sled dogs

Noggin, Chloe, and I just wrapped up another unusual season. With vaccination certificates in hand/paw, loads of hand sanitizer, and extra masks, we road-tripped across Kansas and Colorado, giving talks in schools and public libraries. Because of Covid, many of our presentations were given outdoors. We had large turn-outs even at night in 30-degree weather. Everyone was bundled up, and hot chocolate was plentiful. What fun we had! Librarians and teachers are a resilient and creative bunch. I have enjoyed working with them over the last 22 years. I look forward to many more library and school visits in the future.

Now, our sights are aimed up the trail towards 2022 SUMMER READING. OCEANS OF POSSIBILITIES is the next summer reading theme and, believe it or not, this makes a talk about dog mushing the perfect match. Did you know that a great portion of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog takes place on frozen bodies of water? Dog teams traverse frozen lakes, rivers (including 250 miles on the mighty Yukon), and the awe-inspiring BERING SEA! Karen provides a unique perspective to OCEANS OF POSSIBILITIES with stories from her travels across sea ice by dog team to the historic gold-rush town of Nome. Climate change is also a topic that is ever-present when learning about the sport of mushing and Alaska. Email Karen at mymusher at gmail.com for more information and to save a spot on our calendar.

The LIBRARY TRAIL, that is : )

After almost 14 months away from in-person/in-dog library talks because of the pandemic, Noggin, Chloe, and I (all of us fully-vaccinated) are back at it! We gave a few warm-up talks in Indiana before we packed up our truck to spend several weeks on the road in Kansas for Tails and Tales Summer Reading. We had a such a fun time visiting with folks, seeing the sights, and checking out all of those great public libraries (16 total) across the state. We have missed you all! If you’re interested in an in-person/in-dog presentation for your school or library, email us now (mymusher @ gmail.com) to get on the schedule. And if you’re still Zooming, no worries, we do that, too! Here are a few shots from our road-trip adventures.

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This morning Noggin had a difficult time staying awake during our Skype session with students at Meeteetse Branch Library in Wyoming. I imagine the poor dog thinks I’m just sitting on the floor (in front of the computer) talking to myself! She sees no reason to participate in such nonsense.

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When I’m Skyping, Chloe always looks concerned for me…

Little do the pups know how much fun I have talking with the students. Their awesome questions make the hour fly by!

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Contact Noggin and Karen at mymusher@yahoo.com (please put “Iditarod” in the subject line) to reserve your space on their 2019 Dog Mushing Talk Tour.

Think you live too far off the trail? It never hurts to ask! Karen, Noggin, and Chloe are ready for a road trip! Mush!

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!

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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!

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