The first time I heard about the Iditerod was when my friend Monal Lisa was inviting me to go and see her in Alaska where she was then a travelling doctor. She said it was cold, but if I visited her, it meant I was her friend!
Okay, so off I went and I tagged my sister along! And in Seward which is about a two hour smooth curvy drive from Anchorage, we find the Mile 0 --- the very place where the famous dog sled race starts.
I have to research more on this famous dog race. But I am taking advantage of this fast internet connection at Anchorage Airport!
I do know that in 2004, Seward is very very proud to have one of their very own boys win the race! His name - Mitch Seavey who was lead by his canine companions "Tread" and "Zebra" --- no wonder he won (Zebras are lucky I think) on top of the fact that Mitch's family is active in the dog sled scene (specially his Dad who helped organize everything). There are three generations of Seavey mushers!
The Iditerod is considered the "last great race on earth'!
If you are going to be in Alaska for the 4th of July, you'll find you have a big decison to make: where to spend the holiday. Anchorage has fireworks and celebrations, Sitka has a parade with their one horse (at least they had one horse when I was there) and I'm sure every other city or little town has something unique as well. But if you want to see blood and bruises, go to Seward. They have the Mt. Marathon race which is insane. People from all over the world come here for the 4th of July to see or participate in this run which is pretty much straight up Mt. Marathon and back down. The trail climbs to the top at 3,022' and then people slide back down to complete the race. The Travel Channel features it and the town promotes it very well in their guides and on their site. I have enough difficulty walking on flat land and even more hiking up trails that I can't imagine having to run Mt. Marathon but it's gotta be entertaining to watch. If you want to race, you have to fill out the application You can also find out about the history of the race on that page.
They also have a parade, fireworks and lots of food so it's not just about the race but I think it's certainly the unique highlight of the holiday.
Every 4th of July, the locals sign up for a marathon (steep) race up and down "Mount Marathon" which overlooks the small town's boat harbor.
This special day is celebrated as one of Seward's big events of the year (July 4th).
We were lucky enough to witness this traditional happening - during our trip and found it to be amazing to see!
Moose is commonly seen around Seward, or in Alaska in general. These large animals are gentle and graceful, not as jumpy as deers. That may be why there are a lot more moose killed by cars in Alaska than deers. Along many highways in Alaska there are signs to show how many moose have been killed by cars this year, and to warn drivers to slow down. Usually only the tourists slow down or pull over to photograph moose (like me).