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Early season mushers with twelve excited dogs

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.

A musher travels on snowmobile with sled behind. He looks like he's wearing a bear suit!

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 milling spruce for lumber to finish the addition to the cabin and other projects

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!

Full moon at sunrise, taken overlooking the frozen creek at 8:45 a.m.

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!