The newest book to find its way into my bag is “The Cruelest Miles” by Gay and Laney Salisbury. It’s the true story of how diptheria syrum to combat a diptheria epidemic was delivered by dog sled teams across 674 milesof wilderness through the dark heart of Alaskan winter to Nome, Alaska in1925. The book is full of wonderful characters, classic moments, andsome great writing.
I love the following excerpt:
“Lanky and fair-haired, Will Bill was a jack-of-all-trades, and like so many other men in the territory, master of quite a few of them. He was a mail driver, miner, trapper, and fearless dog driver, who was known to have the fastest dog team in the area. His skills as a driver, combined with a combustible mixture of hot temper, sharp wit, andwillingness to take risks on the trail, no doubt accounted for his nickname. Not coincidentally, he had also become a scholar of the deep freeze. Tonight, his hard-earned knowledge and skills would be tested, perhaps as never before….[I]n these parts, a man did not carry the name ‘Wild Bill’ without having earned it, and he was prepared to risk all.”