Summer solstice in the Interior of Alaska is a BIG DEAL. Sunrise at 2:58 am and Sunset 12:47 am. Leaving us to bask in the rays for 21 hours and 49 minutes.
So, why not enjoy it?
This past Sunday, in downtown Fairbanks, the Midnight Sun Festival was a gathering of thousands of Alaskan residents as well as visitors. What better time to 'Meet & Greet' three of Alaska's Fan Favorites in the sport of Dog Mushing? All three were conveniently located at a festival tent sponsored by SP Kennel Lead Sponsor (and cell phone provider) Verizon.
Quito was introduced to thousands of her fans and shook paws with none. She isn't really a 'hand shaking' kind of dog. She greeted kids, dogs and adults a like. The only thing she didn't really appreciate were tiny dogs who looked an awful lot like squirrels. But, there was no chasing involved and only one rare "Yip!" at the sight of a miniature Yorkie. Quito of course, was the STAR of the show!
Quito wore a set of bright red Verizon booties and her Howling Dog Alaska harness. She rotated between her two handlers, Aliy and Allen. Her nephew, Mac, was also present at the event but stayed predominately in a wire crate. He felt more secure behind the wire barrier and people could easily pet him while he lay inside his crate.
All the other dogs were represented on SP Kennel Dog Posters.
Allen set up two racing sleds and allowed mushing 'newbies' to jump on board to see if they were indeed ready to take on 1,000 miles.
The Yukon Quest stating line in the year 2014 was located exactly at the spot where the sleds sat on Sunday afternoon.
It was amazing to share the fact that Allen's sled started the race here on February 1st, then traveled over many mountain summits and along many miles of frozen river and trail, to cross the finish line in Whitehorse, Canada on February 10th in 1st Place.
We did have one little guy (see photo on left) who said he'd gladly ride along on the next adventure, but his Mama thought that 1,000 miles might be a bit much for the infant.
The two mushers were there to talk about their careers in mushing as well as the basics about sled dogs, racing gear and strategy. Locals and tourists a like were excited to get autographed hand outs and postcards or hear about a few stories from the trail
It was a delightful afternoon to get to know some of the Fairbanks Verizon Office Staff. The company is, of course, a nationwide corporation but their involvement and support at the local Alaskan level is remarkable.
THANK YOU VERIZON!!!