Last week I went on a 3 hour real dog sled ride. As in = the dogs pulled me on a sled with 2 inches of snow on the ground. Nope… In case you were wondering, I did not have much physical control of the sled. With no snow, the metal pronged brake tips can not penetrate the frozen ground and thus there is no stopping mechanism. The grass, logs and tree limbs are not covered either so the sled runners slip and slide quite haphazardly. Yup, there were a few tip overs! And there is no real obvious trail to follow. My new vocal command to the team for this sled ride was: “Find the Trail!” That’s entertaining isn’t it? Mismo and Junior did just that. Dutch and Izzy were eager to follow behind as were Sandy and Driver.

Enjoy my somewhat bumpy, yet entertaining fun sled ride.

In case you were wondering… there is very little snow (again) in Alaska. The snow that is on the ground in this video arrived earlier in the month. Since then we have gotten just a scant amount more. Hopefully, this tiny base cover won’t go away until April. This topic is a daily conversation between mushers and non mushers a like. When will it come? Or will it ever come? I do not know. I can guess, like everybody else. But, I really do not know.

Regardless of the lack of snow, SP Kennel’s training continues unimpeded. Our overall mileage, duration of runs and terrain training hasn’t been effected. The fact that we have ATV four wheelers makes training for the Copper Basin 300, Yukon Quest and even Iditarod still possible and successful, just not always fun.

Some of the fun factor still persists despite the lack of snow because I am a dog enthusiast, first and foremost. So I get to watch all the SP Kennel athletes gain knowledge, training miles, endurance and speed. Each dog is placed on different training teams on a daily basis in order for them to train to their best potential. With myself, Allen, Ruth and Chris all speeding a great deal of time on ATVs, we can easily get the entire kennel trained up. But… back to the fun factor. Every once in a while, a person needs to have fun. (Or at least that’s my take on life.)

Going out with a team of huskys is fun because you get to enjoy the ride and live in the moment. On a sled, a musher is a unique part of the team. Yes, the musher ultimately ‘controls’ the dog team but that control is just like the control you have of your pet poodle as it meanders down the sidewalk looking for the best spot(s) to pee. Is that really control or just sort of an understanding? On a sled, a musher has to ‘go with the flow’ and realize that the act of moving down the trail is everything. You don’t so much think about where you are going or when you’ll get there. You and your dogs are dealing with the unpredictable and all of you are simply managing the moment. There are not a lot of times in life when this the how a person can live. But, every once in a while, as a dog musher, I let my self really, truly, have some fun!

18 Responses

  • Ditto on thanks for sharing!!!

    And ditto on first comment re: Similarity to Iditarod Trail.

    Snow dance it is …




  • Having fun is so important. Life is difficult enough as is, it is so much easier & rewarding the more fun we have. Love your positive attitude, Aliy. We all need more AA. What a super sled dog ride, thanks for taking us along.

  • If it ever stops being fun, for a musher or any dog, it is time for that one to stop! Luckily that is not a frequent happening. Thanks for sharing. If it would help, I would be glad to do a "snow dance" but the Powers would just laugh at my goofy efforts. In southern NM we have not even had frost yet!! But I was telling my dermatologist about Alaska and Huskies today; he is becoming a fan.

  • Thank You for sharing that, I needed it. Been having a challenging day with the COPD acting up due to colder winds blowing in. The coughing exacerbates the cancer which the pain there from gets the Parkinson tremors. Your exactly needed an A-A day and your short video did exactly that, Thank You. May the Lord Jesus bless you and give you a champion season. Praying for you. Hopefully more videos will be coming they help very much, Thanks. GBY!!

  • And you know what?

    It really is so important to appreciate the gift of these experiences most of us would never have without your website.

    Thanks again, SP KENNEL!!!

  • Yippee yee haw! I mean Gee! Great fun Aliy surely worked for me to watch it. We have 2 inches in town now that I have returned to Fairbanks. Bet you cant wait to do it again. Thanks for keeping us connected and adjusted. Good Dogs and musher.
    Padee Fairbanks

  • Fine the trail! Find the trail! encouragement I can use every day of my life. And the dogs of SPK are so good at it. Thank you Aliy. It is always a pleasure riding with you.

  • Nice – soothing, actually.

    I am impressed that they charged right through those grasses and weeds at your command. I laughed at your comparison of working your dogs on the trail to a pet going out for a walk to pee. In my case, the command, "Do your business." had absolutely NO effect on my youngest hound while staying at Hatcher Pass B&B in Palmer. Who knows what was off-putting for this little girl. The fairgrounds were acceptable; the other side of the road along the dog/ATV trail was acceptable, but on the ample grounds right around the cabin – no dice!

    She held everything until we drove into one the "acceptable" spots. Really?

  • You can never underestimate the importance of having FUN!! I know it has to be a huge concern of the lack of snow….but you can't control that…but what you can control is feeling in the moment….having FUN…enjoy those awesome Sled Dogs!! Look at Mismo….Gee…Haw….he is on it!!

  • Woohoo! Keep having fun Aliy. That run looked like legit Iditarod training, Aliy and her team blazing trail, thin to no snow, lol.
    You'll certainly find the sled weaknesses if you do it much.
    Thanks for the AA.
    Keep having fun Aliy!

  • Such a great video! We're hope for great things from Junior and her kennel mates this season! Go Aliy! Go Allen! –Cliff Michel & Family

  • Could hear the bumpy trail in your voice! Fun to have the highlights and details! Catching up with your posts as we were out and about a bit.

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