Independence Mine and Sled Dogs

Trip Start May 31, 2008
Trip End Aug 28, 2008

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Where I stayed
Big Bear Campground and RV Park

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Monday, July 14, 2008

There were two things on the agenda today.  The first was to ride up to Independence Mine which was a working gold mine through Second World War.
The drive up to the mine was through some interesting scenery including crossing the Castle Mountain fault which is an active fault line Alaska.  The fog was very thick as we climbed the mountain but by the time we were to the mine the clouds were below us.  Much of the mining town is still intact, but the mine itself has seen better days.  We also climbed up the mountain to the Gold Cord Mine.  The actual mine entrances were high up on the mountain. 
We had packed a lunch, so we made our way to Big Lake to visit Martin Buser's Happy Trails Kennel, where we ate our lunch waiting for the next kennel tour.   Martin Buser is a four time Iditarod winner, who has run the 1000 mile dog sled race 20 times.  The tour of the kennel was very interesting.  We were greeted by 40 sled dogs who noisily announced the arrival of any one down the road.  The tour began with a nice video of the Iditarod race and the introduction to four, 5 week old Alaskan huskies.  They were very, very cute.  We were then taken to a mock Iditarod check point where he explained what happened as mushers arrived.  Finally he hooked several dogs to a sled and had them run.  We had a very pleasant afternoon at the kennels.  It will be fun to put a real person with the name as I follow the race this winter.
Tomorrow we take the long 40 mile drive to Anchorage
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