For those who do not know, the Iditarod Race is considered “the last great race on earth”. It is a sled dog race across 1150 miles of the most frightening yet beautiful terrain on the planet from Anchorage in south central Alaska to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast of Alaska. The race itself started as a mission to cure the city of Nome of a diphtheria epidemic, which was especially threatening to Eskimo children in the town in 1925. No plane possessed visibility through the snow, and the only hope of saving the town would be by relaying dogs between Nenana to Nome with the package of the serum. With the help of mushers and lead dogs such as the famous Togo and Balto, the town was saved.
The trail remains unchanged: nefarious and perilous, as usual. Temperatures go far below zero at night, the wind blinds any musher and his/her dog, and the white sea of snow blurs even those that think they can see.
Imagine waking up to a world almost always encased in darkness. layering yourself in at least 5 layers of warmth so that you look and feel like the Michelin Man. After a strong cup of cocoa, then imagine storming out on a bush plane to monitor for Alaskan huskies that had to be pulled out of the race by their owner. Or imagine staying at a checkpoint station in below freezing degree weather to monitor the health of the dogs and mushers as they reached their mile marker. Or imagine taking out a team of dogs and sledding off the trail on your own (of course, in your spare time). These situations were all part of the Alaskan Iditarod adventure- my “Gabby Wild” adventure, that is.Back to top