Thank you, Lake Placid Middle School!

I had a great morning visiting Lake Placid Middle School kids.  We talked a lot about books and writing, and they got a sneak peek at the cover for my upcoming figure skating book, SUGAR AND ICE.  Sharing that secret was extra-fun because the school is quite literally in the shadow of the Olympic Center, where much of SUGAR AND ICE takes place.

Another cool thing about this particular school visit?  The principal and I share a last name.  (No, we’re not related!)

Dr. Dave Messner, Me, and Sara Kelly Johns, awesome Lake Placid librarian who is also running for ALA President!

And the best part?  The kids.  These 6th, 7th, and 8th graders were enthusiastic, inquisitive, and downright fun.

Rachel & Jillian were especially good sports, modeling 18th Century clothing when we talked about historical fiction!

Thanks, Lake Placid Middle School, for a fantastic February morning!

Iditarod Dreams

We had plans to ski last Sunday, but high winds kept the chairlifts  at Whiteface Mountain grounded for the first part of the morning.  Instead of waiting it out, we headed into Lake Placid for some pancakes and a dogsled ride.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Iditarod, the 1150-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.  A few years ago, my husband and I visited Iditarod headquarters and got to meet some of the amazing dogs that make that journey.  But it was summer, so we couldn’t  actually ride on a dogsled.

That’s why we jumped at the chance to take a ride with these gorgeous dogs on Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake.

The dogs were excited to find out they had some business.

The ride around a frozen Mirror Lake was brisk but spectacular!

This is our musher, whose name has escaped me, but he was very, very cool and friendly.  Interestingly enough, he never actually hollered “Mush!”  He hollered “Hike!” instead.  We were slightly disappointed but got over it.

While we circled the lake, other winter weather lovers were skating or riding toboggans down an icy chute set  up along the shore.

This is Lightning.  He likes to run in the back of the pack and was the friendliest of the sled dogs — the only one the kids could pet after our ride.  The rest of them couldn’t wait to pull us around on the sled but wanted nothing to do with us when the ride was over.  You can see in their eyes that these dogs still have a lot of the wild left in them — one of the reasons they do so well in the actual race in Alaska.

The real Iditarod is going on right now.  Here’s a great website where you can follow the progress of the teams.