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The Wild Quest

  • Date Submitted: 11/17/2011 03:09 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.9 
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Kevan Brown
English 115
Section
Critique of ‘The Wild Quest’

In 2009, Katharine Sandifords editor suggested she write an article about the Yukon Quest. Thinking it would be a grand adventure, she agreed to write the article. The Yukon Quest is a 1,600-kilometer dog sled race in some of the worst weather the planet has to offer. The race starts in Whitehorse and finishes approximately ten days later in Fairbanks, Alaska. Some of the most critical parts of the race are the dogs, and the race course itself.   Sandifords article, The Wild Quest, follows the teams from checkpoint to checkpoint in an exhilarating and action-packed ten-day experience.

The article begins in Whitehorse, where the race is scheduled to start. There are 29 teams that will attempt the journey to Fairbanks. Throughout the race there are 9 mandatory checkpoints, but only a few where the teams will be able to sleep, eat, and re-stock supplies. Temperatures in Alaska during the race are not pleasant either. In one paragraph, Sandiford says, “It’s minus-thirty degrees and everyone’s in their winter best: embroidered parkas, artful fur hats, oven-mitt-sized hand protection” (180-181). Temperatures that low are cold enough that if you threw a cup of hot water into the air, you could see it come down as snow. Sandiford travels with over 100 other journalists from town to town following the ups and downs of the race. During the time she spends in the Yukon and Alaska, she sleeps in the back rooms of stores on the floor, and hitchhikes in cars and planes from one town to the next. Although most of the teams are from the United States, there are also a few from other countries such as Canada, Jamaica, and the Czech. Each year there are about 25 to 35 teams who enter the race, but approximately only 15 to 20 finish it.

Probably the most important aspect of the race is all left in the feet of man’s best friend, the dogs. They are incredible athletes, and are the heart and soul of the Yukon...

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