No matter where you visit in the great state of Alaska, a visitor can find exceptional adventure mushing and/or sled dog programs and tours during the summer. Some of these operations are located on glaciers and visitors can actually experience sledding on snow and ice. Other operations have cart rides or kennel tours. Any first time Alaskan visitor should at least see one of these operations and experience the enthusiasm of the Alaskan Husky.
SP Kennel does not have one of these Summer Tour Programs. Instead of bringing visitors to the kennel, the kennel goes to to where the visitors are: Denali National Park. Aliy and Allen speak to thousands of Holland America and Princess Cruise guests.
Their job is very entertaining since every SP Kennel presentation also involves an Alaska Railroad Train ride. As the train travels north, towards Denali, Aliy and Allen give a short ‘how we got into dog mushing’ talk and follow it with a ‘what is all this sled dog racing about’ speech. They pass out SP Kennel postcards to all and give away kennel t-shirts to a lucky few. The entire train ride is 2 1/2 hours and they will talk to between 500 and 700 guests per day. This specific Denali Express to the Wilderness Train (DEX) runs once or twice a week depending on the cruise ship schedule.
Why doesn’t SP Kennel have a Summer Tour Program in Two Rivers?
SP Kennel is Aliy and Allen’s home. Inviting ten, twenty or several hundred visitors — no matter how friendly and happy they are — is a bit overwhelming. Although the kennel is a fantastic place, it can only be shared on a significantly smaller scale. That’s because the SP Kennel visitors’ lounge is also Aliy and Allen’s living room / kitchen / dining room. When a visitor enjoys a cup of coffee at the kennel, they are sitting in the same chairs that Moira, Chris, Wes and Wendy wrestle over all winter long. It’s the same spot that the kennel crew plans race strategies, food drops, handler calendars and daily chores. And the visitors better not mind dog hair… it’s everywhere! When a visitor drives onto the kennel property there is a 100% chance that a dog is running around somewhere. It also takes a little extra effort to drive the local Two Rivers roads. There is about 2 miles of a gravel or dirt trail/ road that leads to the kennel door step. There has been one motor coach attempt the driveway but the driver was very talented and did an 18 point turn in order to exit.