According to legend, the Inuit have more than 100 words for snow, but less than 10 for hula-hoop. Learn the language of the tundra with today’s Groupon: for $35, you get two adult tickets for a two-hour story-telling session (a $70 value) at Alaskan Tails of the Trail with Mary Shields, located just outside Fairbanks.
As much an old-fashioned storyteller as a tour guide, Mary Shields invites visitors to her cabin in the woods to relive her adventures as the first woman to complete the Iditarod. After serving cookies and refreshments, Mary regales guests with captivating tales of dog sledding along the 1,049-mile trail, living amid the Alaskan wilderness and learning five dialects of bear. In a tour highlight, the affable raconteur introduces her team of huskies, as the companionable canines caper about, playing with visitors and posing for photos.
Mary cultivates an intimate, conversational atmosphere, limiting group sizes to the number of people who can comfortably fit around a kitchen table. Take home autographed tales of adventure on the high-snows with the PBS documentary about Mary's life or one of her five books (not included in this Groupon), such as The Alaskan Happy Dog Trilogy ($35), which teaches kids about dog communication, training, and Asimov’s three laws of dog robotics. Be sure to call ahead or make reservations online.
Frommer’s featured Alaskan Tails of the Trails with Mary Shields:
- Rather than a tour, a visit to Mary's home on the outskirts of Fairbanks feels more like a chat with a fascinating new friend. You'll meet and pet Mary's dogs, talk about dog mushing, and hear tales of her extraordinary experiences as a musher. – Frommer’s