Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’

Way Up North


April 14th, 2023 Posted 11:17 am


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Posted in Chet The Dog

A Little History


January 25th, 2023 Posted 8:09 am

Today we turn things over to reader Amy Broughman who very nicely sends us this:
On this date in 1925, the Great Race of Mercy, also known as the 1925 serum run, began in Nenana, Alaska. An outbreak of Diptheria was killing children in the remote town of Nome, and the resident doctor (Curtis Welch) did not have nearly enough antitoxin to control the spread of the disease.
Alaska was remote in those days and it was determined that the antitoxin could only be transported by dog sled. Serum was located and brought to Nenana by rail to be transported the 674 miles to Nome. Twenty mushers and over 150 dogs, four of whom would die in the attempt, were quickly assembled and covered the 670+ miles in a record-breaking 127.5 hours in one of the worst blizzards Alaska had ever seen, some temps falling to 80 degrees below zero in gale force winds.
The average leg of the run was 31 miles. Musher Leonhard Seppala and his best, albeit oldest, dog Togo ran an astounding 264 miles in service to the serum and those whose lives were at risk, a feat unmatched today.
Also noteworthy is that Balto, another of Seppala’s lead dogs, ran the final 53-mile leg into Nome with another musher and received the accolades Seppala felt should have been Togo’s, including a statue in New York’s Central Park. Balto was a good lead dog as well but largely untested, especially in such wicked conditions, and his leg of the run presented few problems (he was able to recover the trail when his musher, Gunnar Kaasen, was forced to go off-trail due to snowbanks too large to negotiate).
Togo was a hero among lead dogs. Lead dogs, in particular, were of the utmost importance and had to display many talents that the other dogs lacked (confidence and motivation, agility, strength, ability to lead and control the other dogs in the team, problem-solving intelligence, stamina, and an innate sense of hazards such as thin or cracking ice, and the capacity to ignore a musher’s command that might lead the team into danger). The fact that Togo was a small dog (approximately 45 lbs) compared to the breed standard of 50-65 lbs and was 12 years old at the time of the run makes his accomplishment all the more incredible.
The Great Race of Mercy still represents one of the most collaborative efforts ever accomplished.
Below: Seppala and Togo (far left).

Pamela Kramer Reviews Of Mutts And Men


July 29th, 2020 Posted 7:48 am

And yesterday questions about C&B going to Alaska turned up. A very interesting idea. But I’ve never been there and it’s huge! So – a big challenge.




March 11th, 2017 Posted 8:11 am

This beautiful sunset photo – Matanuska Glacier, Alaska – was posted in the comments yesterday by HOH’s Mom (up there for the Iditarod).



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