From the cabin, the trail ran across low hills and ridges on the south side of Unalakleet River, then along the sloughs of Old Woman River. Fifteen miles later they passed the original Old Woman cabin, said to be haunted by the woman who lived there years ago and died checking her traps, her body never found. Dillon heard a female voice singing on his last trip through, the lyrics indecipherable. He left a candy bar peace offering, just in case there was any truth to the stories of being haunted by bad luck if you didn't. In disrepair, the cabin still served as a shelter when needed.
The trail emerged onto open tundra and the BLM sign for the new Old Woman cabin. Half a dozen teams were parked in the clearing. Dillon didn't want to share an over-heated cabin with a bunch of other mushers, so he drove his team a short while longer and found a cluster of straggly trees as shelter against the tundra's pervasive wind to rest and snack his dogs.
In the darkness of early morning, they pushed on.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish