Stay Strong, Press On

Dear Friends,

The 2023 Iditarod is over.  What fun we had following the dogs and mushers across Alaska!

It is a team effort with love and camaraderie! [credit H. Sloan]

Mushers described tough conditions:

  1. Too warm of temperatures around Nikolai for the dogs who are used to running in cold
  2. No snow through the Buffalo Tunnels, running sleds over mud and ice chunks
  3. Wipe outs, turned over sleds
  4. So much wind that the lead dogs were getting blown off the trail
  5. Having to scratch, or withdraw from the race, putting off the dream for this year:  Jennifer LeBar, Gregg Vitello, Brent Sass, Eric Kelly

They also described wonderful experiences:

  1. Connecting with friends:  mushers and people in the village communities
  2. Seeing the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, in the night sky
  3. Dogs who hadn’t been leaders getting the chance to prove their skills in front
  4. Traveling the southern route again
  5. Family and friends waiting for them in Nome
  6. Volunteers along the trail making sure everything went smoothly

Raking up used straw after dog teams leave checkpoints is part of the volunteers’ job.

Matthew Failor came in 8th place. The Insider asked him about all of his past attempts as a rookie, finishing in later positions, and the year he had to scratch when caught in deep water.  He gave a very good bit of advice that may help each of you in school:  “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  You may be having trouble in some school subject like math or reading.  Don’t give up!  Look at the dogs and mushers as they have pressed on through really tough things; can you write a goal for yourself that seems difficult to achieve, then begin working on it in school?

Matthew Failor [credit Insider]

It has been so fun writing for all of you.  Thanks for reading and experiencing another Iditarod with me.  Stay strong and work hard!

Until next time,