In the midst of the canine clamour of close to 150 dogs, Philip Kigusiutnak, a 72- year-old elder from Nunavut, sits immobile on top of his laden sled awaiting the start of the Hudson Bay Quest race. Close-by his dog team crowd together, strangely silent as they looked on at the madness surrounding them.
|Philip Kigusiutnak, Inuit Elder|
In contrast with Kigusiutnak’s quiet demeanor, Ed Obrecht, a musher from Quebec, has a vastly different disciplinary style. His voice carries clear across the assembly ground. To my uninitiated eye his dog team - crazy with excitement - seems out of control.
. “Don’t touch the rope”, he yells at his dogs, his prose sprinkled with expletives. “Don’t chew the harness. Is that too complicated for you?”
Weaving my way between parka-clad onlookers, I call out “Are they scared of you?”
“No”, he bellows. “Do they look scared of me?” And who are you? I only pose for Vogue”, and he bursts out laughing.
Just minutes later I turn my camera on him, and Mustang, his lead dog, is planting a wet kiss on Obrecht’s face.
“And whose the boss around here” I ask.
“Mustang, he’s my number one man”, says a proud Obrecht.
|Miriam Koerner, only woman in the race|
Tours: Frontiers North Adventures, Winnipeg 800-663-9832, http://www.frontiersnorth.com/
Photos copyright Anne Gordon
Posted by Anne Gordon on Sunday, 19th December, 2010.