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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Break Up is Here!

The Nenana Tripod is Interior Alaska's sign that "break up" is official. "Break up", of course, means that the ice has broken up in the river and water and is now flowing down stream. This is actually a hugely emotional time in Alaska because it signifies so much more than that.

(left to right: the Tripod is there, the Tripod is gone)

It was not too long ago that we were traveling on these frozen rivers - using them as many Alaskans do: Freeways of the North. The river system in Alaska is somewhat like the interstate highway system in the Lower 48. I asked one man this Spring "How did you travel to get here?" He said "I took the Yukon to the cut off, went by the halfway cabin, and then got on the Koyukuk." That sounds a lot like driving a car to the grocery store in Houston (okay.. maybe change the Indian names to something more Hispanic.)

(The Red Team sleeping in the middle of the Yukon River - March 2013)

"Break up" is also emotional because it means the end of the mushing season in earnest. The snow is gone, the harnesses are hung up and the dogs are basking in the sunshine. The pace slows somewhat at SP Kennel. We are no longer mushing all day, readying for races, mending gear, fixing sleds, cooking fish, sorting booties, strawing dogs - all of this in a hurry to try and get to the next item and check it off a never ending "to do" list. Inevitably, this means that the 2012 - 2013 SP Kennel Crew is breaking up as well!

(The SP Kennel Team: Meghan, Aliy, Allen, Moira)

Moira has left the continent and is back down under in her home of New Zealand. She has left winter - flown a great distance - and stepped right back into winter. Her passion this season brought SP Kennel's communication with "Join the Team" members and SP Dog Sponsors to a new level. Moira fit right in to our happy, yet professional, Alaska dog musher lifestyle. Lucky for us, the internet is a global tool and she has agreed to continue to be a distant, yet integral part of the SP Kennel Team. We have not seen the last of Moira because she left part of her heart at the kennel with Rose, Spicy, Nacho, Willie, Chica, Scruggs ...

Meghan took a well deserved post season vacation. But, she has Alaska in her blood at this point and plans to stay in the land of the Midnight Sun for the summer. She brought her true love for dogs to SP Kennel this season. No matter what happened during the past six months, you always knew that Meghan put the needs of the dogs before anyone or anything. You can bet that we'll see Meghan, along with Charlet and Tina Turner, through out the summer months.


Melissa Krahmer said...

Thank you Moira for keeping the Doglog running this winter. your posts and videos were always fun and interesting!

Lynne D said...

Best wishes to both of you. I have found that SP is a family - you may move away, you may travel to far away places, but the family is and always will be there - it is really darned big family. Thank you for your huge contribution to keeping all of us armchair mushers involved.

Anonymous said...

Ohh, brings tears to my eyes too! We will miss them,they were both great Gals, Extremely nice during my visit. They loved the doggies, you and Allen and the SP kennel family.
Good luck, I hope to hear updates about their adventures. What color is Alaskan Blood? I have some in me too!
Padee Santa Rosa CA.

Lourdes, VT said...

It's kind of bittersweet though!
Moira and Meghan, I wish you very happy trails and, many thanks for being such great people and adding your good energy to the SP Kennel.!!! I bet the pups and their Mom and Dad will miss you a lot!
Aliy and Allen, are you going on tour to the NE states this summer? If you do and, you come close to Vermont, I will go and see you for sure!!!
You all keep in touch!

Dawn E said...

Happy Trails to all. Have an awesome summer!

Nessmuk said...

Looks like it's time to trade sleds for boats on tthe Yukon...BUT at least it's fishing season now!,! Im sorry to see part of the SP Kennel Team go separate ways, but there is some solace knowing everyone is still connected via the World Wide Web! They did an AWESOME job this year for sure!

Margaret said...

Thanks for the update on the SP Kennel 2-legged Team members!!!

Anonymous said...

It seems that all SPKennel team members add their own touches that make the coverage and the website so excellent. I love it that people who are totally unfamiliar with mushing and even the Alaskan life come and be a part of SPK. Their insights are always so unique, educational, and entertaining.
Meghan and Moira, thank you for all that you brought to us fans. You definitely left a mark and will be missed. I personally loved everything you posted...yes, everything. It so makes my day to see something new on the blog.
Blessings on the next phase of your life...and again, thank you.

Marilyn Cozzens said...

Moira & Meghan it has been a real treat to follow all the adventures of SP Kennel this year through all the postings & videos. Good luck in all that you strive to do.
I have read about break up from other sources & did not realize the impact on mushers & kennels. Aliy & Allen you do have an unending to do list! Great photo of the 4 of you!

Linda Toth said...

Lovely photo - and glad to hear Meghan is sticking around. It looks as though mushing and dogs is her greatest passion and how lucky to live it among the best.