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MULTI-USE TRAILS CONNECT ALASKANS On the North side of the Alaska Range, I skidded and bounced down the Dalzell Gorge struggling to keep my expedition-loaded fat-tire bike upright. Mounds of frozen dirt and icy roots flung me sideways and I squeezed both brake levers, trying to stay on two wheels and not wrap myself around a tree. Suddenly, the decline steepened; I spotted a glimpse of bare ice ahead, and let off the brakes to avoid skidding out. After a while, the trail leveled out into a meadow blanketed in crusty snow. The frosty branches on the black spruce trees glistened in the morning light. I lowered my bike and yanked out my camera. A dog team was behind me, coming fast, and I wanted a photo. Through the forest above me, could hear the dog driver gently encouraging his team to slow down. “Wooo. Easy…easy. Good girl.” I flipped…

Where the unparalleled meets the unexpected


Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior, and a well-known and commonly visited place within Alaska. While summertime is the most popular time for visiting, with at least 21 hours of sunlight each day, traveling to this area in the winter is a trip that has its fair share of benefits too.

Sled dog care and mushing program leads children into the future

[by Jayme Dittmar]


People and dogs have coexisted and worked in unison for thousands of years across North America and Siberia. The oldest archeological evidence suggests that humans started using dogs as an integral part of their nomadic lifestyle as long ago as 14,000 years, in their migration across the Bering Land Bridge.

A sunny summer Sunday found Iditarod rookie Mary Helwig reading a book on her lawn near Willow when a neighbor’s text interrupted: A fast-moving forest fire was headed toward her kennel at Mile 72.5 of Parks Highway. Helwig packed food for her five dogs, some expensive sled-dog harnesses, her good parka, a few furs, a small suitcase of clothes and a few other random things—such as her bluebird-of-happiness figurine. Later, she’d kick herself for not grabbing more—especially her dog sled. Willow is best known as the home of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race restart, and nearly as many sled dogs as people—about 2,000—live in this unincorporated community, which dots the Parks Highway between Mile 60 and Mile 80. The wildfire started about 1:15 p.m., June 14, 2015, off Sockeye Avenue near Mile 77.5 of the Parks Highway. A few hours later, flames had spread south five miles and began…