If you’ve ever watched National Geographic's  Life Below Zero, you’ve probably thought to yourself, "Wow who can stand/live in these conditions?"

Even though we live in North Dakota and experience pretty rough winters, it’s a whole different situation living a subsistence lifestyle in Alaska.

In the show, you see everything from people just living their normal lives in subzero winters, to people traveling with sled dogs to go hunting for food.

You also might even see people training for something called Iditarod. The show taught me all about this competition, and what people go through in order to prepare. Let me tell you, this isn’t for the faint of heart.

Jeff King
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North Dakota Teen Competes In Junior Iditarod

I recently saw a story pop up in my newsfeed, saying a North Dakota teenager competed in the Jr Iditarod; I was intrigued.

North Dakota teen, Eva Robinson, took up the challenge, according to Valley News Live. Robinson is 17 years old from Cavalier, North Dakota. According to the source, this isn't the first time she's competed in the junior competition; she also did it back in 2022. 

About Iditarod, The Last Great Race

If you don't know what Iditarod is, it's a long-distance sled dog race held in Alaska every March, and it is brutal.

Harold Tunheim
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Mushers travel from Anchorage to Nome with a team of between 12 and 14 dogs. They race through blizzards, white-out conditions, and sometimes windchills of -100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mushers and dogs go through rugged landscapes, forest hills, mountain passes, and even cross rivers; it is truly a test of strength.

Remember Balto?

According to Britannica, the race is approximately 1,000 miles long, and can take 8 to 15 days to complete. It originally started in 1973 to test the best sled dog mushers, but now, it’s just a highly competitive race.

According to the source, the race also commemorates the serum run of 1925, where the dog, Balto, became famous as the lead sled dog that brought medicine to Nome, during the diphtheria epidemic. This was the only team that was able to make the journey in the blizzard conditions, and the successful journey saved several lives.

Junior Iditarod

Junior mushers went on a 148-158 mile trail through Eagle Quest, Yentna Station Roadhouse (halfway point where they have a 10 hour layover), and return the next day on the same route to the finish line at Knik Lake.

2024's Junior Iditarod race began at 10 AM on Saturday, February 24th, at Knik Lake, and ended Sunday evening according to the website.

You can see where each of the junior mushers placed here. 

Eva Robinson finished the race on Sunday (February, 25th) at 17:28:58!!!

Harold Tunheim
Getty Images

20 Annoying Things About Winter In ND

The cold-weather months can be frustrating.

Gallery Credit: Andi Ahne

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

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