How can you travel across Alaska's miles of snow?
By dog sled, of course! The native people of Alaska's icy terrain have been traveling by dog sled for hundreds of years. Dog racing is such a part of the state's history that Alaskans hold an annual event, the Iditarod (dubbed “The Last Great Race on Earth”), a competitive dog-sled race over 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) of sub-zero terrain. (The actual distance varies from year, based on weather conditions and whether the northern route is used (in even-numbered years) or southern route (in odd-numbered years). To officially honor Alaska's position as the forty-ninth state, the official distance is set as 1,049 miles [1,688 kilometers].) From Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast, each team of 12 to 16 dogs and their musher travel through the snow in ten to seventeen days.