Yesterday, after sixteen-some adventure-filled years together, it broke our hearts to say goodbye to our beloved Romano.

Romano was a good man! He didn’t have a sneaky bone in his body (which, for an Alaskan husky, is really saying something). He was a saint among dogs. He touched the lives of so many. I like to imagine him in Heaven, hanging with all of the humans who adored him—Dwight, Brenda, Mom, Dad—as well as the long string of dogs leading him to the Heavenly smells and sights—Lolo, Borage, and his brother, Stinky, along with the rest of the Cheese Family… and the many other dogs from both the Gilliland’s pack and my own… the list goes on and on.

Thank you, Romano, for being you. 

We’ll miss you… 

Mush, Romano! Mush!

 

 

… PRAIRIE CENTRAL ELEMENTARY, THAT IS!

We enjoyed our return visit to Fairbury, Illinois. A big thanks to Lisa Lange for arranging our visit (and YES, you should apply to be the Iditarod Teacher on the Trail!).

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Thank you to the artists: Brianna, Brenna, Lainie, Sklar, and Mia. We ADORED the sign you made for us!

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Mrs. Christie Smith’s Second Grade Class

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Karen, Christie Smith, Isaac Smith, and Noggin

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

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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.

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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.

MUSH!