We are Peg and Darrel, or Darrel and Peg, depending on which one of us you are talking too. In the spring of 2005 I (Peg) and my 40 sled dogs drove from Yellowknife, NWT to Seward, Alaska for my summer gig working on a glacier giving dogsled rides to tourists coming off the cruise ships. The plan was to return to the NWT in late fall. Well, you know the saying about the best laid plans.
Darrel took over manager duties shortly after I arrived on the glacier. The former manager had gone on a bender while in town and her friend, still on the glacier, not only had his own drunk fest but made things even more fun by having Vietnam flashbacks and threatening to kill the owner of the company for firing his friend. And by fun I mean I spent the better part of a day protecting my teenage co-worker, attempting to sneak into this guy’s tent and unload his rifle and trying not to move like a North Vietnamese soldier. There is nothing quite like being trapped in a remote situation with an unstable drunk.
Anyhoo, a helicopter finally arrived. The drunk musher was flown down for an appointment with the Alaska State Troopers, Darrel was hired to be the new manager and two overnight guests, who thankfully had brought a lot of gin, were dropped off.
Darrel and I become fast friends and then the feelings deepened. Being reasonable adults and knowing that I was returning to Canada we both agreed that if we were to have a romance it would only be for the summer. We were married six months later, December 15, in Kenai, Alaska.
Since then our life has filled with adventures, some good and some we can laugh about after two or three glasses (snifters) of wine. We’ve lived in our dog truck (with 40 dogs) for several weeks and driven around the State looking for a new home, worked on other glaciers, run a small seasonal cafe (one of the things we laugh about after wine), mushed miles of wilderness trails, camped in a rain storm of epic proportions, driven through Denali Park, took on the Dalton Highway (of Ice Road Truckers fame), watched caribou on the tundra, been chased by moose and well, there’s so much more which I’ll write about here and there if you choose to come on the journey that is our life.
Col. Norman Vaughan, an intrepid explorer, once said “Dream big and dare to fail.” That’s our life. We’ve put dreams into action and sometimes fallen flat on our faces. But I wouldn’t have changed a thing.