Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Iditarod

The boys and I are all really excited about the Iditarod this year, so I thought that I would share some of the things that we found out and the resources that we are using. The Iditarod is a 1150 mile dog sled race that takes mushers and their dog teams from Anchorage, in the South Eastern part of Alaska, all the way over to Nome, on the West coast. The race can take teams from 10 to seventeen days to finish. The race commemorates the dog sled teams that carried mail into the interior of Alaska for many years, and most memorably the dog teams that were were responsible for saving the lives of many inhabitants of Nome who were infected with Diphtheria in 1925, and would likely have died if not for the mushers and dogs who relayed the antitoxin to them. Today William, Charlie and I finished our map of the trail that we will use to follow the progress of the teams we are cheering for. Of course, the boys want all of them to win!!

Here are some of the other resources we are using....

The Official Iditarod Site

The elditarod- a very cool resource that allows registered users to map out the race, learn about the different mushers and their dogs, follow the progress of the the teams throughout the race....lots of fun.

The Yukon Quest -Canadian version of the Iditarod, going on right now!!

Some of the books we have been reading:
Balto and the Great Race by: Elizabeth Cody Kimmell
Akiak- a Tale from the Iditarod by: Robert J. Blake
Iditarod Dreams - Dusty and his Sled Dogs Compete in Alaska's Junior Iditarod by: Ted Wood
Susan Butcher and the Iditarod Trail by: Ellen Dolan, about a female 3-time winner of the Iditarod
The Pole by: Eric Walters

We also watched a great movie -I think it was just called The Iditarod (sorry, we have already taken it back to the library!) It showcased a number of the veteran mushers and had beautiful cinematography and views. It also came with an 'extras' disk about the effects of global warming and the melting of the polar ice caps on the wildlife of Alaska, and the rest of the world.

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