|Kantishna, AK Following the example of those who scale Mt. McKinley, we first acclimated ourselves at base camp (the lodge). We made sure we stoked up on plenty of carbs for our attempt at the arduous climb (it was a buffet breakfast). Then we togged up in our rain gear and packs so we could be shuttled out to the start of the trail. Step after step we dragged ourselves up and up until we finally summited craggy Blueberry Peak. Never mind that it is known locally as Blueberry Hill (300 feet high) and it was a 2-mile casual walk. We’ve got our story and we are sticking to it. Although we snacked on wild blueberries as we journeyed, we were still pleased to return to the lodge to a sumptuous lunch. To our delight our lunch included a wonderful blueberry brownie cobbler offered specifically to help us commemorate our amazing summiting accomplishment. Yum. Then it was time for a great talk about dog sledding. Emmitt Peters, Jr entertained us with a very informative talk. His father won the 1,049 mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race by shattering the previous speed record by almost 6 days, finishing in just 14 days. Emmitt Jr won his first sled dog race at age 2. Then we had a demonstration. When the dogs realized people were coming, they knew they would get to pull and they became really, really excited. A team of 6 dogs was hitched to a huge 6x6 tractor. They pulled it as though it were nothing. The best dogs are not pure-bred huskies or malamutes but are a mix of Border collie, malamute, Irish setter, and Labrador. We really enjoyed the talk and demonstration. Then it was time for our next adventure – panning for gold. We now have a new financial retirement plan. Sandi actually found gold! Jim, unfortunately, came up empty. Four others found flakes but Sandi’s was an actual nugget with definition. Said definition requires a microscope to see but it was still a thrill.