Craig Medred

Iditariders touring Anchorage in the sleds of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race mushers on Saturday will produce almost $250,000 in revenue for the Last Great Race, according to Iditarod CEO Stan Hooley.

Iditarod fans from around the word bid for seats in the sleds, or buy them outright. The bids and buys netted a total of $231,571 this year, Hooley said.

Seven riders paid the $7,500 asking price for rides in the sleds of their favorite mushers. An earlier Alaska Dispatch News story identified only two of those fan favorites -- Jessie Royer from Montana and Kristy Berington from Kasilof...

Craig Medred

With the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race about to launch, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) -- a longtime race critic -- is emailing national media with its "Iditarod Facts.''

PETA claims dogs "are forced to run an average of more than 100 miles per day" in the race and notes that "at least 23 dogs used in the Iditarod have died since just 2004.''...

Craig Medred

General -- the disabled Husky puppy from Fairbanks so cute he tore people's hearts out -- has found a new home. Owner Andrea Huisman went looking for help after she recognized that supporting a puppy with no front legs would be too much of a struggle for a newly single mom with four children. Huisman revealed her predicament on Craigslist and the world responded. Huisman spent almost a month vetting hundreds of people who wanted to help General, before announcing on Facebook that she'd finally found an ideal place for him close to home....

Craig Medred

Mallard ducks on Wednesday were paddling the ice-free waters of Chester Creek along the ceremonial route of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race through Anchorage's university-medical district. Nearer downtown, there were puddles of standing water along the route.

But there looked to be just enough of an icy blanket frozen to the asphalt of the Chester Creek Trail and connecting bike trails to speed dog teams to the Bureau of Land Management's Campbell Airstrip on the lower Hillside.

Where the ice cover was lacking, municipal employees were hard at work with snowmachines, sleds and shovels as they transported and then spread snow collected earlier in the winter on bare areas...

Craig Medred

A 36-year-old Anchorage cyclist has absolutely shattered the record for the time it takes man or beast to cover the 350 miles of Iditarod Trail up and over the Alaska Range from the headwaters of Cook Inlet to the Interior community of McGrath.

Oh, what a difference the weather makes in Alaska.

Even first-time Iditarod Trail Invitational champ John Lackey sounded shocked Tuesday upon his arrival in McGrath in 1 day, 18 hours and 32 minutes. Lackey took 10 hours and 11 minutes off a cycling record set last year, which was itself a record by more than 14 hours...

Craig Medred

Alaska is continuing to clamp down on the use of drones to aid in hunting and fishing.

The Alaska Board of Game, which sets wildlife regulations, a year ago approved regulations blocking hunters from using remote-control aircraft to locate big game , and the Board of Fisheries has now moved to prohibit commercial fishermen from using drones to spot schooling salmon.

The latest action came Sunday at the Fish Board meeting in Sitka. Board members shot down the use of drones for economic reasons...

Craig Medred

All alone high in the Alaska Range on Monday, cyclist Andrew Kulmatiski was blazing along the historic Iditarod Trail at a pace hard to believe.

Veterans of the Iditarod Trail Invitational human-powered ultra-distance race put him on pace to pedal a fat bike into the Interior village of McGrath in a time faster than that of any dog team in the history of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. A one-time road racer from the state of New York and now a professor of wildland resources at Utah State University, the 42-year-old Kulmatiski is a rookie in the Iditarod Trail Invitational race to McGrath but no stranger to Alaska. He spent several years teaching at the University of Alaska Anchorage...

Craig Medred

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, the second-largest after Wrangell-St. Elias, is also the second-worst national park in the nation, according to a Fox News' list of "America's Worst National Parks, " coming in right behind South Carolina's Congaree National Park. Among the criticisms raised: • No "real gates.'' The only gates are natural. The area the park covers was named by legendary conservationist Robert Marshall in the 1930s . He thought the Brooks Range mountains near the head of the North Fork Koyukuk River formed a natural gateway to the Arctic plains to north. • "No roads." Guilty....

Craig Medred

Just to the north of Alaska's largest city, the true hard men and women of the Iditarod Trail on Sunday headed north from the old port of Knik in a race against time and weather. Out ahead of them somewhere, Bill Merchant, the organizer of the Iditarod Trail Invitational, was pushing a trail up Rainy Pass and through this year's supposedly impassable Dalzell Gorge, which is passable because almost anything in Alaska is passable for the fit, skilled and determined. Behind Merchant, the Iditarod charge was to be led by a gang of fat-tire bikers who, with a little luck, might well set a record on the 350-miles of trail over the Alaska Range to McGrath in the Interior....

Craig Medred

The modern day wizards of weather know exactly why the climate conspired to unleash February rain and floods on Alaska -- a state once mocked across the nation as " Seward's Icebox ," is now proclaimed as the climate-friendy "place to be" in the 21st century by The New York Times.

Blame an aberrant jet stream that has taken to swirling south from Asia into the Pacific Ocean tropics, where it grabs a load of warm, moist air and then heads north to deliver it to Alaska, with predictable results...

Craig Medred

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