In this interview, Natalie Norris does most of the talking because Earl has been ill. Working together, they provide a detailed look at early dog team support. Natalie and Earl Norris describe growing up with dogs, coming to Alaska to work, and the growth of dog mushing. During World War II, their dogs were recruited for search and rescue. Bradford Washburn recruited Earl to provide freight support for climbing expeditions on Denali. Earl pioneered the dog route up to the base camp on the North Side of Denali and hauled back rocks the geologists had gathered.





Bill Schneider talks with Natalie and Earl Norris in Willow, AK on October 3, 2000. Denali National Park Jukebox Series.


1) Learning about sled dogs and moving to Alaska.

sled dogs\ mushers\ Alaska -- correspondence\ [Kooney], Mike\ Nenana, AK\ dogs -- shipped\ Civil Aeronautics Administration\ Alaska -- moving\ Anchorage, AK\ airfields -- expeditor\ Russia -- aircraft\ Iliamna, AK


2) Natalie and Earl sell and donate dogs to search and rescue, Natalie's arrival in Alaska, and meeting Earl.

food -- macaroni\ dogs -- donation\ Army -- Search and Rescue\ dogs -- sell\ Minnesota\ sled dogs\ government -- buying dogs\ Chinook Kennels, New Hampshire\ Lake Placid, NY\ World War II\ Civil Aeronautics Administration\ Norris, Natalie -- school\ homestead\ train


3) The use of Natalie's dogs during World War II for northern latitude search and rescue.

Norris, Natalie -- picture\ World War II\ military -- search and rescue\ Greenland\ Soviet Union\ military -- dog team units\ Chinook Kennels, New Hampshire\ [Emmeny], MT\ recruiting -- rescue unit\ Alaska\ Labrador\ Vaughn, Norman Colonel\ Quebec -- northern


4) The involvement of dogs in the war, his favorite dog, and accessing the area around their home.

dogs -- donated\ dogs -- German Shepard\ dogs -- rescue\ dogs -- Yukon\ dogs -- leader\ Washburn, Bradford\ Wheeler Creek -- bridge\ Little Susitna -- bridge\ Washburn, Bradford -- mountaineer


5) His first time transporting supplies for Brad Washburn's climbing group on Denali.

Washburn, Bradford -- contact\ dog team\ supplies -- transporting\ geologists\ rock -- samples\ World War II\ Mt. McKinley\ dogs -- train\ kennels -- Park Headquarters\ McGonagall Pass\ Wonder Lake\ Muldrow Glacier\ basecamp\ trail -- breaking


6) The dangers of glacier travel with a dog team.

basecamp -- fly\ [Christiansen], Chriss -- pilot\ transportation -- dogs\ Washburn, Bradford\ ice bridges\ crevasses\ glaciers\ dog team -- speed\ dog team -- size\ lead dog -- Malemute\ Alaska


7) Coming down the side of a glacier and leaving his old mail sled and brake.

Washburn, Bradford\ glaciers\ McGonagall Pass\ dog team -- film\ command -- gee\ command -- haw\ sled loads -- weight\ equipment -- mail sled\ stanchions -- stiffness\ Kantishna River\ sled -- birch wood


8) Sledding specifics and discussion of the composition of the Washburn expedition.

sled -- roughlocked\ sled -- long\ Wonder Lake\ dogs\ grizzly bear\ Army\ clothing -- cold weather\ movie -- White Tower\ film crew


9) Plane rescues that Earl participated in with sled dogs and organizing sled dog races at the Fur Rendezvous.

rescue unit\ [Branham], Bud\ Rainy Pass Lodge\ plane -- crash\ ptarmigan\ dog team -- body recovery\ Reddington, Joe\ contract -- army\ Nelchina Glacier\ dogs -- sprint racing\ Fur Rendezvous -- sled dog race


10) The dual purposes of their dogs and a great lead dog, Nikolai 2.

dogs -- dual purpose\ dog team\ dogs -- Siberian huskies\ dogs -- competitive\ dogs -- desire\ lead dog -- Nikolai 2\ dog race -- Exxon\ Huntington, Carl


11) The kinds of dogs they own, how they acquired them, and where they got them.

dogs -- amount\ dogs -- Siberian husky\ dogs -- malemutes\ dogs -- Eskimo\ dog handler -- Dutch\ [Meguluk], Arctic\ dogs -- breeding\ government -- Canadian\ dogs -- villages\ dogs -- puppies


12) Having friends that run their dogs and Natalie's experiences with dogs in high school.

dogs -- business\ sled dogs -- involvement\ dogs -- racing\ [Clupatch], Bob -- dog running\ high school -- dogs