When I was little my parents had a small dog team in Nome, AK. I remember the dogs still – what they looked like, their names and their weird habits. I remember one used to eat his dog house when he was bored. When I was about eight years old, though, my mom became a full-time elementary school teacher, and neither she nor my dad had enough time to take care of the 15+ dogs. We gave them to another family, and the days of riding across the bumpy tundra in the belly of a wooden sled were over for me.
I’ve always respected the patience and skills of mushers, and I think it would be awesome to learn to mush one day rather than be baggage.
A new job opening in the National Park Service at the Denali Park and Preserve has one exclusive description: hauling freight, taxiing passengers, supplying and patrolling – by dog sled.
Karen Fortier is now retiring from the dream job that required managing a kennel and doing public educational outreach because it became too time consuming for her newly expanded family. She called it a great job, and kept it for almost 10 years.
It is not an easy job, though, and Fortier doesn’t necessarily think a commercial musher would make the cut. The job is more than mushing. It’s paperwork on top of public skills on top of breaking one’s own trail often times. It will take someone up for a challenge for sure.
More information can be found at ADN, and something for mushers to keep in mind is that the job pays healthier than commercial mushing! It’s not my cup of tea, but I’d like to meet the brave individual whose it is!