In a luminous essay for the Morning News, Julia Phillips describes tagging along with the mushers of the Beringia, a Russian dogsled race that’s like the Iditarod but even more intense.
It’s a definite must-read in which Phillips deftly chronicles the simultaneous beauty and horror of half-wild dogs, a rainbow of Russian curses, the “mat of intimacies and betrayals” between contestants, and of course, the endless, unbelievable cold of the tundra. A preview:
I never thought, I will stand on the runners of a dog sled and feel them flex like a live animal under my boots. I will sit across from someone who turns his hand over to show me the tendons severed by enemy soldiers in Chechnya.