These are the words I woke up to a couple of weeks ago.
The thermometers we’re bottomed out at -70.
On a day like that, no one does much of anything except tend the dogs, make sure they have straw in their houses, build a big fire in the stove, and eat popcorn while snuggling with kids and reading books. We had about a week of -50 stuff but this was the coldest day of my life.
In all honesty, it is not as bad as it sounds. You must be smart about it as well as being well dressed. I would never expose my children to such temps, but there are certain chores that must be done outdoors regardless of what the weather is doing. Nate and I tackled the morning chores together, and we were only outside for about 15 minutes.
On very cold days we also try to rotate dogs through the cabin to let them warm up a bit. We have 19 dogs right now, so its tough to let everyone have a turn. But usually we get quite a few in to warm up and boy do they appreciate it! Alaskan Huskies have 2 coats as well as other traits to make them impervious to cold temps but at -70 they are bound to get cold. We have some dogs who never go into their dog houses, and who never seem to be bothered by cold temps at all. They lay on the ground, curled into a tiny ball with their tail covering their face. This is how wolves in the wild sleep, and how Huskies have slept in the Arctic for thousands of years, sometimes burying themselves in snow to create a cocoon of warmth.
The cold snap was over as suddenly as it began, and within 4 days the temps had risen to 35 above. That is over a hundred degrees difference! Regardless of the extreme temperatures and unpredictable nature of the country, I believe interior Alaska to be the world’s best kept secret. Let everyone think that it’s so cold and miserable here. I’ll be happy to have it all to myself…