"Then, one icy January day, there came an icy knock on Seppala's
'Diptheria,' the man's voice cut through the freezing wind. 'A
young boy...it is so contagious that in two weeks it could wipe out
everyone here in Nome!' He tried to catch his breath. 'Anchorage has
an antitoxin that can stop it, but the train from Anchorage only goes
as far as Nenana.'
Nenana was 600 miles from Nome."
I know we're months from winter snow and sleet. In my mind,
however, there are no often seasons for exciting animal stories. So
when I found three of Robert Blake's Iditarod related stories at the
Orono Public Library, I scooped the up to share with you.
The first Iditarod was a matter of public health life or death.
The year was 1925. The dreaded disease diptheria had arrived in Nome,
Alaska. Anchorage had an antitoxin. Even with a train and a sled dog
team the life saving medicine would still be 300 miles away. A relay
team was needed for the last leg of the trip...under the harshest
weather conditions possible. Togo, from which the lead quote for this
review was excerpted tells that harrowing tale.
Akiak is a story of persistance that would impress even
"It was Iditarod Race Day. 1,151 miles of wind, snow, and
rugged trail lay ahead, from Anchorage to Nome. Akiak had led the
team through seven races and knew the trail better than any dog. She
had brought them in fifth, third, and second, but had never won. She
was ten years old now. This was her last chance. Now, they must win."
You know what they say about the best laid plans of men and
mice...and dogs. On the fourth day of the race, with her team in
second place, Akiak had to be pulled because of an injury. She was to
be flown out, but she had other ideas that involved eluding the humans
and getting back on the trail to join them...a lone, injured dog
without the human support system crucial for such a grueling effort.
Painter and Ugly conveys a beautiful lesson on friendship.
Champion sled dogs, Painter and Ugly, are inseperable best friends.
One day, instead of their boy, a man takes the animals from their off
season summer home. Painter is put on a Junior Iditarod team with
strange dogs and no sign of his chum.
But he has no intentions of giving up his search for Ugly.
You know, in the upcoming wiltingly hot and muggy dog days of
August, these fine books may carry a welcome hint of crisp coolness.
On a personal note, I had a wonderful Sunday. Katie and Jacob were up
for a wedding. They, Brian and Amber, Eugene and I had a picnic at
Webster park. The weather was picnic perfect. We spent wonderful
hours together. After Eugene and I went for a drive. At a yard sale
I got 3 hoodies for $1.50 including a vivid tie dye Rainforest Cafe
one. I'll wear it often. Each time it will bring back precious picnic
A great big shout out goes out to the wonderful family Eugene and I
started almost 28 years ago when we got married.
Sent from my iPod