The Incredible Sled Dogs of Alaska

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Please come and take a journey with us to the Alaskan racing dogs’ summer training camp and then fly with us above Juneau and experience this spectacular 12 mile long “Glacier Behind the Town,” Mendenhall Glacier.

We learned so much about these amazing dogs and this fascinating sport of dog racing. The practice of using dogs to pull sleds dates back to at least 2000 BC. It originated in Siberia and North America where many American Indian cultures used dogs to pull loads. The trainers, who each care for at least 10 plus dogs of their own, spend several months of the year in a tent at training camp or on long journeys across the state racing their dogs. We got to spend time with these wonderful people and understand their ways of life as well as the history and way of life for these precious and powerful dogs.

I always find it so interesting to step into another city, state, country, culture and imagine a life so different than my own. I love learning about others. Why they do what they do, where they sleep, what they eat, what matters to them. I am finding the people of Alaska to be kind and truly of the earth. They love nature, endure hardships within that nature and continue on with passion and diligence. The various terrains which make up this massive state are beyond spectacular.

Summer Camp

Summer Camp

Balto

Meet Balto. A true hero. Balto was a black Siberian husky sled dog who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome which was the most famous event in the history of Alaskan dog mushing. In January 1925, doctors realized that a potentially deadly diphtheria epidemic was poised to sweep through Nome’s young people. The only serum that could stop the outbreak was in Seattle, Washington, 2,800 miles (4,480 km) away. The engine of the only aircraft that could quickly deliver the medicine was frozen and would not start. After considering all of the alternatives, officials decided to move the medicine via multiple dog sled teams. The serum was transported by train from Anchorage to Nenana, where the first musher embarked as part of a relay aimed at delivering the needed serum to Nome. More than 20 mushers took part, facing a blizzard with −23 °F (-31 °C) temperatures and strong winds. News coverage of the event was worldwide. (wikipedia)

This famous run is commemorated by the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (the most popular sporting event in Alaska) which runs in early March from Anchorage to Nome. Mushers and a team of 16 dogs, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 9–15 days or more. Teams generally race through blizzards causing whiteout conditions, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds which can cause the wind chill to reach −100 °F (−73 °C). The strength, tenacity and endurance of these dogs and the people guiding them is unbelievable. We were amazed and truly inspired.

Summer Camp

Pierce

Aston

Dogs

Dogs

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momalaska

My Mom is in heaven with all of these puppies!

Aston

Pure Love.

*Warning…Astounding Beauty to follow.

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Heading up and over to Mendenhall Glacier

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What an unforgettable day. Thank you.

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