A late winter kept the dog season alive into April once again this year. Old Friendly Dog Farm raced in numerous events, winning the Aniak 150 with Dean Painter on the sled and finishing second in two shorter races in Bethel with Casie Stockdale driving. She also got third, five seconds out of second, in a 120 mile race in Akiak. But dogs are not just for racing. The favorite pictures of the month come from recreational mushing, featuring Mary,
There were other outdoor adventures as well. Tomas Israelsson and Eric Whitney attempted a trip to the Angstman cabin 100 miles east, Tomas on skis and Eric with a snow machine. The route took them through Heart Lake pass, and a descent of Milk Creek, always considered an obstacle to winter travel. They made it through, just barely according to Tomas, and could not have made it back with a snow machine because of the steep down grades they would have encountered going the other direction. A daring supply drop was accomplished at about the halfway point when it was determined that Eric forgot his sleeping pad and pillow. Casie Stockdale took some photos of the airplane trip, one showing their camp (). The pair carried a tracking device which was activated each evening to send an email to various folks watching the progress. Here is a link to their location at the cabin via their tracking device on Google Maps.
All play and no work doesn’t pay for dog food or airplane gas , however, so legal work had to continue. Matt obtained a dismissal of a Dillingham criminal case involving possession of a controlled substance. Matt argued that there was insufficient evidence presented in front of the grand jury to support the indictment. The Dillingham judge agreed, and issue this order, which is highly unusual.
Bethel historical trivia has been featured on these pages in the past with good response. This question comes from Dec. 1st, 1978. On that day Myron Angstman and a partner were training a team of dogs for the 1979 Iditarod north of Bethel near the Gweek River. It was a late winter with travel on the river not starting until mid-November with little snow. The team of dogs was turned into a slough off the Kuskokwim, following a faint snow machine track. At one point, the track turned up a steep bank, but the team stayed on the ice. A little further down the slough the ice starting buckling. Both riders bailed off the sled and crawled back toward safer ice. Just then a plane flew by and spotted the two crawlers on the ice, and circled twice. Thinking rescue was soon to happen, the crawlers waited on the ice. As dusk descended, the sound of an approaching helicopter encouraged the pair. It took a while for the chopper to find the spot, but the troopers eventually rescued both and soon the statewide newspapers and Alaska magazine carried the story. Who was the partner?