IMG_2727 (1)

Mrs. Christie Smith’s Second Grade Class


Karen, Christie Smith, Isaac Smith, and Noggin


Karen, Keith Grant (ICES Principal), Dr Tim Edsell (Superintendent of Indian Creek Schools), and Noggin


Karen and Dr. Tim Edsell (somewhere under all of those layers!)

After reminiscing with retired second grade teacher, Judy Misiniec, and current-day second grade teacher, Christie Smith, we figured out that I’ve been visiting Indian Creek Elementary in Trafalgar, Indiana for at least 16 years! Judy was a teacher devoted to bringing outdoor adventure into her classroom through the Last Great Race curriculum, and her passion for the annual Iditarod unit wore off on other great teachers at her school. Every year I look forward to returning to Trafalgar to see my friends and bring a little of that outdoor mushing magic indoors to the students. This is Noggin’s second year visiting Trafalgar but she already considers it home.


Mason Whipker, a student at Northside Middle School in Columbus, IN, is dressed and ready to hit the 2018 Iditarod Trail. To his right is science teacher, Mike Reed. Thanks for having us back again—twice in one school year! Noggin and I always feel right at home in your lovely library.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The enthusiastic teachers from Mt. Healthy sent us more photographs from yesterday’s talk. I always LOVE getting photos—it’s difficult to take them myself during the presentation, and Noggin has yet to master the smart phone camera. The students, well-prepared for our visit, offered up many fun and thoughtful questions. We could have gone much longer than the 1.5 hours allotted! The teachers plan to follow the Iditarod Sled Dog Race with their students. Don’t forget the race begins March 3rd … MUSH!


This morning Noggin did a fine job representing TEAM USA (and sled dogs everywhere) at our presentation at Mt. Healthy Elementary in Columbus, Indiana. The big and beautiful flag as our backdrop put my Alaskan Husky in a very patriotic mood. Noggin is always such a good girl at our talks— she does deserve a gold medal. But, thankfully, she was quite content with the slices of American cheese stashed in my back pocket.





The 1000-mile Yukon Quest is happening RIGHT NOW! Follow the race at Everyone always asks me if I’ll ever run the Iditarod again—this is the race I’d love to experience at some point in my life. BIG country, great people, and challenging terrain with a “smaller” 14-dog team (Iditarod is a 16-dog team)—I’ve always found the Yukon Quest intriguing. The Quest website has beautiful videos from past races. Click on their Youtube channel to live a little bit of the trail yourself …

The Iditarod starts on March 3, 2018. Follow the race at Teachers click on the EDUCATION page to follow the Teacher on the Trail, watch videos, and access  race resources. Throughout the race, I also frequent the Anchorage Daily News website ( for free daily updates and beautiful photography.

I still have some dates open for Iditarod school or public library talks at your location OR via Skype. Contact me now (mymusher at Yahoo dot com) to set a date!




Virtually, that is! Thank you to everyone at the American International School in Chennai, India! Romano and I really enjoyed visiting with the class. The 3rd grade students just finished reading the book, “The Stone Fox” by John Reynolds Gardiner, and sent 3 pages of great questions to us in advance. Because of the 9.5 hours time difference, I was worried Romano might sleep through his unusually late night gig but like always he was a true big screen star. He even stayed awake for the entire 45-minute chat (with the help of hot dog treats). Because of a thunderstorm moving through Indy at that exact time, Noggin was “not available” to join us — she spent the evening wearing a Thundershirt and hiding under the kitchen table! Thankfully, I have a dog for every occasion.