Temps have been -35 or colder for days now, with many periods of -45 or colder. This is chilly, even by Interior Alaska standards. We took a few days off from mushing (partially because there are many sick dogs, and some of the well ones might have light symptoms of kennel cough), but Ilana is heading out today for a run up JennyM hill.

Extended cold temperatures happen every year, and eventually break. This year, it’s been relatively warm, with temps hovering around 0 or -10, rather than a more typical -20. So, -45 is a bit of a shock. At that temperature, many things that work even at -30 stop working or become brittle. Snow becomes very abrasive, so everyone gets dog booties during mushing.

The forecast for the next 6 days (as long as the forecast runs at is nearly identical for every day: lows of -40 to -60, highs to -30. Lots of ice fog, even in our neighborhood (it’s typical in the city, but less so in the country). I did go out for a nighttime ski on new year’s eve at -40 (with Chester) and it was great — I was able to keep plenty warm for a 4-mile loop, though by the end my feet were getting cold.

We’re ready for some warmer temps.

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