A veteran dog musher, Dave Olesen finished the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race eight times. After a fifteen-year career as a sled dog racer, Olesen set out to fulfill a lifelong dream. In four successive winters he steered his dogs and sled on long trips away from his remote Northwest Territories homestead, setting out in turn to the south, east, north, and west, and home again to Hoarfrost River.
His narrative ranges from the personal and poignant musings of a dogsled driver to loftier planes of introspection and contemplation. Olesen describes his journeys day by day, but this book is not merely an account of his travels. Neither is it yet another offering in the genre of “wide-eyed southerner meets the Arctic,” because Olesen is a firmly rooted northerner, having lived and travelled in the boreal outback for over thirty years. Olesen’s life story colours his writing: educated immigrant, husband and father, professional dog musher, working bush pilot, and denizen of log cabins far off the grid. He and his dogs feel at home in country lying miles back of beyond.
This book demolishes many of the clichés that imbue writings about bush life, the Far North, and dogsledding. It is a unique blend of armchair adventure, personal memoir, and thoughtful, down-to-earth reflection.