Learning things the hard way, aka the story of my life.

Knight of the Parks Highway.

My sled blew out of my truck the last time I went up to the Denali Highway. As we ascended the hills north of Trapper Creek, I was so taken by the views of the mountains that I neglected to look out my rearview mirror — until that stomach dropping moment when I glanced up and noticed a gaping expanse in my field of vision — one that should have been filled up by my Bernie sled. Oh, what an awful feeling. I love that sled. Not only is it my first distance sled, it’s the sled I ran my first Iditarod with, and it had a very nice sled bag that took my mother hours of hard labor and love to make for me.  I was crushed. And I felt so stupid — I had been deliberately careless when I secured the sled. It was -10F that morning & my hands had been cold — I had looked at my frozen metal towstrap that I didn't feel like manhandling and decided the sled was wedged in good enough.  Won’t make that mistake again.  

After I noticed the sled was missing, I drove up and down the highway, from Trapper Creek to Byers Lake, twice, looking for my sled. I didn't see any sign of it, no shattered wooden stanchions or crumpled black sled bag to be seen anywhere. As such, I surmised someone must have come along and picked it up in one piece.  I drove home with my trailerful of dogs, sobbing & feeling sorry for myself. I stopped at the Sunshine Gas Station, on the off chance someone had stopped in with word of the sled. The words “Hi, my dog sled —“ had hardly left my mouth before the attendants said “Oh you! Yes, here— “ and thrust a note at me with a number scrawled across it.  Someone had picked my sled up! Hooray!! I feel so fortunate to live in a place the local gas station is small enough to act as a bulletin board!    I called the number to reach RJ at Pro Taxidermy — he was in Wasilla so I arranged for him to drop the sled off at the feed store.  Happy ending, but man, another hard lesson in the books for me.  I drove home, dropped the dogs, loaded up my second sled, and headed back North.  I am gearing up for another Denali Highway excursion this week, and you can bet my sled will be well secured with a heavy duty tow strap……  

I want to extend a huge thank you to the RJ at Pro Taxidermy of Fairbanks, the rescuer of my sled & my hero that weekend !! 
Any taxidermy needs? Contact these stand-up fellows:  http://www.protaxidermy.com

1 comment:

  1. That was pretty awesome of them. I'm glad your day worked out.