You know that good kind of tired? The kind where you’re exhausted because you’re having a great time? That’s the kind of tired we’re experiencing. We’ve been doing a lot since Tuesday. Today we got to sleep in, kind of. We started our day at 8 am (we started at 6 am yesterday). It was 4 hours of scenic driving with a rest stop before we ended up at Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel.
Along the way, we saw an area that looked like it was recovering from a forest fire. Then I remembered what Jen, our Tour Director, told us about forest fires in Alaska. Unlike in California where there are attempts to calm down the fire and put it out, in Alaska, that doesn’t happen. She said there were two reasons: a) nobody wants to pay for it and b) it’s part of the natural forest life cycle. Forest fires happen naturally.
Finally, around noon we arrived at Happy Trails Kennel where we were greeted by the great 4-time Iditarod Champion, Martin Buser. What an inspirational man! Dog mushing is a serious physical challenge, but also one heck of a mental one. In his most recent race, he dislocated his left pinky finger (and it still looks dislocated!) and the sled ran over his leg, resulting in torn ligaments in his ankle. He still went on to finish the 1049 mile race and came in 6th place!
We got to meet some of the adult dogs and at the end, we got to play with some of the puppies, too. I could’ve stayed there all day and I think most of our guests feel the same!
As Jen pointed out, who knew the highlight of our day would be at a kennel hanging out with Busers and getting booty?
About an hour afterward, we found ourselves in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city and where more than 40% of the state’s population reside. We ended the day together with an included dinner in downtown Anchorage. What an amazing Great Land experience it’s been. New friends, local Alaskan hospitality, and magnificent scenery… This trip really is the Best of Alaska.