What are the benefits of volunteering for the Iditarod?
For me, it was the people. Interacting with my fellow volunteers and getting to know the native Alaskans in the village of Shaktoolik was an incredible experience. Furthermore, meeting almost every single musher who came through the checkpoint was amazing.
Some of my favorite musher moments are memories I’ll never forget. Peter Kaiser, the 2019 Iditarod Champion, asked to borrow floss from me because he had a piece of food stuck in his teeth for three days and called me a life saver when I handed him some. ...
Another enormous benefit is getting to see native Alaskan villages that are otherwise largely inaccessible. It’s very difficult (and expensive) to reach these places, and volunteering for the Iditarod allows you to experience them at a very special time. The locals are so passionate about this race and excited to share their villages and culture with the world.
After wading through knee to waist deep ocean sea water overflow for two hours the dogs and I were too cold and tired to continue. The two mushers I was traveling with were obviously in the same situation. We all helped each other through each section of overflow the best we could with one of us leading the dogs across flowing water and the other two lifting and pushing the sled one foot at a time through slush and water. With my sled stuck in the cold slushy water, the dogs and we three were unable to dislodge the sled from the overflow. I made the decision to free the dogs from the sled leaving the sled and gear and leading the dogs across to safety. These two mushers were heroic and unbelievably helpful in this mind boggling situation.
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