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Our Journal

Iditarod 2019 Part I of II. The Start to McGrath.

Iditarod start is something like controlled chaos. 54 teams park in two semi-circles at the Willow visitor’s center. The typical parking arrangement, on Willow Lake itself, is not an option for this year because of warmer than normal temps. This has left the lake with spots of thin ice, and an abundant amount of overflow…

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March 29, 2019

Iditarod Recap – Part 4: Kaltag to Nome, the finish

The arrival into Kaltag brings a huge sense of accomplishment to every musher who has ever run the Iditarod and mushed the Yukon River. It is a major step in the race, and the finish line suddenly feels within reach. As I cared for my team in Kaltag and prepared for our next leg of…

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April 18, 2018

Iditarod 2018 – Part 3: Don’s Cabin to Kaltag

Don’s “cabin,” a ten by twelve rundown shack, was a warm a comfortable place to stretch out the sleeping bag, and stay out of the blizzard that had hammered on us during the run from Ophir. It was also small enough that there was no risk of oversleeping as other mushers awoke and prepped to…

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April 7, 2018

Iditarod 2018 – Part 2: Rainy Pass to Don’s Cabin

The slow ascent into Rainy Pass is quite an awe inspiring experience. Huge peaks loom overhead, and you are truly mushing in the mountains. I arrived into this area in late afternoon, and the light quality on a clear day was just breathtaking (and, I am not someone to use that phrase lightly). The elevation…

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March 30, 2018

Iditarod 2018 – Part 1: The Start to Rainy Pass

The Iditarod is unlike any other race I have ever participated in. The fan base is unreal, and the race has a start that is really set up to showcase the sport of mushing, and show off the participants of the race. The “ceremonial start” takes place on Saturday in downtown Anchorage, and is setup…

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March 23, 2018

Knik 200: KattiJo’s First Race!

SO I entered and finished my first dog sled race! Woohoo! It was a 200 mile race (well, 160 to be exact), and I’m pretty proud of myself, but before I go into the specifics of that race, I’d like to start by addressing the one huge, burning question I know is at the front…

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January 9, 2018

Sled Dogs as Pet Dogs: True Love Stories! (Part 2)

Now that you understand why a sled dog may transition to being a pet dog check out these adorable real life love stories! Each of the dogs featured below is a dog that once belonged to us, and now has a “forever home” with a new family. The photos and testimonials were given to us…

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October 22, 2017

Sled Dogs as Pet Dogs: Why? (Part 1)

Did you know that in addition to being incredible athletes, Alaskan Huskies can also be fabulous pet dogs? It’s true! If you’ve taken a tour with us perhaps you have even met our three “sled pets:” Critter, Rave and Koyuk. Interestingly, each of our pet dogs embodies one of the primary reasons that a sled…

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September 10, 2017

Withdrawal from the 2017 Yukon Quest

I have made the decision to withdraw from the 2017 Yukon Quest. This has not been an easy decision, nor one that I have taken lightly. I am, however, making this decision knowing that it is the right thing to do for my team this year. As most of you know, I have been training a large group of yearlings, and those pups are now my core dogs and only solid leaders. While they have been doing an excellent job in that position, they are only 16 to 20 months old, and just experienced their first race this last weekend. As I look at the Quest trail, the teams signed up, and my current group of dogs, I recognize that it would be unwise to start the toughest thousand mile race in the world and rely on those young, inexperienced…

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January 13, 2017

Preparing for Our First 1,000 Mile Yukon Quest!

Our race season is well under way and race training is in full swing. As I write this in the second week of November, we are running somewhere between 20 and 30 miles depending on the day. Our young team is currently on a program of running four days a week: two days on, one…

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November 20, 2016

The Worth of a Puppy

Very often, as visitors interact with our puppies, we are asked if we breed our dogs to sell the pups. We totally understand why people ask this question, given the nature of many other dog breeding “programs.” And we actually love to get this question because the answer often surprises people: No, we definitely do…

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September 14, 2015

Sharing Moms – The Story of the Mines

The Mine Puppies were born in May, 2015. India’s group (bred to Basin, from Brent Sass) came quickly and easily in the night. We knew they would arrive before morning, and of course, felt like kids on Christmas Eve. We were overjoyed to wake up early and meet seven new, beautiful, healthy additions to our…

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July 31, 2015