Can you imagine competing in a 1,000-mile race across Alaska? Neither can I. Well, a lady who's participated in this race three times is coming to Grand Junction later this month, and you have a chance to meet her.

Mesa County Libraries will host a three-time participant in the Alaskan Iditarod Sled Dog Race for three presentations on Nov. 22 and 23. Iditarod musher Karen Land, along with her sled dog Noggin, will describe her experiences in the 1,000-mile race and will show her sled and other race gear.

I swear, half my friends in Grand Junction are from Alaska. Two of my best friends are from Anchorage, and my ex is from Soldotna. This event probably hits close to home for a lot of people in Western Colorado.

What exactly is the Iditarod? According to the events official webpage:

A race covering  1000 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer. She throws jagged mountain ranges, frozen river, dense forest, desolate tundra and miles of windswept coast at the mushers and their dog teams. Add to that temperatures far below zero, winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility, the hazards of overflow, long hours of darkness and treacherous climbs and side hills, and you have the Iditarod. A race extraordinaire, a race only possible in Alaska.

This event is free and open to the public. Presentations are scheduled for:

  • Friday, November 22 at 3 p.m. at the Central Library, 443 N. 6th St. in Grand Junction
  • Saturday, November 23 at 10 a.m. at the Central Library
  • Saturday, November 23 at 1 p.m. at the Fruita Community Center, 324 N. Coulson St. in Fruita

These presentations are open to all ages at no charge.