SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

ID: AliyCam 2016 “Mismo Single Lead”

I have carried a hand held video camera on the race for years now. Honestly, I don't always think "Gez, this is gorgeous… I need to take a video!" But, I really did try to capture some amazing portions of the Iditarod Trail this year.
There are 13 videos in the ID: AliyCam 2016 Series.


This video is short but really, really neat. I could only start recording after the light of the day made it’s way to the camera lens. I wish I could have videoed in the dark because that was impressive.

We made our way through Ruby and down onto the Yukon River. We were the second team on the trail at this point until we passed Brent Sass - camped just outside the village. From here, to Galena, the trail hadn’t been traveled by another Iditarod dog team. We were the first. This is good (a winning team by definition is the first on the trail) and this is bad (the trail is not always an obvious route to follow).

The trail was not obvious and there were few signs of previous snowmachine travel. It was on a sheet of slippery Yukon River glare ice. The ice was covered with an inch of fresh snow. So, as we started down river, the dogs (and I) assumed that we would have traction. Nope!

The trail markers were either drilled into the ice or water had come up and frozen around their bases. As well, this section of river hadn’t frozen well and there were many open water holes. One had claimed the life of a man traveling by snowmachine earlier in the winter. So, following the marked trail was paramount.

We were on most of this section of trail in the dark. We weaved this way and that with the team actually showing some fearful energy as they slipped and I hollered directions. It was a bit unnerving.

So, I dropped my chains under my runners (my brake did little to slow the team) and we stopped. I told everyone to just relax. I decided to put Mismo in single lead. He was really shining right then and he didn’t seem too concerned about slipping and sliding on the ice. For the next hour, he obediently trotted down the trail, watching and listening as I scouted for the reflective trail markers with my headlight and then and “Geed” and “Hawed” him directions. He’s no dummy, so he started to pick up on the visual clues and would steer the team toward the reflectors before I would command him. I have to admit there were a few “Haws” that he was convinced should have been “Gees”. In the end, not only did we get safely down the trail but we laid down an excellent track for all the other 80 plus Iditarod teams to follow.

Mismo says “You’re welcome.”


21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mismooo! Way to go doggies and Aliy. What a TEAM you all are.
love the write up to explain what's happening on the trail to add tension to the journey on the ICE. you made it look easy!
Padee Fairbanks

Donna Willette said...

Mismo!!!!!!! It is amazing to see how individual dogs step up while being part of the team. Truly a team effort. And this video helps visualize what mushing the Yukon is all about. Thanks a bunch for posting. As a former Alaskan, these posts bring me right back home. Wonderful job by Aliy and DAWGS alike.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful effort to capture these very moving moving pictures for all of us via the SP Kennel "Channel" - what a treat for us all, and thank you for doing this for your fans!!!

And congrats to Mismo - it is a responsibility to be in single lead - his Mommy Quito should be very proud!!! Woof!!!

Best,

Margaret

Anonymous said...

And did we forget to note that Red Team in first place (I assume that is correct as you mention that you are the first team to set the trail/path for the remaining 80 some-odd groups)?

Mismo gets his leadership genes from Mommy Quito!!!

Cindy Schaus said...

Mismo, you are awesome. Good dog! Even though it was a difficult and unnerving section of trail, the river was beautiful in the early morning light. I'm glad you were able to get the video there. Thank you!

Kiki Mertens said...

A big thank you for sharing your trail experiences. Love your wonderful dogs.

Nessmuk said...

Mismo...way to go boy!!! Those Quito/Biscuit/"Shetland Pony" genetics are doing you just fine...way to "do it to it" on the Yukon!!! THANK YOU for laying down a trail that 80+ teams can SAFELY follow...and ditto to Aliy....way to weave your Team through the icy Yukon...doing us SPK Fans Proud!!!

Anonymous said...

Love it!!!

Lourdes, VT said...

Dear Mismo, I LOVE YOU!!!

0300jh JeanneHammel said...

You go, Mismo. What a testament to your leadership and a testament to you mushet! Question for Aily, do you hold your go pro or is it attached to your head or to the sled. Looks like it varies in the different videos. What an adventure, thanks for sharing!

Bev said...

Fantastic Mismo following in his great moms tracks . Good for him
Thank You Aliy for sharing all this with us ,

You and Allen, your good helpers and your great doggies are the best

Anonymous said...

Love Mismo and the rest of team! Love the way they look back at Aliy when she's talking! Love Aliy and SPK! Thanks so much for sharing with your fans!

A-town's Becky said...

Woohoo Mismo! Handsome, hardworking, excellent listener, rock solid nerves, and smarts, mom and dad both showing through!!!
:-)
Padee's right, you and your team make it look easy Aliy.
:-)

Anonymous said...

Mismo for President!!!

Linda Toth said...

I just came back from Colorado and managed to get to the western slope where that little slip of a river, the Colorado River, carries all of the water for the western slope of the Rocky Mountains to the point where they have siphoned every last drop into use. It no longer finds its way to the Pacific.

I lived along the river, overlooking it near Silt and thought it grand and wonderful. It is grand and wonderful, but now I know what a real river is.

I loved the view toward the east - rose, violet and bue.

Leigh-Anne van der Veen said...

Wow - amazing - especially from an African perspective :)

Anonymous said...

We are really enjoying the off season videos and trail notes of the Iditarod trail , thanks Aliy . Denali 🐾🐾 and Joanne 🇦🇺

Holly Freeman said...

Mr. Mismo Confidence says, "I got this." Swagger swagger

Gaye Morgan-Walton said...

Mismo, you are a real hero. Single lead on a tough trail ahead of the whole bunch takes some real good doggy wisdom and behavior. Pets and treats for you!
Of course you trusted Mom and that helps too! Good dog, good team, all of you!
And yep, we only have creeks in the Southwest but they can get wild when it rains! But the Yukon is one of the world's great rivers--I am in awe.

tmcaleer said...

Wow, thanks again for the share and beautifully explained travel conditions!

Marilyn cozzens said...

I am amazed that you see a "trail" there on the Yukon. Way to go Mismo, red team & Aliy. Am sure the other teams to follow appreciate you laying down the trail. Yikes you covered part of this in the dark!