Snow comes early and stays late on our little highway, making it ideal for dog mushers training their teams for the Iditarod, Yukon Quest, or other long-distance races.
The snow is just now barely deep enough for a sled’s snow brake to take hold, and on some parts of the road perhaps not quite deep enough. Mushers have creative ways to solve for this.
One has thirty-six dogs pulling his truck, which is large enough to serve as a kennel for the team. We’re guessing he uses his brakes downhill to slow, so the truck doesn’t overrun the dogs, and could provide an assist uphill.
With the snow getting deeper now, it’s not uncommon to see a team pulling both a snowmachine and a sled. The musher can ride the sled so long as the snow is sufficient, switching to the snowmachine if needed.
Gary’s lumber mill is elegantly simple – he was able to show me how to mill a few pieces of lumber myself in just a few minutes. The hard part? Moving ten-foot logs twenty inches in diameter into place. I found it hard to learn how to use a peavey with Gary holding up his (very heavy) end while I tried to get my hook into the log!
If I had to get up early for sunrise, I never would have gotten this shot. This was taken at 8:45 a.m. after the time change.
Sunrise: 9:25 a.m.
Sunset: 3:57 p.m.
Weather: High -18, low -38, sunny and calm. We’re starting to use the ice axe to get to our daily water supply!
Geeze woman, you will be in great shape by spring!!! Hugs!!
Steve Hibshman said:
I like the sunrise time,and I could be awake for that. -38 sounds a bit nippy!
Glad you found something to like!
Beautiful sunrise photo. I love looking at all the pics you’ve been taking since this adventure of yours began. The musher really does look like a bear and the dogs look quite happy to be out and running. So I suppose your next adventure is going to be the Iditarod?! why not!
Thanks! The dogs do seem happy and excited.
Becky Johnson said:
Hi Barbara –
You might have wondered who was following your blog, so just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Becky Johnson and our connection is that our son, Matt, works for Bailard. He thought I would be interested in reading your thoughts. It has been fascinating following your life in Alaska and we eagerly await each new entry! Not clear on your location in Alaska, but if you are close to Talkeetna, be sure and look up our good friend Todd Burleson with Alpine Ascents and give him our greetings. Best to you and we look forward to hearing the next chapter in your life!
Becky & Warren Johnson
Welcome! I’m glad Matt passed this along. Gary thinks he remembers Todd had some wonderful Tibetan yurts that he’d used in his business and does pack trips in the Talkeetnas with yaks. Sounds like an interesting guy! I hope we’ll run into him, and if so will give him your regards!
Barb, I have been following your blog and can’t believe this is the same girl I went to high school with- if you told me back then you’d be living an adventure like this I never would have believed it!
Stay safe- Love you! Denise
I could never have imagined it either! Thanks Denise!