Alaska

IMG_2727 (1)

Mrs. Christie Smith’s Second Grade Class

IMG_2737

Karen, Christie Smith, Isaac Smith, and Noggin

IMG_2723

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

IMG_0413

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.

IMG_3857IMG_3847IMG_3851IMG_3845 (1)IMG_3855

Thank you, Tracey Collier—an awesome Iditarod teacher and longtime fan of dog mushing—for inviting us to Morristown Elementary! Noggin and I had great fun with your third grade class. Enjoy following the race!

Pack your sled and hook up your dogs! Iditarod starts Saturday, March 3rd …

IMG_3261

The 1000-mile Yukon Quest is happening RIGHT NOW! Follow the race at www.yukonquest.com. 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 www.iditarod.com. 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 (www.adn.com) 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!

DSC_7932

DSC_7907

IMG_2705.jpg

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.

IMG_2640

Photos from our talks at the Eiteljorg Museum’s Exhibit — DOGS: Faithful and True —have been trickling into my INBOX. Here are a few…

IMG_0960

Future musher, Katelyn Harvey, looks like a pro behind my Iditarod sled.

DSC_7930 (1)

Noggin receiving some loving at Friday’s Eiteljorg school talks.

DSC_7908

Thank you to everyone who attended our presentations. Noggin and I enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones. See you up the trail!

IMG_0736

Noggin and I visited the awesome Eiteljorg Museum in downtown Indianapolis last Monday for a TV taping for Pet Pals TV with Patty Spitler. We were there to promote the Eiteljorg’s new exhibit — DOGS: FAITHFUL AND TRUE.

IMG_0740

Honestly, Noggin was a little bored with all of the preparations leading up to her big television debut. But, thankfully, when the cameras started rolling Noggin rallied like she’s the next Marilyn Monroe. I was just happy my often-overly-relaxed husky actually stood up for the entire 2-minute interview!

IMG_0752

Karen Land and Noggin with Patty Spitler and Pet Pals TV.