Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for VOLUNTEERS IN ALASKA #AtoZChallenge

For this year's challenge, my theme is The Fun in Writing. Each of my 26 posts for April is aimed at
illustrating fun parts of an author's day. A writer doesn't only write.
Creating a story or an essay requires research, revision, editing, and lots and lots of coffee and chocolate.


When it comes to volunteering, answering phones during a Hawaii Public Radio fund raiser is my speed. Something that will never appear on my "bucket list" of things to volunteer for is to spot the participating mushers during an Iditarod race, billed as The Last Great Race, and held each year in Alaska.
If I did volunteer, I'd want to work in the communication center to hear everything that's happening - from the warmth of an enclosed building. Anyone choosing to work out on the trail at checkpoints had better dress for cold weather! And carry a thermos of hot chocolate!
The coldest temperature ever recorded for the race was in 1973 when, with wind chill,
the temperature dropped to -130 degrees F.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual long-distance sled dog race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome, which takes place entirely in the US state of Alaska. Mushers and a team of 16 dogs, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 9–15 days or more.[1] The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolved into today's highly competitive race. Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
I had an opportunity to vacation and cruise in Alaska, taking time to visit the Iditarod Museum.



Below is Book Review #37 for my goal to read and review 71 books by October 22, 2016

Murder on the Iditarod Trail - An Alaska Mystery by Sue Henry
I purchased Murder on the Iditarod Trail - An Alaska Mystery by Sue Henry after visiting the Iditarod Museum while on vacation in Alaska. One of the ongoing attractions of Alaska is the Iditarod Trail Race which is run each year in March.
The winner of Alaska’s world-famous Iditarod – a grueling 1100-mile dog sled race across a frigid Artic wilderness – takes home the prize money and bragging rights for the year.
The race is run as a tribute to the original mail carriers along this trail between Anchorage and Nome, Alaska. Anchorage stands at sea level and faces west over Cook Inlet. Rainy Pass, 230 miles into the race, is the highest point on the way to Nome. Views include rolling hills and the silence of majestic mountains. An army of volunteers keep the Pass open for the race. Trailbreakers carve out the “suggestion of a track” with snow machines. But these trails can be obliterated by new or blown snow in a matter of a few hours.
Add to the above treacherous scene one murder, and possibly more to come, with only vague understanding of why or how these events are occurring. The tension level, for the participants of the race and the investigating police force, rises with the body count.
The author’s vivid descriptions and stress-filled scenes allowed me to feel as though I were tagging along during the exhausting race – albeit from the warmth of my Hawaiian lanai.


  1. You have a great site, Gail, that I am glad to have discovered this A to Z. It seems like I read about some real life intrigue on the Iditarod trail recently--will have to look it up.

    1. Yes, someone on a snow machine (Alaska-speak for snowmobile) purposely ran into and injured team dogs of two racers.
      Glad you found my site to visit during the Challenge. We're getting down to the wire now.

  2. Great! And thank you for visiting my #A2Z challenge at cazgreenham.blogspot.com

  3. Alaska is one state I've never been to. But we are planning a cruise there one day soon.

    1. It was my good fortune to visit Anchorage a few years ago and to take a couple of day cruises. Definitely a beautiful place to see.

  4. I have lived in both Alaska and Hawaii! Both are beautiful~ Now, I am craving Glaciers and pineapple ;D

    1. You lead a diverse life, Ella. Better hurry if you still want pineapples in Hawaii. The fields are fading fast!

  5. Visiting Alaska is on my bucket list. And, yes, I'd prefer summer! It's cold enough here in Minnesota. How could people even be out when it's -130! Another great book about the Alaskan frontier, mixed with mysticism, and dog races are the Watch Eyes Trilogy by Joanne Sundell. Her third book just came out. Arctic Storm, Arctic Shadow, and Arctic Will.


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