The View from Mattie’s Pillow

Temperatures have dropped again with bitter wind–unusual combination for the Interior, but as I write this, I realize that it’s happened several times this winter. Today is St. Patrick’s Day, but not much happening here at Mattie’s Pillow. All humans here have been laid low with a flu–mild in my case–and green beer is the last thing on our menu.

The snow is still thick on the ground here and settling and hardening in the wind. Out on the Iditarod Trail, the mushers are being buffeted with winds off the Bering Strait as they cross frozen Norton Sound. Some have scratched; some have needed helicopter rescue, dogs and all. The Iditarod, since it takes place later in the year than the Yukon Quest, and as spring gradually comes earlier in the North, usually has the opposite problem. For sled dogs, bred to race full out at the coldest temperatures and with the coats to help them do this, weather below zero is best. Too much warmer than that, and they overheat and need to stop to eat snow occasionally to stay cool. But this year, with the wind and deep cold the mushers are struggling to take care of their dogs and stay healthy.

Still, the race will soon be over, if it’s not already, and the stragglers can take their time getting in, cheered along the way by the people who live in villages along the trail: Shaktoolik, Ophir, Nikolai, Nome.

Now, St. Patrick’s Day is over almost everywhere. Charlie Rose is talking about the economic situation. Tomorrow, plant tomatoes for the greenhouse, watch horses shed, believe that summer will come.

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One Response to “The View from Mattie’s Pillow”

  1. RaiulBaztepo Says:

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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