Sanka W. Dog

Virtual Trail Journey – Iditarod and Flat City @ Mile 432

BOO again!  Sending a ghostly greeting from ghost town and checkpoint, Iditarod.  Have you ever wondered where the word or name Iditarod came from?  I’ve heard 3 explanations so I’ll share them with you.  First, Iditarod was a word used by Athabascans that meant FAR DISTANT PLACE.  Second, Iditarod was a word used by other …

Virtual Trail Journey – Ophir at Mile 352

BOO!  Being that the next two checkpoints on the trail are located in GHOST TOWNS, my story should begin with a ghostly greeting!  So, what’s a ghost town?  It’s a deserted town.  The residents have left usually because their jobs no longer exist or because of natural disasters, fires or wars.  That’s exactly the case …

Virtual Trail Journey – Takotna at Mile 329

The trail used by Iditarod that runs from McGrath to Takotna (tuh-KOTT-nuh) is a well-traveled snowmachine route.  Teams cover the 18-mile distance in two to three hours.  At night or on cold days, the route is generally fast but on warm days, it can be a slow run.  Most of the 18 miles runs either …

Virtual Trail Journey – McGrath at Mile 311

From Nikolai it’s a 48-mile run to McGrath, which is estimated to take five to seven hours.  In his Trail Notes, Don Bowers considers this to be an easy run but says it can be very boring for both the dogs and the drivers.  There are so many bends in the Big River and Kuskokwim …

Virtual Trail Journey – Nikolai at Mile 263

  There was so much to share with you about the trail from Rohn to Nikolai; there just wasn’t enough time or space to tell you about the village of Nikolai in the same story.  The distance from Rohn to Nikolai is listed at 75 miles.  Here’s what Handler told me about this very friendly …

Virtual Trail Journey – The Trail from Rohn to Nikolai

The trail between Rohn and Nikolai is unique and challenging.  During the clear, cold daytime the mushers can see Denali and Mt. Foraker.  Try to imagine how beautiful these peaks are around sunrise and sunset when they are brightly lit by the sun over the dark landscape below or when they are rosy pink with …

Virtual Trail Journey – Rohn at Mile 188

I had a question about Rainy Pass so I was really happy to see Handler come into the dog yard.  I’d taken careful notes on everything Handler told us about Rainy Pass but was confused as to how the checkpoint called Rainy Pass could be at 1,800 feet elevation but Rainy Pass is at 3,160 …

Virtual Trail Journey – Rainy Pass at Mile 153

The distance from Finger Lake to Rainy Pass Checkpoint is about 30 miles with some really tough spots along the way.  About ten miles out of Finger Lake, mushers are challenged with the Happy River Steps.  It’s one of the very technical segments of the trail that calls up the very best sled driving skills …

Virtual Trail Journey – Finger Lake at Mile 123

The distance from Skwentna to Finger Lake, population 2, is 40 miles.  Roughly, it’ll take four to six hours to cover the mostly uphill route although the run isn’t tough.  The teams will run on rivers, lakes, swamps and wooded areas.   Like I did, with Handler’s help, you can find out a lot about the …

Virtual Trail Journey – Skwentna at Mile 83

The distance from Yentna Station to the second checkpoint, Skwentna is 30 miles.  These are easy miles for the mushers and dog teams as the trail follows the Yentna River until joining the Skwentna River a couple of miles short of the checkpoint.  Most mushers find the trail easy to follow but a few take …