Social Studies

Virtual Trail Journey – Galena (Northern Route)

Leaving Ruby, Mushers travel 50 miles down the frozen Yukon River to the village of Galena.  The first town site of Galena was established in 1918 near a native fish camp called Henry’s Point.  It was one of many fish camps located on the Yukon River. Athabascans in the area were nomadic.  The location of …

Virtual Trail Journey – Ruby (Northern Route)

The village of Ruby is the first checkpoint of the northern route that’s situated on the mighty Yukon River.  The Lakefront Hotel, race headquarters in Anchorage, honors the first musher arriving with a delicious seven-course meal prepared by the Lakefront’s Executive Chef.  In the corner of the rustic checkpoint upon a little stage, the musher …

Virtual Trail Journey – Cripple (Northern Route)

  On the even years, the race will take the northern route to Nome. When the drivers and teams reach Ophir, they’ll take a right and head north to Cripple. The distance from Ophir to Cripple is 59 miles. The total distance from Ophir to Kaltag, where the two trails rejoin on the northern route …

Virtual Trail Journey – Ophir

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

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

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

  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

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 (Puntilla Lake)

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 …