Yesterday, I took an evening walk out through the edge of town and into the gravel tracks that wind down towards the fjord. A chance to breathe in some cold fresh air and take a break from all of the preparations, meetings and logistics. A local Greenlandic guy, about my age, walked up to join me and stroll for a while. After chatting some in broken english he pointed me towards a lane to follow, where the mushers keep their huskies penned. About twenty minutes later I rounded the edge of a dry gravel bar and came into site of the yard. Little groans,yawns, and half hearted howls started up as dogs stood to stretch and greet me. Around the fringes of the fenced pens were the menus of their meals: muskox and reindeer bones!
These dogs were still in their full winter fur and looked just the way you hoped to see a Greenlandic team. One big bear of a softy reached up and set his paws just under my shoulders. Set about, too, were the beautifully constructed sledges.
An aspect that I love about living in Alaska is sharing in the lifestyle thats built around dog teams and mushing. For the people of Greenland it is an inseparable part of their cultural identity and livelihood. It was clear how carefully the breeding had been handled in these animals, and how richly they were being cared for. Bright eyes, heavy lush coats, and big sturdy frames. It’s a magical piece of the fabric of life in the north.