The Alaskan Iditarod

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The Alaskan Iditarod. The last great race on Earth!. The Iditarod race takes place in the state of Alaska The capital of Alaska is Juneau, but the largest city is Anchorage . Alaska State Population: 626,932. Alaska Area: 586,412 sq. mi. - two and a half times larger than Texas. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of The Alaskan Iditarod

The Alaskan Iditarod

The Alaskan IditarodThe last great race on Earth!

The Iditarod race takes place in the state of Alaska The capital of Alaska is Juneau, but the largest city is Anchorage. Alaska State Population: 626,932

Alaska Area: 586,412 sq. mi. - two and a half times larger than Texas. it became the 49th state on January 3rd, 1959.Iditarod History It began as a mail route: mail came in and gold went out all by dog sled The airplane signaled the beginning of the end of the dog teams.

Iditarod History In early 1925, a diphtheria epidemic threatened isolated, icebound Nome. The nearest serum was in Anchorage and it was to dangerous to fly in the blizzard. Instead, a Pony Express-type relay of dog teams was quickly organized on the iditarod trail, lead by the legendary dog, Balto.

Iditarod History The serum arrived in time to prevent the epidemic and save hundreds of lives. The first long race was ran in 1973

The last full-scale, old-fashioned, frontier-style gold rush in the United States roared into life in 1909 at Iditarod, 629 trail miles west of the future site of Anchorage and half way to Nome. GOLD RUSH of 1909

The actual town of Iditarod is now a ghost town.

7Dog PowerThe typical traveler on the Iditarod was a musher driving a team of twenty or more dogs pulling a massive freight sled capable of carrying half a ton or more. ton = 1,000 poundsThat is approximately 50 pounds per dog.

8Why dogs and not horses? Dogs are faster than horses over the long haul.Capable of maintaining average speeds of eight to twelve miles an hour for hundreds of miles (including rest stops)Can exceed twenty miles an hour or more on shorter sprints

Heavy draft animals cannot use the snow packed winter trails.

9Month of the YearTypes of Travel JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember

10The Last Great Race Each team of 12 to 16 dogs and their musher travel over 1150 miles in 10 to 17 days. Covers rough mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forests, desolate tundra, and miles of windswept coast.

The Last Great RaceTemperatures that fall far below zero, winds that can cause complete invisibility, overflow, long hours of darkness.Competitors are male or female, all different ages, and come from all walks of life.

The trail follows the northern route in even years.During the early years of the Iditarod Race, the mushers only traveled the northern trail. After several years, the Iditarod Board of Directors realized that the smaller villages were being heavily impacted by the race coming through their village year after year. It was decided to use both sections of the trail.

The trail follows the southern route in odd years.

The race begins at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of March, and ends in Nome Alaska.

Overlay of Trails

15"Widow's Lamp"During the days of Alaska sled dog freighting and mail carrying, dog drivers relied on a series of roadhouses between their village destinations. Since these mushers ventured out in most all kinds of weather, for safety reasons they founded the idea that pilots rely on, known today as the flight plan. Word was relayed ahead that a musher and team were on the trail, and a kerosene lamp was lit and hung outside the roadhouse. It not only helped the dog driver find his destination at night, most importantly, it signified that a team or teams were somewhere out on the trail.

"Widow's Lamp"The lamp was not extinguished until the musher reached his destination safely. In keeping with this tradition, a widows lamp will be lit and hung at the Iditarod finish line until the last musher and team cross the line safely.

Red Lantern AwardThe Red Lantern is often confused with the Widows Lamp. They are not the same. The Red Lantern was started as a joke and has become a symbol of stick-to-itiveness. The idea was that the last fellow was so far behind he needed a light to find his way home. Wells Fargo Bank Alaska awards the red lantern to the last musher off the trail.

Dictionary of Mushing TermsGEE- command for a right turnHAW- command for left turnCome Gee!, Come Haw!- commands for 180 degree turns Line Out!- command to lead dog to pull the team out straight from sled, used mostly while hooking dogs into team or unhooking them

Dictionary of Mushing TermsMush!, Hike! Al Right!, Lets Go!- commands to start the teamWhoa!- command used to halt the team, accompanied by heavy pressure on the brake

WOAH! WOAH! WOAH!What are the Requirements To Be a Musher? You need to be at least 18 years old. You need to send the application by midnight December 1st + $1850.00. You need to be trained. You need to follow the rules.

What are the Requirements To Be a Musher? A rookie must have written proof of completing the race requirement of 500 miles or 800 miles in the last 5 years in non-Iditarod races. You need to be accepted by the ITC (Iditarod Trail Committee.)

True or FalseAlaska became a state in 1949.TrueTrue or FalseRailroad signaled the beginning of the end for dog sleds.False -AirplanesTrue or FalseHeavy animals cannot use the winter trails.TrueTrue or FalseThe trail follows the southern route in even years.False Odd True or FalseThe Widows Lamp is the award for the last musher to cross the finish.False Red LanternThe Last Great Race on EarthCheck out for more information.

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