Journey – Koyuk

Don Bowers, Jr. calls the 50 mile section of trail from Shaktoolik to Koyuk bleak, flat and monotonous.  Just out of the Shaktolik, teams will run through rolling tundra.  Some of the villagers have reindeer herds that graze there.  Once out on the sea ice, some dogs may be overwhelmed by the great white expanse …

Virtual Trail Journey – Elim

Elim, an Inupaig Eskimo village of 310 people is situated on the south shore of the Seward Peninsula or north shore of Norton Bay.  Elim (EE-lum) is 100 miles east of Nome as the crow flies.  Like all bush villages, Elim isn’t connected by road to the rest of Alaska.  The only way to travel …

Virtual Trail Journey – White Mountain

Jeff King left Elim in 1994 with the feeling that he was being followed.  Sure enough a young husky not more that 4 months old was close behind.  For all of his short life, the Husky wanted to “play sports.”  What the puppy needed most was a coach who would work with him and train …

Virtual Trail Journey – Safety

Out in the middle of no where on the Nome to Council Highway sits the Safety Roadhouse.  Looking back toward White Mountain, you see nothing but snow, looking toward Nome you see nothing but snow.  Looking out over the Bering Sea, you see nothing except sea ice and jumble.  The checkpoint is located in the …

Virtual Trail Journey – Nome

The fire siren sounds in Nome to announce that a dog team is approaching Front Street.  Fans put on their coats, boots, hats and mittens and gather at the burled arch to welcome another Iditarod finisher  Approaching the burled arch marks the end of a very personal journey for the mushers and dogs.  There is …