Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Waiting

In winter we leave the windows uncovered, and from my pillow I watch the stars blink brightly from a deep black sky. To the east it looks like someone has sloshed a bucket of pale green paint onto a black wall and now the color oozes and slides slowly downward. Without warning, the color brightens…
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Yukon Quest 2016, Part 2

I was awake & looking back along the trail from whence we had come when I saw the headlight eek itself out of the darkness. The snow had died down & the wind had relented, only gusting now where it had previously remained a steady strong muscle flexed over the mountain. I hobbled out of…
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Yukon Quest 2016, Part One

A few trees there, around a bend where the wind lied down a little. The sky had muted & flashed an intimation of clearing before swelling over again, falling back into the arms of the storm. At the last camp, I had snowshoed out to cut spruce boughs & saplings for the dogs to bed…
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December darkness

The lights are shards of green and red glass, shattered across the atmosphere. Each piece sharpens and glows before it vanishes. And then they are a gentle, verdant sea, inverted in the night sky. Their waves lapping at the hard edges of a black and jagged coastline in the shape of the Alaska Range. Tonight…
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Of storms and smoke and summertime

Beside our dirt road, the cottongrass blooms in clusters, rising out of a watery ditch. I rub the soft, silky fibers between my fingers and close my eyes. It’s the downy undercoat of shedding sled dogs, growing somehow out of the ground. We called it “dogflower” those first few summers, and that’s what we call…
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The Quest

The reflective trail markers blink in the arc of my headlamp and by now the dogs instinctively drive toward them. We have been on the trail for a week and a half, and for the past 800 miles the trail markers have been this torch light to follow – this lone constant in a maze…
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Copper Basin 300

I had stopped the team after any combination of potential leaders had failed to move us forward. Littlehead was sleeping in the sled bag with a sore wrist, Shane had been spooked irrevocably by fireworks shot at the team leaving Chistochina, & Andy-dog had put in as much effort & energy in one run as…
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Imprints

The imprint was how we knew. How I knew, really. Who knows what dogs perceive in this situation. But the imprint of the caribou’s body on the deep, soft snow was how I knew the wolves must have been successful. Their tracks were so fresh and so surprising that it appeared the pack dropped from…
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Variations on a Theme of 10 mph

It’s 3:04 a.m. and the alarm chimes a cheerful wake-up call. “Remember how you chose this? YOU actually set this alarm a few hours ago! For 3 a.m.! You are crazy!” Unbelievably, we are full of energy. We really can’t wait to see how the dogs will do today. We quietly creak open the door…
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