Mystery Solved?

  When Richard Benner contributed his flying rescue story for our book, Alaska Air Tales, he probably didn’t realize his mystery would linger for decades. His story, “Stopping the Dogs One Mid-winter Afternoon,” alludes to his obsession with flying from childhood and relates leaving the school bus and […]

Qualifying for the Iditarod

  Who chooses to run the Iditarod? Where do they come from and what does it take to get to the starting line? Dr. Larry Daugherty has been asking himself those same questions. He was working in a Mayo Clinic residency program in Florida as a cancer radiation […]

The Toughest Sled Dog Race In The World

The Yukon Quest Trail is close enough to one thousand miles long that no one disputes its claim to being one of only two 1,000 mile sled dog races in the world – the other being the more widely-known Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome. […]

Thought You Said You Could Skate?

IT WAS NOVEMBER of 1952 when I arrived in Anchorage, an 11 year old kid from northern Minnesota. In the small town where I grew up, we all played hockey in the winter—on icy streets, on frozen ponds and sometimes, when we were lucky, at an actual indoor […]

Oscar Comes to Alaska

  As a homeschooled youth in Delta Junction, Alaska, Ben Grossmann enjoyed a childhood filled with snowmachining and ATVing and nights camped out in an off-the-grid cabin. How does one get from that place to the stage at the Academy Awards accepting an Oscar for his work on […]

Hiking With Dick

  “Onward and upward,” said Dick as he stood and continued our climb up the side of a steep mountain. Dick Proenneke’s mountains surround Twin Lakes in Southwest Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. For thirty years Dick hiked these mountains, usually alone. But for six of […]

Skiing to Tolovana Hot Springs

My brother Mike and his friend Dave had a free weekend in January during their one year rotation in Alaska. They wanted to do something “outdoorsy”—perhaps a multi-day, camping out and skiing trek. I reminded them that Alaskan January days only offer around five useful hours of daylight, […]

Winter’s Heartbeat

We walked the quiet woods, cameras dangling from our necks, the air cold and still. Soon our steps became further spaced as you wandered away, following the scent of your camera’s eye, discovering anew ice- rimmed leaves, a feather stuck to a tree, brittle wands of willow. Isn’t […]

Stories on a Winter’s Day

It was 1958 and twenty below zero outside. On Monday, Mom’s day off from her job at the library, 11 a.m. was too early for television. I think programs started around 2 p.m. back then. TV was recent. We had three channels and, even with our wobbly rabbit […]

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