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A Denali Destination

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Quest 300 & Iditarod Food Drops

Greetings Race Fans!

It’s an ice box here in Denali ~ and we live in the “hot spot” at JUST -37! If it doesn’t warm up to -30 in Fairbanks for a low, we’ve decided not to race in the Quest 300 this weekend. Forecast for Chena Hot Springs right now, for the first night of the race, is -50 to -65. That’s below zero – Fahrenheit. No thanks. I hate to pull the rug out from beneath Jason’s feet, but there’s just no good that can happen in those kind of temperatures. It would be Jason’s first race, as well as several yearling sled dogs. This would not be a good introduction. It was in this same stretch of trail that I froze the ends off of several of my fingers in temperatures of just -35 with wind. As much as I prayed, my fingers just never grew back. I wouldn’t feel good doing this to Jason or the dogs (not to mention Carrie who was going to drive along in a pickup truck, can’t afford her fingers freezing!). If I sound disappointed, I am. I know that Jason and the crew was really looking forward to this race. I promise we’ll make it up if at all possible.

We’ve been busy working on food drops for Iditarod. We currently have bag #1 for each of the 17 major checkpoints locked and loaded. I’d tell ya what was inside ‘em, but then I’d have to kill ya…(Carrie says…and you’ve all heard that before)! I can share that food drops consist predominantly of dog food. About half of that dog food is fresh frozen meat; the other half Caribou Creek Gold commercial dry dog food produced by my good friend Lloyd Gilbertson in Michigan. My personal food has also been added to bag #1 and consists of “Seal-A-Meal” packages of some of my favorite home-cooked meals: Christmas turkey dinner; Linguine with extra sauce (say with heavy Italian accent); Lasagna (say with another heavy Italian accent); and a breakfast buffet like only Donna can make (said with an awww & lots of love). Over 1,000 booties and a grand total of 2,000 pounds of food and gear will be delivered to Anchorage next week to the official Iditarod Food Drop location where race volunteers will sort and ship over 200,000 pounds of food to the 17 checkpoints. Wow. Talk about a job.

My Dodge broke down big time last week and has been in the shop after a very long tow to Fairbanks. Depending on when we get my truck back, we’ll make alternate plans for the dogs, training, and food drop delivery.

We’ll be delivering our food drop to Anchorage on Wednesday afternoon, after which Donna and I will attend our first book signing at Title Wave Books from 7pm-9pm at their main store on Northern Lights Blvd. Carrie has been frantically packaging books and has already made four trips to the post office getting out all the “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” that are destined for interested fans around the world. It really has been fun and we’re thrilled with the final outcome and production quality of our first ever book. Thanks for being patient!

No new pictures this week because the camera froze… global warming my frozen butt!

Stay tuned for Iditarod 2008!

Happy Trails,


  1. Your camera froze? Jeez, Jeff, how about you get busy and make us a heated camera? I could sure use one, too. If you can do heated handlebars, surely you can come up with something for our cameras!


  2. Dear Jeff and Crew:

    I just returned from turning my thermostat up! I can not fathom temperatures that cold!!!!!!! Why would anyone in their right mind choose to subject themsleves to that kind of danger. It’s one thing when you are running the Iditarod and those temps slowly sneak up on you when you are out in the “Wilds”! But, to knowlingly, subject man and animal is very foolish indeed. Wise decision, I say, not to race. I always say that with age comes wisdom.

    I received an e-mail from Carrie saying that my book is on it’s way. Yeah! I can’t wait to read it. Do you want us to critique it? Just kidding!

    Hopefully, we will hear from you before you leave for THE RACE!

    The Howler

  3. Jeff & Carrie,

    Thanks for sending the package down! I appreciate that and know the kids will love the prizes!

    Thanks for sharing updates and interesting information about the behind the scenes stuff. All of the details are interesting to those of us outside the mushing community. It helps us to understand the enormous commitment and hard work it takes to run the race.

    BRRR! Fingers are a good thing to have! They make holding on to the sled a little easier! Speaking of holding on to the sled. I just finished reading the part of Lisa’s
    Frederic’s book, Running with Champions, when you two had to put the sled on its side, duck, and hold on, to make under a closed gate while training in Denali! Wow! Crazy ride!

    Gary & I are enjoying the audio book as we travel to wrestling tournaments. The descriptive language puts us right there with you!! Are you already formulating volume II in your mind? We know there are lots of great finishes and stories still to come from Husky Homestead & Jeff King!


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