One of the things that makes the Iditarod such an interesting event is that most of the action occurs in the wilds of Alaska in the middle of winter. The central and western parts of the state are dotted with villages (and ghost town), but the only transportation between them is by air, river and seasonal trail. In the early part of the 20th century, it could take weeks for news and information to travel between villages, or between the villages and the outside world. Today, every village has modern telephone service, and many have high speed Internet.
This makes following the Iditarod quite a bit easier than it once was, but there is still nothing like being on the trail itself. Many of our guests get a taste of that by going to the Rainy Pass checkpoint the Monday after the start of the race, but further west and north, you really get to see a different world – one where, at least for a day or two, the world pays attention as the race passes through.
Every year we have guests that travel to some of the more remote checkpoints to watch the race. They thoroughly enjoy the experience, in part because they get to meet the locals and see frontier life as it exists in the 21st century. In even years, the Iditarod follows what is known as the “Northern Route”, and in odd years, the “Southern Route”.
2012 is a Northern Route year, and as such, many of our guests will be heading to Galena for the middle of the race. You will fly out to Galena on Thursday, March 8, and spend the night the nights of March 8 and 9. On March 10, you’ll depart from Galena, and then fly to Fairbanks and then to Anchorage.
In odd years, we send our guests to Grayling, on the southern route. We have also sent guests to McGrath, and it is possible to combine more than one checkpoint into your trip. It is also possible to combine one of the checkpoints with the dogsledding and northern lights adventures that we can arrange out of Fairbanks.
In future years we hope to be able to add Unalakleet to the towns that we can include during the middle of the race. Unalakleet is located on the coast, and is just a day or two from the finish of the race.
Tomorrow we will talk about the “Chase the Race” packages.
If you’re interested in having us arrange your Iditarod package, give us a call at (877) 692-5275 or +19073342888. Or you can go to our website and complete our form, and we’ll get back to you!
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