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* * *


To Marsha, of course! You were – and always will be – amazing.

To our Yukon wilderness neighbours, and our nine furry mutts. Thank you all.

And to our outdoors-loving son, Dan. May your life be blessed with crisp air.

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Chapter one: What to do about a dream

I was having a difficult time trying to sleep. Mosquitoes were bouncing on the tent’s roof as if it was their own private trampoline. Fishing my watch out of a boot beside my sleeping bag, I checked the time: one o’clock in the morning. The sky was disgustingly daylight.

My campsite overlooked a tiny, sub-Arctic lake teeming with rowdy birds. A half-dozen species were squawking, cooing, warbling, gobbling and quacking at each other, terribly pleased to have flown all the way to the Yukon where there was certainly no lack of bugs to eat. Yet it wasn’t this noisy, natural celebration of spring that was keeping me awake, it was the thought of going dog mushing. This weird notion was really messing with my mind.

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