Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 1999
Running North, A Yukon Adventure is a modernized version of Jack London’s Call of the Wild, which coincidentally was part of the initial spark for Cook to author her true life story. While the Iditarod is more well known, the Yukon Quest is far more challenging—a 1,000-mile journey with only seven checkpoints and a half dozen mountains make the Iditarod look like a molehill, and mushers are only allowed one sled for the entire race. In contrast, the Iditarod is a 1,100-mile race with 26 checkpoints and allowance for an unlimited number of sleds.
Cook, her husband George, Sandy the handler (for the 32 dogs) and daughter Kathleen tackle the Yukon Quest, leaving their New England lives, careers and families behind for a seven month dream excursion. Excellent storytelling brings the reader into the moment—you sense and feel every joy, irritant, temperature and object.
The ins and outs of dog sledding and the Yukon Quest, along with what a family gains and gives up to undertake such an endeavor, are detailed. This book could be adapted into a screenplay—and it is this reviewer’s suggestion that it does.
Running North, A Yukon Adventure is an invigorating read, and will give readers of both fiction and nonfiction a look at fresh writing and genuine human spirit. It also gives excellent insights into the raising of Siberian Huskies and their lineage assets for those who own these multifaceted dogs.