by: Danielle Costanzo/ Hannah Sung
Alaska is very cold and snow covered. There are many rivers such as the Yukon river that is frozen over. The Iditarod dog sled race crosses two mountain ranges; the Alaska and the Kuskokwim mountains. There are some places with warmer climates such as the Central Plateau but in most places it is very frigid.
Alaskan Natives and Culture
Most of the Intuits or Alaskan natives live in or are from Greenland, Canada, and the Northern U.S. In the winter they live in houses made of snow and ice called igloos. Since fruits and vegetables are hard to grow in Alaska Inuit's mostly eat meat. In the summer time the natives live in small animal skin tents called teepees. In 1971 Congress passed the Alaska Native land claims settlement act which gave the natives a billion dollars and 40million acres of land.
The Iditarod is an annual dogsled race that occurs every march. over 100 people and their dogs compete every year. The race lasts for about 1,155 miles. When the race first started in 1967 it was only 25 miles long. The race follows the historic Iditarod trail, the path of the last great gold rush in America. The Iditarod crosses mountains , rivers, and frozen tundra.
Sleds, sled dogs and mushers
There are 12-16 dogs per musher. Prior to the race all the dogs are put in harnesses and attached to the sled. The musher stands on the sleds and is in charge of leading/ guiding the dogs to the end of the race. Susan Butcher- [1954-2006] Susan holds the record for becoming the first person to win the Iditarod three years in a row . In 1986 she finished the race in a record time. The Iditarod normally takes a musher and their dogs 9-11 days on average, to complete it.