Photo Credit: Frank Kovalchek

Transportation: Dog Sled

Transportation:  Dog Sled

Hope Sunrise HS

Hope-Sunrise Historical Society

In the early days, before roads or rails or planes, travel was arduous and difficult.  Mountains, rivers, thick forests, and endless stands of alder and devil’s club made for tough traveling.  Despite the harsh weather, winter actually made for the easiest conditions to traverse the land.  Dog sleds had been used by indigenous people in the interior for ages, and  it didn’t take prospectors long to adopt the mode of travel.

In 1918, in an effort to connect the port of Seward to the interior gold fields, a winter trail was blazed. At the time this was known for its terminus: “The Seward Trail.”  We now call it by the gold fields it connected on the other end: “The Iditarod Trail.”


Slide4
BYWAYS AND HIGHWAYS

Trails Across Time: pgs 76-80
Relevance: ***

Perhaps no form of transportation in Alaska sparks the imagination as much as the romance and adventure of dog sledding.  Dog teams became the northern equivalent of the Pony Express, a way to transport mail, people and freight across the land.


Slide3
SILENT YET RESTLESS EARTH

Secondary Curriculum: Chapter 1
Relevance: **

Students can use Google Earth to find routes like the explorers (minus the mosquitoes) through the convoluted landscape of the Kenai Peninsula.


Slide6
BLOSSOM: SPEED DEMON OF THE NORTH

The Spaces Between:  Pgs  151-156
Relevance: ***

In the early days, dog sleds provided the link for hauling freight and people from the ports on the coast into the interior of Alaska. This began to change as the rail line was completed from Seward to Fairbanks. This transition is told focusing upon the extraordinary lead dog: Blossom.


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IDITAROD.COM FOR TEACHERS

Relevance: ***

Everything and anything a teacher could want when looking for resources on the Iditarod.

iTREC: IDITAROD TRAIL FOR EVERY CLASSROOM

Relevance: ***

This is the Iditarod Trail To Every Classroom Blog! This space was created for teachers and educators to share information, resources, and curricula in using the Iditarod National Historic Trail as a learning tool.

 ALASKA DIGITAL ARCHIVES:  Dog Sleds

Relevance: ***

Photos of Dog Sleds on the Kenai Peninsula

THE SAMURAI MUSHER:  Jujiro Wada

Relevance: ***

Originally from Japan, Jujiro Wada became well known throughout Alaska at the turn of the century as a legendary dog musher.   Wada, along with Seward’s Alfred Lowell, were given the responsibility to blaze a route from Seward to the Interior gold fields…a route we now call the Iditarod Trail