Schools in the Checkpoints

Dear Friends,

There are wonderful schools in each of the populated checkpoints.  I say populated, because some checkpoints are either ghost towns (abandoned) or just places for mushers to stop, get their supplies, and have vets available.  

Yentna Station is a roadhouse, population 8, where the family hosts people who want to visit interior Alaska.

Finger Lake and Rainy Pass each have a population of two.

 Rohn is just a stop at a cabin.  

Ophir is a ghost town.

Cripple has a population of zero.

Safety is just a stop at a roadhouse.

However, the rest of the checkpoints have schools!  Often, the children in the Alaskan communities have days off or half days to be able to participate in the excitement of the Iditarod.  Students in these communities may have very small classes and only one teacher, but they have technology, books, playgrounds, and homework, just like you.

Do you see any familiar titles from this school library in Nikolai?

The students and their families are very excited to see the Iditarod teams come through their villages, many of which are only accessible by boat, plane, snow machine, or dog sled.  We have heard of local people bringing the mushers moose stew, providing hot water, and cheering them on during this race.  Just like you, the people of the Alaskan communities have their favorites!

Fun on the school playground in Nikolai [photo credit – H. Sloan]

Soon, some mushers will reach White Mountain.  The students there may walk down to the river to greet the teams as they arrive.  Mushers have a mandatory 8 hour stop at White Mountain, so those school children have a better chance at a glimpse of these now-tired mushers.  We sled dogs will still be excited and ready to go, however!

White Mountain School [photo credit – Sloan]

Until next time,