It is an Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ tradition to ride in the sled of a musher at the ceremonial start. This is something that I have looked forward to since June! I had the thrill of a life time at the ceremonial start as I rode in the sled of Canadian musher Jason Campeau. His family, friends, and beautiful twin daughters were on hand to support him, and they shared with me his life-long passion for the Last Great Race on Earth™.
I sat in his sled with a giant Canadian flag across the front with butterflies, as Jason’s family, friends, and older brother held on tight to the leads as we waited for our countdown to head onto 4th Avenue. Jason’s dogs were ready to go!
There were many Canadian fans wishing Jason “Happy Trails” as we headed down the snow-covered path through the woods. Families waited with hot chocolate and held signs as Jason high-fiver children along the route:
Sleds pulled up 4th Avenue all morning with dog handler volunteers. It takes quite a few adults to hold excited husky dogs! Watch for the cameo of Kim Franklin as she walks by:
Aliy Zirkle walks her team to the starting line wearing her famous SP Kennel red hat:
The ceremonial start was an incredible experience for all of us behind the scenes, and I was really proud to represent Texas in this special way! On to Willow!
And how did I end this spectacular day? With a reindeer sausage of course! They are a special treat here in Alaska, and it has become a tradition for me each year I come to the race.
Follow my journey this year as 2016 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™. We have partnered with Skype as a virtual field trip experience, and I will be sending recorded video messages daily along the trail to classrooms around the world. Sign up for a free Skype account first, and then join the “Iditarod Classroom Club” to follow along. Remember, you must have a Skype account first, or you only be in my club for 24 hours as a guest! Click the link below: