The winds whipped snow and sand around the town as John Stetson and Nancy Moundalexis emerged from their cargo plane on the runway of the Iqaluit Airport. Bright blue skies had given way to heavy clouds, giving them a true Arctic welcome. Traveling with them on the plane were 20 sled dogs and over 700 pounds of gear and food.
The team had set up a temporary dog yard two miles from the airport on the pack ice just off shore. Getting the dogs to their new home presented a bit of a challenge, however, as the most logical route took them right down the main street of Iqaluit. Avoiding potential chaos with big teams and empty sleds, the dogs were hooked to the front of a minivan. With two hands on the wheel and his neck craned out the window, John Stetson drove the team from the front seat.
It was all-hands-on-deck moving the dogs over the glare ice to the dog yard. Team members slipped and shuffled their way across as the wind tried its best to push them off course. Sheltered from the wind, on top of good snow pack, the dogs seemed happy to be outside again as they settled into the business of making their beds for the evening.
The two empty dogsleds also turned heads on Main Street as Abby and Jim pushed them to base camp.