Posting vignettes based on great postcards found in my mail box and elsewhere.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Straw Beds In The Sun

Used with permission, Copyright 2008 Scott Chesney

"The best long distance runners eat raw meat, run naked and sleep in the snow." --From an Alaska Airlines ad

Though the above quote describes sled dogs well, more often than not they sleep on straw beds, like those in this postcard, rather than on the cold snow. These beautiful canines were photographed by Scott Chesney, a fellow Fairbanksan, gifted photographer and experienced musher. You can find more of Scott's images on at his website.

My guess is that these dogs have already slept and they are content to watch people at the checkpoint while half-dozing on their comfortable straw beds with the warm sun on their backs. Notice the blue coats the dogs have on for extra warmth. One of the simple pleasures of running and camping with sled dogs is throwing down the straw and watching the dogs circle and dig with their paws while fluffing up their beds. They respond to fresh straw almost as enthusastically as they do raw meat.

As I post this the sled dogs of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race are resting quietly on straw beds at Dawson City, Yukon Territories, Canada. They will resume the race following a 36-hour layover. The current leader is William Kleedehn of Limp-a-Long Kennels. Kleedehn is one of the nicest mushers to be on the trail or in camp with. He is a world-class musher with a wonderful sense of humor.

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