August in Alaska comes with a chill in the air. Heavy rains have our water collections system overflowing and our solar panels struggling to collect the watts we need to power the house.
Temperatures have dropped into the 40s, and the dogs are starting to get antsy on their houses. As mushers, our year starts now.
I am re-entering the Alaskan racing scene after two years off spent building Arctic Dog Adventure Co. This month I signed up for the 1000 mile Yukon Quest.
My goal is to finish with a strong dog team. I do not race to win, but instead for the satisfaction of training and conditioning my dogs for a long distance race. The practice of bonding, managing, and solidifying a cohort of wild, feisty, focused, shy, and loving personalities into a cohesive working unit, and then traveling together across stunning Alaskan landscapes, climbing mountains and running rivers for days and nights on end, is my main motivation. Nothing gives me as much satisfaction as training a high caliber team of huskies capable of running 100 miles a day.
Racing is so much more than a competition between mushers. Ultimately, your job as a musher is to bring out the maximum potential of each one of your dogs. For some folks, this potential will take them to the winner's circle. For others, wrangling their unruly fur babies just as far as the start line is a huge accomplishment.
Expeditions and tours are so relaxed in comparison to a long distance adventure race. On a multi-day dog sled tour, we stop multiple times a day for pets and pictures. We take long breaks for campfire lunches, and set up ultra-comfortable camps for the night, replete with wood-stove heated tents and pots and pans for fresh-cooked meals. Expedition travel by dog team is a luxurious experience that I can appreciate that much more after spending the last 5 years not even carrying a tent, as I would rather spend the 10 minutes it takes to set up to nap instead!
Even so, I have missed the motivation, adventure, and camaraderie distance racing gave me. I have a yard of inexperienced dogs that are itching to fulfill their potential in a way touring cannot give them.
Racing gives us a goal for the season besides conditioning the dogs for expeditions and tours. I also feel like participating in racing, whether sprint or distance, is the only way to better the Siberian Husky as a breed, and we are very much committed to maintaining the workability of the Siberian Husky.
Welcome to the 2018/2019 Season ! Check your inbox for weekly updates, expedition announcements, and on ways you can help support the team on our journey to the Yukon Quest start line.
Time: 1:30 pm