Three weeks from today I will begin P.A.C.E. Trek 2009 - a 500-mile journey through the heart of Alaska. As of today there are 13,764 children registered to participate in the trek, from 28 U.S. states as well as 6 other countries (Australia, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Scotland, and the United Kingdom). Free team registration closes on April 16 and we're currently at 137 registered teams. Just in the last three weeks there have been 5,000 students signed up! If you visit pacetrek.com/journal.htm you’ll see a photo of the road which goes to Glennallen, Alaska (a section I'll be running this spring). My mother took the photo two days ago and sent it to me. The snow is beginning to melt and the shoulder of the road is in good condition!
Pennies For Paul
Recently, Tunnelton-Denver Elementary (located in Tunnelton, West Virginia) did a Pennies for Paul project where they raised money to help with some costs associated with P.A.C.E. Trek. They donated $110.00 (that's 11,000 pennies!). Their school participated in last year's P.A.C.E. Trek across Montana and has two teams that will be participating in the Alaska adventure. Their donation is paying for my ferry ticket from Juneau to Haines, Alaska, as well as one week's food costs. Thank you students of Tunnelton-Denver Elementary!
Grants For Pedometers
I've learned that some schools participating in this year's P.A.C.E. Trek have qualified for grants from other sources to be able to purchase pedometers for their students to use during the three-week virtual trek. I'm glad to see that the value of P.A.C.E. Trek is being recognized by those who can award grants for pedometers!
New Home Page
As some of you have noticed, if you go to pacetrek.com you'll see that I've designed a new homepage. This will be the permanent look for P.A.C.E. Trek and after the Alaska journey is over I'll be fully developing individual pages. What I've learned is that many teachers don't know how to access my past endeavors (such as the Montana crossing, or my U.S.A. run). So, the new P.A.C.E. Trek home page is designed to keep these ultra-endurance journeys more organized so that people can explore each of them easily.
KTOO Radio Interview – Juneau, Alaska
On March 9th I was interviewed by KTOO Radio (Juneau, Alaska) about P.A.C.E. Trek 2009 and you can listen to that interview by clicking here.
Mt. Redoubt - A Very Active Volcano!
Some of you may be aware that Mt. Redoubt is a volcano located 103 miles Southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. It is 10,197 feet in height and has recently erupted (many times). Until about a week ago it had sat quiet for 20 years. Now it is erupting on a daily basis, sending ash as high as 65,000 feet into the air and turning the white snow color of many Alaska areas to gray (Southcentral Alaska from the Mat-Su Borough to Valdez). The Anchorage International Airport has been completely shutdown due to ash being corrosive to jet engines. Some people in the heavier-affected areas are wearing face masks to keep from inhaling the ash particles. The most recent eruption sent a mudflow down the Drift River valley that was detected by seismic instruments at the Alaska Volcano Observatory. An evacuated Chevron oil storage facility containing six million gallons of Cook Inlet crude is situated near the mouth of the Drift River where it empties into Cook Inlet. Hopefully, the millions of gallons of crude oil will remain contained and not spilled into the pristine surroundings. The latest information about the Redoubt volcano can be found at the Alaska Volcano Observatory web site.
Mt. Redoubt is a stratovolcano, which is a tall, conical volcano with many layers of hardened lava, tephra, and volcanic ash. Stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic, explosive eruptions. The lava that flows from stratovolcanoes tends to be viscous; it cools and hardens before spreading far.
I just got off the phone with my brother who asked me if I would be bringing some breathing masks to keep particles out of my airway and lungs while trekking through Alaska. I will definitely be doing that! To begin the Alaska adventure I will be flying into Juneau, which is in Southeast Alaska and a far distance from the volcano. However, as the trek progresses I'll be as close as 100 miles from the volcano, where ash is depositing heavily. Experts are uncertain at this time as to how much more Mt. Redoubt will erupt. It could settle down soon... or it could erupt periodically for many months. This is truly something that I'll be keeping my eye on.
Time Is Running Out To Register
April 16 will be the last day for school teams to sign up for free to participate in P.A.C.E. Trek 2009. Registration officially closes at 5:00 p.m., PST, on Thursday, April 16. If you haven't shared information about P.A.C.E. Trek with teachers that you know, please do so today so that they can consider having their students participate. Again, there is no cost... no fundraising involved... and nothing that has to be purchased!
Team Leader Passwords
I have sent out to all of the team leaders the password needed to access the special section of this web site which is only for teams. If you are a team leader and have not received your password, please contact me.
I truly appreciate the encouraging words that I've received from so many people who will be involved in this year's P.A.C.E. Trek through Alaska. I am looking forward to the journey and hope that you'll be accessing my online classroom daily between April 20 and May 12, 2009 to watch my progress and that of thousands of children around the world.
Paul Staso P.A.C.E. Trek (Promoting Active Children Everywhere)
P.O. Box 3404, Missoula, Montana 59806