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Running North: a Yukon Adventureby Ann Mariah Cook
Synopses & Reviews
What happens when a woman and her husband move their family from New Hampshire to Alaska to train a team of purebred Siberian Huskies for the world's toughest dogsled race, the Yukon Quest? They endure thousands of miles of lonely training in the Yukon trying to avoid thin ice, wolves, and rogue moose; they put up with the amused skepticism of Alaskan locals; and they pit themselves against the ultimate, fickle adversary--nature. RUNNING NORTH is the true story of how Ann Cook, her husband, George, and their young daughter, Kathleen, moved to Alaska and how their Siberians became the first team from the lower forty-eight states to finish the Yukon Quest. It tracks George on his horrific journey through the Yukon, recording the frostbite, the hallucinations that come with exhaustion, the wolves, and the nights out on the ice at minus ninety degrees Fahrenheit. This is the great story of man struggling against nature and surviving. But unlike most accounts of high adventure that center solely on the adventurer and the quest, RUNNING NORTH is also the story of Ann Cook, who drove the truck and carried the gear and kept the family together. In the tradition of MY OLD MAN AND THE SEA, she tells both stories in simple, elegant prose that reveals the tragedy, joy, and folly that lie on either side of the curtain separating the adventurer from the world left behind. They run up against crazy landlords, win over gruff neighbors, drive a broken-down truck that sucks oil like Alaskans suck coffee, listen to a radio show that keeps trappers in contact with the world, meet mysterious fishermen who appear without notice and disappear without a sign, fight with a young cousin who will betray them in the end, protect their young daughter from the dangers of their new wild world, and stare awestruck at the wide sweep of Alaskan landscape. RUNNING NORTH is the story of two very different adventures on the edge: one among the racers braving the Yukon and the other among the people they leave behind.
"Running North" tells the true story of Ann Cook, her husband, George, and their young daughter, and how their Siberian huskies became the first team from the lower 48 states to finish the Yukon Quest dogsled race.
Anyone who has ever been to Alaska remembers the light. There is sometimes too much of it, and sometimes not enough. The land seems to be in a perpetual state of sunrise or sunset. There is always a pink-blue glow in the sky. Trees are silhouetted. Clouds and mountaintops are often rimmed with golden sunbeams. Even after dark, there is magic in the sky.
So begins Ann Cook's spirited account of how she, her husband, George, and their young daughter moved to Alaska to run the Yukon Quest, the toughest sled dog race in the world.
This is story of thin ice, wolves, a broken-down truck, gruff neighbors, the kind of cold that turns your cheeks to rocks, laughing men with thick beards, mysterious fishermen who appear without warning and disappear without a sign, hot coffee, and twelve big, courageous Siberian Huskies.
This book for anyone who ever dreamed of doing something really big.
Running North tracks George on his horrific race through the Yukon, recording the frostbite, the hallucinations, the steep cliffs, the circling wolves, and the nights out on the ice at minus sixty degrees Fahrenheit. This is the great story of struggling against nature and surviving.
But Running North is, first, the story of Ann Cook. Ann drove the truck, carried the gear, raised the dogs, egged the racer on, and held the family together - all while paying close attention to the strange, intimidating, humorous, and breathtaking world unfolding around her. She reveals the tragedy, joy, and folly that lie on either side of the curtain separating the adventurer from the rest of the world.
And as Ann trails George through the Yukon in her ornery truck, scattering parts in its wake, it becomes less clear which adventure is the toughest: the one among the racers b raving the Yukon or the other among the people they leave behind.
Alaska, the mecca of sled dog racing, did not seem so impossibly far away. We let our dreams take over.
- Ann Mariah Cook
About the Author
Ann Cook is a sled dog racer, a columnist, and an American Kennel Club judge. Born and raised in New England, she's been a graphic artist, an antique dealer, and a contender for the U.S. Women's Rowing team. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, her daughter, and thirty-five purebred Siberian Huskies.
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