Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Dapper Dogs of the Great White North

Some friends of one of the Winged Monkeys of Software are touring the White North now. One of the points of interest in their adventure vacation was the 25th Running of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. Here's a picture from the starting line.

The race course runs from WhiteHorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada all the up to Fairbanks, Alaska. The website says that the race follows the historic Gold Rush and mail delivery dogsledding routes from the turn of the 20th century. It takes two weeks to finish. The dog teams have fourteen dogs pulling. The terrain is frozen rivers, lakes and mountains. In addition to the just stupidly cold weather, the teams must also deal with unpredicatable wildlife along the way.

You can follow the teams along the race at this website:

Here are four additional pictures they sent back to us. You know I always had this image in my mind about dog sleds and the teams that pull them. It was right of Jack London's "Call of the Wild". The protagonist hero of that story is Buck, a 4-year-old, 140 lb St. Bernard/Scotch Shepherd mix, with the stature of a large wolf and the machismo of Norse god. The dogs pulling these sleds today aren't anything like the fictional Buck. These dogs are svelt, even dapper in their booties and James Bond jackets. Don't these dogs look like their racing to dinner at the Ritz? All they need is a tie to be seated.

Many thanks to Ben's friends for the images and the story.

1 comment:

Marisa said...

If I were those dogs, I would totally feel lame with those little booties on. Those are like the fuzzy socks they give you before you go into surgery. Not cool at all.

And speaking of Jack London and his chilly repertoire, did you ever read "How to Build a Fire"? Its a short story. It's a lot like that seen in the Empire Strikes Back on Hoth when Luke hollows out that thing (I think it's called a ton-ton) to stay warm.