Saturday, May 23, 2009

Going To The Dawgs...

"Never let schooling get in the way of a good education." - Coach Tony Ingle

Hello everyone,
In Chicago now, will be here for the weekend then through Seattle and Vancouver before arriving in Whitehorse. In many respects this last month has been tougher than most 1,000 mile sled races we've participated in. It's also at times been quite uplifting and enjoyable as well. There are so many people to thank that I apologize if we forget to mention you, it's a bit of a challenge to remember so many folks all within just a few weeks time.
Thanks go out to all of the teachers who sought us out to enlighten their children's minds with a different view of this world from our northern perspective. Sarah Lux and the Loudermilk family just ouside of Atlanta were wonderful. (Though it took us a while to figure out where there house was.) Mrs. Terrill and the kids at Midway were well prepared, thoughtful with wonderful boiled Georgia peanuts as a bonus. Pam Thompson and her "60's" kids were hilarious as ever. While in the Atlanta area we spent most of our time with fellow Iditarod musher Bill Borden and his lovely wife Brenda. Muchas Gracias to the both of them for being such kind hosts. Bill's hoping to set up a system where dogmushers who have finished a 1,000 miler can join together to travel around the country spreading the 'Good News' of the North.

Our next stop was in Abingdon, Virginia- before that Bill wanted me to meet one person before I left Georgia first. Kennesaw State is just outside of Atlanta, a few years back their basketball team won the 2A National Championship. They were having a get together for the booster club and was it ever impressive. What made it so was a man named Tony. Born with a birth defect that covers much of his body, Tony refused to lose. Not a very bright student either, he still would not relinquish the desire to be a better player, a better human. After hearing his rousing speech I could see why others were willing to perform their best for this man. His words are still echoing in my mind- Thanks Coach!

Visiting with The Campbell family in Abingdon was great. Teresa and Kevin are wonderful parents with 3 beautiful daughters. They had a b-day barn party for Ashton as she celebrated her 15th. The next day I visited with Mary Akers and a friend. After lunch her daughter's school in Rhea Valley was next on the agenda. Was fun to revisit with these small town folks after a few years. From there it was on to Crookesville, Ohio for our next talk- Shelley Sowers and friends were quite kind in Buckeye country. Our talk that afternoon was on the northwest side of Columbus in Hilliard, Ohio. The teachers, led by Kathy Donnell had constructed beautiful posters with past pix from previous races on them. One teacher even painted a beautiful mtn. scene with a team passing by-awesome! Every person we met had their own unique personas but what reaaly made all of these moments so special were the heartwarming smiles and endless energy!

Our last midwest presentation was to be the following day just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan in a small town- Grass Lake. Before leaving Ohio I had a few more folks to meet. A boy named Zack from Sylvania had been hoping that his school would invite us for a visit. Unfortunately they were unable to. His father called and asked if we might join up for dinner, "Sure", I replied. It was a fun time at a local Italian restaurant. Proof for a child that in the end Perserverance pays off. The teachers and students were full of enthusiasm and excitement. It was an enjoyable final talk, it's been quite an adventure these past few weeks. Hope you all have enjoyed the show as much as we like to share our northern treasures with the rest of the world. Travelled Lately? HHN


At 11:06 AM , Blogger patti terrell said...

Thanks, Hugh, for being willing to endure the grueling schedule! You have helped expand so many children's minds and made their "Iditarod experiences" so much more real. Besides your trail experiences, hearing the story of your journey into dogsledding inspired many. We are so thankful you were able to come this far south!

At 6:55 AM , Blogger sowerss1 said...

Crooksville Middle School would like to send a Ceramic Thank you for traveling to our small school and sharing your wonderful stories about mushing with us. You did a wonderful job of relating your experiences to things the students would understand. I was fortunate enough to be able to have breakfast with Hugh. Good luck in next years races and would love to have you back. Wild Bill was all the students were able to talk about the rest of the day. Thank you again.
Shelly Sowers


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