Thursday, November 20, 2008

Macgellan Update: With Sled Dogs In Alaska!

Greetings!… I've been crazy busy since completing The Voyage back in May, but haven't had anything suitable for posting to the web. I am delighted to report that condition has now changed!

I am writing to you from Two Rivers, Alaska, about 25 miles northeast of Fairbanks in the heart of the Alaskan Interior. I have come up here to explore Alaska in the winter, and to totally immerse myself in the life of the Alaskan Husky sled dogs I love so much. I have been very fortunate to renew my acquaintance with Aliy Zirkle and her husband Allen Moore -- both professional dog mushers and Iditarod racers -- who run SP Kennel here in Two Rivers. They have very graciously helped me arrange nearby accommodations and are including me in every aspect of kennel operations, from running dogs to cleaning the dog yard. You can imagine how happy I am to be amidst 60 fabulous sled dogs on a daily basis!

In brief, Interior Alaska in winter is cold, dry and dark! Temperatures have been -10F to -20F degrees since I arrived last week, and promise to go as low as -40F degrees in the near future. The air is so dry that the usual winter problems of chapped hands, lips, etc. are a continual challenge. Frostbite is also a constant danger, and you have to be very careful to keep covered at all times to avoid getting "nipped" (which can happen in a shockingly brief amount of time!) It doesn't start getting light until about 9am and the sun never gets more than 15 degrees above the horizon before setting again at about 4pm. This, too, promises to get "worse" as the days shorten even more over the next month. I'll keep you posted!

I will be contributing heavily to the SP Kennel Dog Log and invite you to look for all my postings there. I plan to cross-post some of that content here, whatever and whenever it seems appropriate. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, I've gone to the dogs!

Best regards,


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