Hello from warm, sunny, 42 degrees Alaska!

"Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before." - Erich Fromm

“Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before.” – Erich Fromm

It is a beautiful spring day outside today. The only problems with the unseasonably warm temperatures are, I am in Alaska, it is still February, and the Iditarod starts in 11 days. Yesterday as I finished packing my bags in Iowa, it was well below zero with the windchill and there was still snow on the ground. In the wee hours of the morning as I was shuttled to the Millennium Hotel I saw no snow on the ground. It felt as though I traveled south instead of north.

I started packing for my journey north last week. As I brought out the suitcases, my dog Dixon kept giving me the look of death. He would walk in and stare at the suitcase and then lay back down on his bed and stuff a pillow in his mouth; his security blanket. That’s when I knew it was time for a break. Dixon’s 6th birthday is today, so we had a birthday party for him before I left.

Packing was a tough project. I had to pack for school presentations, the Winter Educator’s Conference, and the trail. After laying clothes all over the floor, I ended up with two large bags and a backpack. If you read my blog titled The Coat, you can read about the clothes I have packed for the trail.

My trip north consisted of three flights. I started my journey in Moline, Illinois with a short jaunt to Chicago. After about an hour and a half layover I departed Chicago for Seattle. Another short layover and I was finally heading to Anchorage. My day started at 4:00 p.m. Central Standard Time and ended 12 ½ hours later when I landed in Anchorage at 1:30 a.m. Alaska Time.

Sitting at lunch today I could not believe I was looking at the same lake I was looking at this time last year. Last year the lake was completely frozen solid. This year the same lake appears to be melting as if the winter is over. If you notice in the picture, there is a fence to keep people from walking on the dangerous melting lake.

I look forward to sharing more of my journey through the Iditarod with you.

Ideas for students:

1. I live in Clinton, Iowa. How many total miles did I travel yesterday?

2. If I were to drive to Alaska, what would my route look like? How long would it take me to drive to Alaska?

3. Compare the temperature in Alaska to the temperature where you live.

4. I think my dog Dixon is going to miss me the most while I am away for 5 weeks. Who would you miss and who would miss you the most if you were away for 5 weeks?