Sunday, April 22, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
During Iditarod 2012, Aliy was contending to win. Yet, she still wanted to share the amazing Iditarod Trail with family, friends and fans. Hopefully, the 2012 "Aliy Cam" showed the SP Kennel Red Team as they truly were ...
... an incredibly hard working, dedicated union of dogs and human. This bond between dog and human is hard to describe and sometimes hard to understand. Dog is truly man's best friend, but the dedication and determination that these SP Kennel dogs have towards their musher is "over the top". We at SP Kennel, appreciate this dedication and hold it close to our hearts. Not just any individual could do what the Red Team did. They are a special breed of athletic, competitive spirits that simply never give up and want to compete.
The Iditarod Trail was a great adventure for our Alaskan Huskys as well as our musher. We hope you enjoyed a glimpse of it with 2012 "Aliy Cam"!
In this video, Aliy and the Red Team are on the coast, running over the Blueberry Hills between Unalakleet and Shaktoolik, overlooking the frozen Norton Sound. Aliy was first into Unalakleet, but out second behind Dallas Seavey. As you can see, the dogs look fantastic as they keep their heads down and power on!
Note: All good things must come to an end... This is the final video in the 2012 Iditarod "Aliy Cam" series! (Everybody howl now!)
Monday, April 16, 2012
Sunrise on the Yukon River is a pretty special sight. This video shows how crisp the morning was as the sled bag is frosty white and so is Biscuit's back (in wheel on the right.)
Aliy hadn't been taking videos, so as she begins to talk to the camera many of the dogs look back and wonder, "Who the heck is she talking to now?" She notices this immediately and that's the reason for the many "Come on dogs!" that you hear. She needs to reassure the dogs that she is still focused and part of the team even though she "talking to someone else".
Sunday, April 15, 2012
The race strategy for the Red Team was to travel the Iditarod trail in equal runs after leaving the Takotna Checkpoint. That way the dogs and Aliy could settle into a comfortable and consistent run/rest schedule.
This however, required the team to camp along the trail instead of using the checkpoints. Aliy has always been comfortable camping with her team whether it is 30 degrees above zero or 30 below. So, the team passed through Ophir Checkpoint, camped, then passed through Cripple Checkpoint, camped, then passed through Ruby Checkpoint on route to Galena Checkpoint.
This video finds the team traveling down the mighty Yukon River after leaving Ruby.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
From the start in Willow, there was always a lot of fresh snow on the 2012 Iditarod trail. The gamble that a team in first place makes, is that it must break trail through all of this fresh snow and use a lot of "dog energy" doing so. Then, the rest of the teams have somewhat of a "beaten path" to follow and perhaps use less "dog energy". But, if you are not in the lead.... well, quite simply.... you are not in the lead. So, when Aliy left Nikolai following her race schedule, it also happened to be in lead.
In this video, the dogs in lead (Quito and Beemer) are often stepping into snow drifts that were 6 inches deep. The wheel dogs (Viper and Bonita) had 14 dogs in front of them packing down a trail and you can still see how deep their paws sink in the snow.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Third in the 2012 series is a video starting at the top of Rainy Pass and ending five miles from the Rohn Checkpoint. It's a wild ride by dog sled. Hope you enjoy!
There a few scenes in this episode that show how challenging it truly was for Aliy to hold the camera, drive the sled and video.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The second day of Iditarod is always breath taking as dog teams mush through the Alaska Range Mountains. Aliy and the Red Team left the Rainy Pass Checkpoint on Puntilla Lake at 3:28 PM on a snowy afternoon. This video shows the climb up through the mountains to the Rainy Pass summit.
The video does not do justice to the steep angle which the the team is actually climbing. It is also deceiving because the dogs keep up an amazingly fast pace as they climb towards the summit. You can see how they finally slow down to a slow "trudge" as they are only feet from the actual summit.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
This video is the first of the 2012 "Aliy Cam" series. She was able to record several sections of the Iditarod that she hadn't recorded before. This first video is just the start (so to speak).
If anyone can tell what the sign says "Aliy Zirkle ???????????" in the video, we would love to know. These folks were nearly 50 miles from the start, so they probably set up this "Aliy Fan Bonfire" pretty early in the day.
Monday, April 9, 2012
We have some of the best dog sponsors and fans in the world.
Thank you to everyone for the cards, gifts, smiley faces and general greetings to the SP Kennel mushers and dogs. It is only now, after a long racing season, that we have begun to see how much support and DOG LOVE was out there rooting for us during the race.
The SP Kennel Iditarod Wrap up is this week. Look out for several "Aliy Cam" Iditarod videos and a seasonal summary. (2012 Iditarod Trail Notes will still take some time however.)
Once again ..... THANKS for being there for us!!
One of many Congrats Cards for the SP Kennel Dogs.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
SP Kennel has been a buzz since returing from the North Slope. Even though, Aliy and Allen seem to be winding down from the long season; Ryne, Wes and Wendy still have "mushing on their minds".
Ryne and a good friend are headed for an overnight camping trip with several dog teams this weekend. Then Wes and Wendy are headed north on a mushing adventure with some good friends of SP Kennel. It seems that no one wants to hang up the harnesses yet.
Mismo is 8 months old are ready to rumble!
It's April 7th and we are still dog mushing....
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Allen, Aliy, the dogs and four "hardy souls" just finished their week long Mushing Adventure Trip. The conditions were perfect for dog mushing - with plenty of snow and ice - but with those conditions came some brutally cold temperatures. All of us managed to stay "warm" despite the fact that night time temperatures were down to 40 below at times. (Needless to say, the dogs are happy to be back in Two Rivers lazing in the sun on their dog houses at 20 ABOVE now!)
The Aliy Cam still worked despite the cold, so we were able to capture some of the adventure.