As a trail it began, as a trail it lived gloriously, and when the gold petered out and the rush was over, as a trail it died.
Rod Perry: That no road was ever built over the route and that the country it traverses remained largely raw wilderness would preserve its primitive character and its colorful, romantic gold-rush luster through the decades of abandonment as if the trail had an appointment with destiny.
To the trail’s romantic allure may be attributed one of the main reasons the Iditarod would one day live again. A half century after heavy trail use died out, in a man-and-team-against-the-wilderness setting, the old path would experience a glorious rebirth. From its long slumber it would awake once more to hear the barely audible hiss of runners and the creaking of sled joints, it would feel the staccato footfall and listen to the panting of trotting huskies. The world’s longest, most grueling sled dog race, termed “The Last Great Race on Earth” would be held over its spectacular course, capturing international imagination.
But I forget myself at times and stray, as this is all so alive to me. Back to the Iditarod Trail’s founding . . . .