Eating Well and Hot Doggin' in Hatcher Pass
After a long winter, spring fever is real. One of our family’s favorite ways to get outside on a bluebird day in March is to load up the snow machines and go for a ride in Hatcher Pass.
A couple of years ago my husband Jamie and I were out on a ride and after 20-30 minutes we came upon a group of about 20 people hanging out near a public cabin. Some people were high-marking on peaks, others were grilling and drinking beer, and there were several small kids playing in the snow. It could have been a beach scene in summer but instead it was spring in Alaska. It looked surreal on such a gorgeous day, and in my mind it is a quintessential Alaska postcard. I wish I had a photograph of that day. I love how Alaskans make ways to get outside at all times of the year.
It is always surprising to me how hot the sun feels when it is reflecting off the snow, and how quickly you can get back into the middle of nowhere.
Snow machining wasn’t on my radar before I moved to Unalakleet about 10 years ago. It quickly became something that my husband and I loved to do together. Now we bring our kids along and seeing them learn to appreciate the beauty we have access to brings me a lot of mom-joy.
For us, the hot dogger takes up the fun factor just a little bit. You can fill it with whatever you want … grilled cheese sandwiches, hand pies, hot pockets. After riding around for an hour or so, the engine has warmed up the food and you’re ready to enjoy a toasty picnic sitting on your snow machine and soaking up the sunshine.
For those traveling between villages or hunting in rural Alaska, filling up the hot dogger is a way to eat a hot meal on the go — a welcome break on a long cold day.
On this particular day, Jamie and John were out for a ride and the kids and I stayed back. They loaded up the hot dogger with hot pockets and we met them after the ride to share the snack — which is probably the kids’ favorite part anyway.