Touring the Wintry
Sled dogs, snowmobiling, and pie making
By Judy Mottl
Steve Young and Diana Engel live on differ- ent continents along different coastlines. Young hails from Coffs Harbour, Australia, and Engel calls North Carolina home, but
the two travelers share a compelling passion:
Alaska’s famous Aurora Borealis and the exhilaration of traversing Alaska via a dog sled.
A trip to Sirius Sled Dogs, situated at the
edge of Murphy Dome, was long on the
seventy-two-year-old Engel’s bucket list and
part of Young’s love for travel—so much so
that Young has visited Sirius Sled Dogs twice
within three years.
Within the “bed and sled” recreational experience, visitors are provided a compelling
Aurora view while staying at an off-the-grid
cabin with just a few other guests and fifteen
sled dogs that power sled excursions. Owner
Nita Rae is planning on opening a B&B-style
lodge in early 2018.
“It is a special experience. The interaction
with the dogs for me was very memorable,”
“Little events also added to the magic—the
dogs told me with their keen perspective that a
fox was passing by below the property, and there
was also an encounter with a small moose cross-
ing the road when driving back to Fairbanks in
the darkness of night after my visit,” he recalls,
adding that after both visits he felt enriched and
“to be honest, quite privileged” to have shared
Young’s world at such close quarters.
Annually artists create massive, unique ice sculptures during Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage.
Image courtesy of Alaska.org/by Brian Adams