Monday, December 22, 2014
Rose Albert and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual long-distance sled dog race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome. 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. 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.
Teams generally race through blizzards causing whiteout conditions, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds which can cause the wind chill to reach −100 °F (−73 °C). A ceremonial start occurs in the city of Anchorage and is followed by the official restart in Willow, a city in the south central region of the state.
Rose Albert, who was born on the Nowitna River and grew up in Ruby, was the first Alaska Native woman to run and finish the race. But apart from racing sledges, Rose is also a carver and painter. Rose's beautiful Athabascan mother also had French blood in her. By the time Rose was 16, her artistic talent and desire was clear to all of her family. Her father told her that in France, the artists all wore berets and that as she has French blood in her, she should wear a beret, too.
She took her dad's statement to heart. When she is working with and showing her art, Rose always wears a French beret.