After weeks of severely cold weather, we have done a typically Bethel turn around. From 30 below on Sunday night we jumped to 30 above by Tuesday morning. The change came with dire predictions of a serious blizzard, complete with 50 mph winds and blowing snow causing white-out conditions.
The wind has picked up, blowing frost and snow from the trees, but no blizzard has arrived. (Photos of the same tree, at -30 and +30.) The sky has been blue for most of the day and the warmer weather has everyone smiling. I fully expected to see teenagers out in shorts and t-shirts today. I ran into a friend at the post office who said “Can you believe we’ve warmed up 60 degrees and it’s still below freezing?” Yeah, that’s Bethel for you. In a week—or three—we’ll be back to 20 below and this brief respite will be a fond memory. Most of us are hoping this weather change will stop short of going to 40 above and raining, which is always possible.
Our big sled dog race, the Kuskokwim 300, is scheduled for this coming weekend. There are 21 mushers and their teams lined up to compete, and Bethel will soon be full of visiting dogs. A hand full of teams are local; the rest will be flown in with all their gear. Dutch and I are not hosting a musher this year; our friend Aliy Zirkle is not coming for K-300, to our great disappointment. She and her husband Allen Moore competed well in the Copper Basin 300 last weekend. Allen won the race (for the third time!) and Aliy placed sixth. Their sights are now set on Iditarod (with a couple of mid-distance races beforehand to warm up) which will start the first weekend in March. I’d so love to see Aliy win the big one!
Labels: Dog Mushing, Tundra Life