One of the things I’m looking forward to in Alaska is the Winter Conference for Educators. It’s an amazing opportunity to be surrounded by all things Iditarod for a full week! It’s always rewarding to be surrounded by educators who value the same things you do!
In addition to the many presentations by and for educators, the conference always features amazing field trips! There’s a chance to be at Iditarod Headquarters while the mushers bring their dogs in for vet checks, attend the pre-race banquet where the mushers draw their starting order, and visit Jon Van Zyle’s studio and kennel. Not to mention, you are in the right place to extend your day and be front and center for the Ceremonial Start!
You can find more information about the conference here: LINK
For all of you who are coming for the conference this year, I’m anxious to meet you! Here’s my top ten list of things you should know!
10. Bring some Sharpies for autographs. Bring several. Carry them everywhere.
9. Camera batteries can freeze when you are outside at the start. Two years ago at the restart I got pictures of every single musher – except the last one. The batteries froze. Bring a spare and store it on an inside pocket.
8. There is a post office in the mall on Third Avenue. You will quickly fall in love with flat rate postage boxes for shipping stuff home.
7. Pick up the Anchorage Daily News every day you are there. There is always some type of Iditarod article being published. They quickly become the reading material of choice my room!
6. Drop bags are usually available at the shop at the Headquarters. They make awesome objects to collect autographs on.
5. So do the Race Guides. Get two. One to write in and one to keep perfect. Carry them with you always.
4. If you are staying for the Ceremonial Start, make sure that at some point you follow Fourth Avenue down to the big bend. You can get some awesome shots as the mushers make the turn. Sometimes you even get to see spills!
3. Try a reindeer hot dog! They are yummy and your students will be impressed with your daring!
2. Bring an empty suitcase… you are going to need it to get home!
1. Soak up every minute of your experience! The starting line of the Last Great Race is an amazing place to be!!