||Forty below and forty to go ...
It is forty degrees below zero, and you have forty miles to go to a warm cabin. Forty miles, not by truck, train, boat or plane, but by sled dog team. Slow going. The night is clear, yet a strong wind has blown snowdrifts over the trail. The dogs trudge ahead at five miles an hour, moving through the blackness with booties on their feet and frost on their faces.|
In the lead is Kanuti, your best dog, the dog you would do 'most anything for because he once did the same for you - risked his life to safe yours - and a dog like that comes along only once in a lifetime, if ever. The rest of the team follows, nine dogs in all. Their breathing dances in the light from your headlamp, the only light around, save for a million stars overhead. Orion, Pegasus and the Pleiades shine through the air with mesmerizing clarity. You stare at them as the sled jostles forward on the lonely trail, sinking into the dark distance over ice and snow on the beautiful, dangerous night.
from "IDITAROD SPIRIT" by Kim Heacox