Day One in Alaska!

Filed under: Iditarod! — iditalearn2010 @ 10:11 pm

How many things can one pack into a day?!IMG_0954

Day one, we (Gary Paulsen, Sheryl Cater and I) chatted with students from at least 7 different classes at Eden Lake between 6:30-8:00 Alaskan time. We were at the Millennum Hotel, the official headquarters of the Iditarod. We were on the first and second floor lobby and, through Skype, were showing students the wonderful displays, as well as talking to mushers, ITC board members and the Iditarod education director.

Then we rushed into the musher meeting to hear role call and some of rules and regulations for mushers. We were able to see all 96 mushers! Really, we were in the same room with all of them!!! It was great being able to talk to some of them.

Next, over to another hotel. Terry Hanke, the 2006 Wells Fargo Teacher on the Trail, told her inspirational tales from her experiences.

After that, two authors told their stories about the writing experience and their adventures of dog sledding. One was Berverly Steven who wrote This Dog Team Lives in the House. It is a great read-a-loud. Running with Champions was written by Lisa Frederic and will give you a good picture about what it takes to be an Iditarod musher.

Lunchtime, then it was back to the Millennum for lunch with Matt Calore, John Clay’s Iditaride musher. You can learn more about him on the website. He is an outstanding person. iditaride

Then we were back over to the other hotel to listen and discuss all that goes into being a volunteer at a checkpoint (Koyuk). It is totally overwhelming!! Almost the last thing, we had some time as educators to discuss and demonstrate how we can incorporate these experiences into teaching, learning and daily life goals.

Finally, the musher banquet at the convention center was an awesome sight. It was a 2,000 seat dinner with all the mushers, their families and friends, sponsors, iditariders, and many others. All the mushers thanked all their people and drew their position. Matt Calore picked 30th.

What a day!!!
Mr. Clay

Post banquet Pre start

Filed under: Iditarod! — iditalearn2010 @ 12:26 am


The excitement is building hour by hour. Hearts are beating louder and louder!

Filled dump trucks bring snow to line the streets of downtown Anchorage for the start.

Dog truck after dog truck enters the city limits.

Mushers with hay hanging from their clothing appear as though they spent the night sleeping in the straw with their dogs. The mushers are not sleeping in hotel rooms, they are sleeping in their dog trucks!

Dogs are taken out of their boxes every 4 hours to “shake and bake.” They’re watered, fed, stroked, loved then placed back in the safety of the box they call home, awaiting the big day, Iditarod 2008!

Now we have John Clay with smile after smile as he meets mushers he has only read about and attends the musher banquet which had the largest sold out audience in the history of the race!

I’m not sure who is more excited about the ceremonial start tomorrow: the dogs, the mushers or John anticipating his dream riding in the sled with Matt Calore, number 30.

Watch for them, clap for them, cheer for them!

Mrs. Cater

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