Operation Deep Freeze: Teacher To Hit The Iditarod Trail
Terrie Hanke is a high school gym teacher at Wisconsin's Eau Claire North High School. Even though we are sure that Hanke is acclimated to the chilly Wisconsin winters, next year she will be experiencing an altogether different type of winter, that of Alaska.
Hanke has been selected to be the 2006 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail. The duties involve handling sled dogs, following the "mushers" both on the ground and in the air, writing lesson plans related to the race, and updating a daily weblog:
The annual Iditarod (official website here) dog-sled race is run from Anchorage to Nome over a meandering course of about 1100 miles through Alaska's backcountry. The race is often considered a test of endurance for both humans and animals.
Hanke said her past experience as a canoe guide, leading 16-day camping trips, may have been an advantage in the selection process.
"It will probably be more on the primitive side," she said. "There probably won't be running water. There probably won't be any shower or bathroom facilities."
She said challenges will include keeping batteries for a laptop computer and digital camera charged in cold weather, and finding places with Internet access along the route.
As she prepares for the race, she said she plans to work with Eau Claire veterinarian Rebecca Lee, who formerly lived in Alaska and worked with sled dogs of musher Susan Butcher.
Hanke said she wants to prepare a lesson on sled dog metabolism and compare the caloric needs of dogs and humans.
Previous Teachers on the Trail [The program started in 1999- Ed.] have been from the elementary school level. The teacher on this year's race was Lynne Gordon from Wilmington, Mass.
Interestingly, the sports teams of Terri Hanke's high school are known as the Huskies.
Main Page/Latest Posts