Those of you who’ve been following our friend Monica’s adventure already know she left everything behind to live and work with sled dogs in the wilds of Alaska. And when I say everything, I mean she turned her back on sunny California and a very high-profile job in biotech (Monica is a scientist) to reside in a one-room cabin with no running water. Yes, that means nighttime visits to a very frigid outhouse!
To keep warm in the -40 temperatures, she and her roommate and fellow rookie dog handler, Regan, must split wood for the fire barrel, their only source of heat. The two adventurers take turns sleeping in the top bunk (heat rises so it’s the warmest of the two bunks in the cabin), and they share the responsibilities that go along with caring for 60 sled dogs—placing clean straw in the dog houses, cleaning up after the dogs, feeding and watering, exercising, and scraping frozen urine from the sides of the dog shelters.
Monica has been in Alaska for a few weeks now, reporting back to civilization only when she is lucky enough to catch a ride to a place with internet capabilities. And, after all this time, she’s still loving every minute there. In fact, she plans to let us know how the team fares in the next race, a grueling 440 mile run in Kotzebue, a native community just above the arctic circle that’s only accessible by plane.
Regan and crew ready for another day
* All images are the property of Monica Palme and may not be reproduced or used in any way without her expressed written permission.