March 26, 2017

Around Town in Huslia, Musher Chores During the 24 hr Break

There is most definitely no zoning bylaw here, that you can not have more than 2 dogs in town. There are several kennels right in the middle of Huslia: Wilson Sam, Floyd and of course that of the late George Attla. Having somewhat dog withdrawal, I could not resist to visit some dogs, all super friendly and happy to see a visitor. Talking to Floyd’s daughter she mentioned how she went down for the North American Sprint Championship last year and is training again: “I am running 8 miles in 19 minutes.” Dang, that is pretty quick. That usually takes me 1 hour, I retorted.

What else to do at 5 below on a sunny afternoon than having a community BBQ in front of the town hall? Nice burgers and hot dogs are waiting. The mushers cabin is a short walk away from the dog lot and looks like quite an historic old building. Very cozy inside. 

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We fueled up the iron dogs for the night run to Koyukuk. Fuel is amazingly cheap up here at $6 a gallon. I did not expect that. They have barge service twice a year, once in early June and the last one in fall the first week of September. This is as far as the barges can push upriver, unless there is exceptional high water, then they can make it as far as Hughes. Ran into Patrick Bergman from Allakaket. He worked on the glacier back in 2008, now living here with a young family. Very nice to see him again.  As big as Alaska is, it is always interconnected. 

Dallas Seavey was out in the dog lot massaging and walking his dogs. I joked: “You young punks are so full of energy.” He said, “I am pretty sore right now and do not feel so young. ” While camped out yesterday past Ruby, Dallas slept solid for 2 hrs in the sun, pretty much the first solid sleep he had in awhile. 

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I wish I remembered the name, but forgot, the dog he is massaging is a 2 year old and at that young age already an Iditarod Champion leader. Dallas moves his leaders to the back of the gangline so they mentally know they are off duty. He takes each pair of dogs for a jog around the musher’s cabin to limber them up, a pretty common thing done by most mushers once or twice during their 24 hr stop. He confirmed that Mitch most likely had planned to camp before Huslia and then go through here later tonight. Jeff King is less than 1 hour out now. 

Ken Anderson has his work cut out. He is removing the caboose from his sled, to go from the biggest sled in the race to the smallest. Remember, he had that 6 foot long trailer behind. He also needs to come up with some sort of a fix for his sled brake, as that is broken nicely in half. “At least you can still step on that one claw,” I joked, but he did not think that was funny.

Enjoy the Huslia shots.

 

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Ken Anderson taking off his caboose, going from biggest to smallest sled in the race

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Dallas Seavey walking his dogs

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Ken has a broken brake

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Jodi Bailey feeding while talking to reporter Kyle Hopkins

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Huslia has view! Brooks range and Koyukuk River

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Wilson Sam’s doglot

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Home for the last 18 hours

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