Monday, July 9, 2012

Last Great Race on Earth : Mail carried on Dog Sled : Iditarod 40th Anniversary Cover : USA Cover

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 12–16 dogs, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 9–15 days. 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 frequently 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. The restart was originally in Wasilla, but because of too little snow, the restart was permanently moved to Willow in 2008. The trail runs from Willow up the Rainy Pass of the Alaska Range into the sparsely populated interior, and then along the shore of the Bering Sea, finally reaching Nome in western Alaska. 

The trail is through a harsh landscape of tundra and spruce forests, over hills and mountain passes, and across rivers. While the start in Anchorage is in the middle of a large urban center, most of the route passes through widely separated towns and villages, and small Athabaskan and Inupiat settlements. The Iditarod is regarded as a symbolic link to the early history of the state and is connected to many traditions commemorating the legacy of dog mushing. (Read more at Wikipedia.)

Thanks Dad for sending me this nice cover with special cancellation. Readers, My dad is Gandhi Stamp collector and his  blog is

Above cover has trail map from where this race pass and also has 2 stamps and special cancellation of Iditarod from Anchorage Alaska.

1) 4 cents Gandhi Stamps issued in 1961
2) 42 cents Alasks Stamps issued in 2009 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Alaska statehood is celebrated with an image of a dog sled team.

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