The Iditarod Trail began as a discontinuous series of native trails that ran roughly from the south coast of Alaska to Anchorage and points north. Once gold was discovered along the Yukon River and on the beaches of Nome in the late 1800s, the trail was better defined so that dog mushers could transport supplies and mail from Seward, where the steamer ships pulled in, to the gold mining camp of Iditarod and beyond to Nome on the Bering Sea–over 1100 miles–in winter.
By the 1920s, the trail fell into disuse. Many of the gold mining camps had dried up, and men called to serve in the first World War never returned. The Anchorage-to-Nome part of the trail was revived in the 1970s for use as a sled dog race course, and it’s still going strong.
Here I am in Seward at Mile 0 of the Iditarod National Historic Trail.
Sled dog racing is once again a big deal in Seward (above), but I think this guy (below) has opted for a more updated mode of transportation. Smart!