Paws Along the Trail with Lots to Carry
I left for Alaska on Presidents’ Day, February 19, carrying gear to last me five weeks in the cities, schools, and bush of Alaska. On March 5th, I pared down my gear to essentials since I had to carry it all on the Iditarod Trail. There have been some things that have stayed with me the entire five weeks of this amazing adventure and learning experience.
In my head and heart, I have carried all of my family, friends, my own students, and the teachers and students with whom I’ve had the pleasure to share the excitement of the Iditarod.
Knowing that all of you have been studying math, science, geography, reading, and writing through the Iditarod and getting excited about learning has kept me excited and warm on this sometimes cold adventure!
Another item I have carried in my red backpack through the blizzards, six checkpoints, and ten plane rides along the Iditarod Trail is a packet of metal husky charms. They are part of the Beads of Courage program which gives children who are having difficult medical treatments a special bead for being brave throughout that day. These beads have traveled 1049 miles along the Iditarod Trail, and I hope and pray they are an encouragement for brave boys and girls out there who are facing some difficult days.
As you can see, the Iditarod Race is so much more than running a 1049 mile race across Alaska with mushers and dogs. It represents courage, friendship, loyalty, carrying others’ burdens, and helps us learn our school subjects in an exciting way. I am carrying WAY more home than I started with. My heart and head are full of new friendships, experiences, and the amazing lessons taught by the Iditarod.