It’s springtime! This week there were a lot of activities going on in the village.
The weather was good enough and the snow was good enough to get in some more after-school skiing. A couple years ago the school received grant money to purchase skis. So, a couple weeks ago kids were fitted for boots and skis, practiced working the bindings and spent the past few weeks skiing. Even though they’re cross-country skis, the kids liked going down some hills best.
Thursday was the start of the Kobuk 440 sled dog race. It’s the last major long-distance race of the season, going from Kotzebue to Kobuk and back. This year there were 10 teams in the race including some Iditarod veterans. Given the race route and strategic layovers, mushers quickly check in and out here; just stopping long enough to sign in and draw a kid’s name from a bucket. The lucky name wins an Easter basket. The first musher this year arrived after midnight and by morning all the teams had passed through. Even though it was dark, there were lots of hopeful kids and community members awaiting each team. (It was late. It was dark. Sorry no photos of race action here but you can find some at the link above or on Facebook Kobuk 440.)
And, if that wasn’t enough excitement for the week, a group of teachers and students from the school district snowmobiled to the hot springs, which are about 50 miles southeast of here. Some of the group were from Kotzebue and they picked up students and chaperones along the way making a total of 40-50 people and 26+ snowmachines. Today they were on their way back home and stopped by here for a break and to get gas.
It’s light now until after 11 p.m. and starting to lighten up again in the morning by 5 a.m. The temperatures are predicted to be above freezing all week, so we expect there to be some serious melting going on. And with pools of open water, birds will return.
Happy spring! Happy trails!