"Slim" Loves His Dogs
A temperature range of 176 degrees was encountered on the trip; the lowest being 61 degrees below zero, between Dawson and White Horse in the Yukon territory and the highest was 115 degrees, at Sentinel Butte, Montana. During the hottest weather he drove nights and rested the dogs in the shade during the days.
He was snow blind in Alaska for four days. One side of his face was frozen in Northern Canada and he was forced to live on a straight diet of meat only for fourteen days at a single stretch.
In almost a voice of reverence "Slim" speaks of his dogs, seven of which are a breed which he has developed himself as particularly suitable for the rigorous climate of the far north. They have drawn the sled over the entire 5,300 miles and will have covered 5,500 miles at the end of their journey. It is three times as far as any other dog team has traveled and the first time such a journey has ever met with success. "Slim" revealed that a similar expedition preceded him by about a month in leaving Alaska and that he had not heard of its whereabouts until he learned a few weeks ago that the ambitious Alaskan met his "fate" in the form of a very attractive American girl who painted a picture of domesticity which was more appealing, apparently, than that of adventure.
Sledge On Wheels
It was in Smythers, B. C., that dirt roads took the place of snow and "Slim" was forced to have his sled mounted on four Model T Ford wheels, the only ones obtainable at that point. In Chicago the badly worn tires were replaced by four new ones donated by the Goodyear company.
Rembrandt, the leader of the dog team, is a full blooded MacKenzie huskie. An inquiry as to the "why" of the name led "Slim" to remark: "Well isn't he a picture?" And he is. The other seven dogs are part Malamute and part wolf, the proportion of wolf blood ranging from one-quarter to three-quarters. To a casual onlooker they seem quite peaceful but "Slim" warns that they are a one-man dog and that they worship their master is evident as their sharp eyes follow his every move. They consume about thirty pounds of raw beef a day, their only food, and the one to which "Slim" returned after he discovered that the "educated" dog food of America didn't agree with them. The dogs travel from eight to ten miles an hour and they cover an average of thirty-five miles a day. It is impossible for Slim to follow a rigid schedule for the dogs become as temperamental as mules and refuse at times to work. On such occasions he simply waits until they feel the urge to start.
Dogs Paws Cushioned
It was while he was in Spokane, Washington, that "Slim" was privileged to share a secret that is known only by him and a dog breeder of that city. It concerns a preparation which he uses on the paws of his faithful dogs. It resembles a tar product and has been a marvelous aid in preventing the dogs from getting sore feet in their journey over roads which were never intended to be traveled by dogs of their breed. The man who developed the product has been offered $5,000 for his recipe but he has refused the offer and he told it to "Slim" only on condition that the latter not betray the confidence placed in him. And "Slim" wouldn't even tell the female reporter who prodded him with questions.
A flannel shirt, khaki trousers and tennis shoes constitute the wearing apparel of "Slim" who says that clothing in Alaska is just about the same as one would wear here for the corresponding time of year. The tennis shoes, however, replace the moccasins which he wears at home and several pairs of which he wore out on the trip and was unable to purchase. Crossing Montana and North Dakota has been the most difficult part of the trip, according to "Slim," who said that the gravel roads were very hard on the dogs and likewise on him, who has walked at least two-thirds of the way.
In the vacant lot which adjoins the Atlantic station on Beeson avenue and Fayette street "Slim" and his dogs are resting. They will be here until tomorrow morning when they plan to continue their trek over the National highway hills to Washington. He Is paying the expenses of his trip through the sale of postcards of himself and his dog team. His brother Fred Joined him at Spokane and Is accompanying him to the capital by an automobile which is following the dog team. The sled with its placard, "Alaska to Washington by Dog Team," can also be seen at the lot.