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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 67: 30 November

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysHe works hard for his idyllic life. Dog sledding, as Dan Maceachen says, is 10 per cent glamour and 90 per cent hard work. These are dedicated men. The composition of the 13-strong dog team is vitally important, and before anything else, Dan and Marion work out a team sheet, rather like the ones posted on the school noticeboard. There is a lead dog. His or her qualities are 'instinctively born', says Maceachen. 'It is not a trait I can breed or train.' This was the team chosen for me:

Dishaan (lead), Atangee, Tuliaan ('gentle one'), Liseen, Nunapik, Naken, Nutek, Twintoo, Akarta ('red fox'), Kuna ('great warrior'), Donawoo, Uquila and Takkuk ('moon spirit'). The names are Inuit, for these are Eskimo dogs.

The harnessing-up is a traumatic process for all concerned. So eager are the dogs for an outing, that they intensify their cries, fling themselves to the ends of their leash, straining and howling with all their might to catch the musher's attention. Dan and Marion have the assistance of one other musher, an ex-harbourmaster, steamboat captain and film school student whose card reads 'Pilot Lord Frieherr B'wana Joe Edmonds, Adventurer For Sale'. He has the aspect of a true eccentric, unconventional even by mushing standards. An old sweater, straggly and very worn, sags off him. 'Put it this way, it's lasted longer than the girl who made it for me.'
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 67
  • Date: 30 November
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Snowmass Village - Colorado
  • Book page no: 216

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