Air Pollution in Eagle, Alaska
There are possible elevated levels of air pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, in Eagle, AK that may be due to shale rock oil fires in the vicinity. The town is also impacted by smoke from wildfires, depending on wind direction. See link for more info. More »
In 1987, two hardy staff members of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, headed by snow machine and dogsled to Slaven's Roadhouse one hundred miles from Eagle, AK on the Yukon River. Temperatures ranged from -20 to -40 during the journey. Upon arriving at Slaven's Roadhouse, the two began warming the historic roadhouse, chopping ice to melt for water and cooking stew and homemade bread. Thus began the participation and wonderful partnership with the National Park Service and the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.
Since the very challenging beginning of this participation, the partnership has evolved dramatically. Slaven's Roadhouse, a historic roadhouse along the Yukon corridor, is now an official dog drop station. A veterinarian, along with a race official, joins the staff and the volunteers at Slaven's to make sure dogs and mushers are all treated equally and are comfortable. Meals these days are cooked to order, much like a restaurant and, as pilots, Quest support staff, trailbreakers, media, and others warm themselves by the stove, NPS staff volunteers work diligently to accommodate the many needs that arise.
During the days of the roadhouses, mushers, trappers, miners and mail carriers would warm themselves at the roadhouse and await news of the world as well as listen to a bit of gossip from 'Bush Alaska.' These days, there is less time for gossip as the mushers are focused on making sure the dogs are healthy and rested, while they themselves are fed and dry.
NPS staff members volunteer much of their time and work 12 hour shifts each day, donating their per diem to offset the cost of food for mushers and accompanying staff. These efforts enhance the experience for everyone.
The purpose of the participation is, of course, to accommodate the needs of the dogs that may have fallen ill or have been victims of injuries. However, unlike the mushers, the dogs are generally ready to hit the trail after only a short rest. With tails held high and songs of joy, they sometimes leap into the air, anxious to continue their own quest.
With temperatures ranging from +52 to a bone-chilling -63, the aurora borealis blazing above, and the hum of the sled runners on the Yukon River ice, Slaven's has become a welcome respite for all who stop by.
The coffee pot is always on and the welcome is always warm.Follow the progress of the race on the Yukon-Charley Rivers Twitter Page.
View the the map of the Quest route.
Did You Know?
The Coal Creek dredge collected over 92,000 troy ounces of gold from 1936-1957 with several years of non-production during war time.