Saturday, March 12, 2016

ID: Saturday Night


As I write this Aliy and the Red Team are travelling towards to coast at Unalakleet having camped out on the trail for 4-4.5 hours about 25 miles out of Kaltag. Sebastian caught a few pics of the dogs enjoying a nap in the heat of the day. They're currently sitting in fourth position behind Brent, Dallas and Mitch with the chasing bunch coming up very fast behind.

Emily Schwing from KNOM managed to get a few words from Aliy today about last night. Read/Listen here.

Thank you all for your emails, comments, messages and positive thoughts. At some stage, perhaps in the spring, Aliy will go back through them all and will appreciate them.

There are many, many press articles about what happened, and the story is now global, so I couldn't hope to link them all. Here is one from the Alaska Dispatch News from this afternoon on the trial and one from local news KTVA Alaska. It seems Aliy does not want to dwell on it and is trying to keep positive for her team. She is very in tune with her team (and the whole kennel in fact), and they with her, so she wants to keep them happy and upbeat so they will want to continue on their trek to Nome.

Therefore, in that vein we are going to do the same on the blog. Until Aliy herself is ready to talk about it we are going to continue our coverage of the race as we have done. It's been a long and harrowing day for us also but let's do like Taylor Swift suggests and "Shake It Off" and spend our energy sending good, positive vibes to Aliy and the team for now.

Clyde did not make it back to Anchorage this afternoon and we expect him tomorrow. We do expect he has had all the attention he needs with the lovely vets and volunteers out on the trail. It is actually a good sign that he's not back yet as if he were seriously injured they would have brought him back right away for medical attention.


Allen and his senior/freshman team are currently resting in Nulato. They've been there since just after 8pm this evening so will probably stay at least four hours, if not more.

Allen will be trying to do the same as Aliy in keeping a positive attitude for his team. It will have been a shock to hear about the events of last night and difficult for him to not be able to do anything to fix it. He is charging on and will keep upbeat for them.

It might be about now that he will start to push the team a little more to see what they can handle. He might start to rest a little shorter and run a little longer and he will keep an eye on how the dogs' attitudes are, particularly the young dogs as they have now gone further than they have ever been before! He is really skilled at this and knows when to back off if they are not up for it. This is why a dog like Commando can get to Nome as a yearling and make the A team as a two year old!


Linda sent me this earlier this evening:

"I thought I would take a moment to tell a Nomex story that is a bit light-hearted. After I picked up Nomex last night from the hotel he was obviously confused as to what was happening. When we got to my house, he ate, we walked and I figured he would bed down for the night.

Well he did for a couple of hours and the next thing you know he's wide awake ready to be harnessed and go for a run. He woke me up with some howling and continued until I came out to entertain him. In and out of the house. He played with toys and chewed on marrow bones. We snuggled and he got a body rub. Two hours later he finally took another nap...

Only to wake me up 2 hours later wanting to be entertained again. So this trip into the house he found his way back into my bathroom where he found another dog! I heard barking and I could tell he was jumping up on something. I went back to the bathroom only to watch Nomex completely engaged and entertained by my mirror. He was totally taken by that very handsome and obviously energetic dog. He stayed there for half an hour trying to get that pup to play.

So now in my bag of treats for the returned pups will be a mirror!"


Mary W said...

Nomes :)

A-town's Becky said...

Aliy, Allen and the entire SPK support team are phenomenal and strong.
Aliy has been doing amazing with this team.
Allen is getting a great new group of leaders to Nome. What he is doing now will make next year another year with difficult decisions of just who to take.
Linda, thank you for the Nomex story. I could see it all, and it provided a much needed chuckle. I've used mirrors for a lonely duck and turtle (and my first born LOL). They're great.
Thank you Moira, Kaz and everyone else helping behind the scenes.
Aliy should be into Unalakleet within a couple hours, and hopefully she and her team can get come much needed rest.

mushmore said...

Way to go SP kennel personnel. I know that Aliy and Allen appreciate all the positive energy everyone put into making a horrible situation to make it upbeat. Love the story. Keep up the awesome work. Looking forward to the next blog.πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎ

Kristie Lent said...

Awww....Nomax! You silly dog!

Anonymous said...

If you have a mirror, you are never alone!!!

My parakeet many many years ago thought so, too!!!

Best to all,


Nessmuk said...

Yes, may we all take a page from Aliys playbook....positive energy and lets race!

That was a great story about Nomex!! Once a Sled Dog always a sled dog...hard to break into a normal cadence Im sure! The dog in the mirror must have been so fun for him to watch....we all needed that smile!

Im sure Allen is doing a superb job with the rookies...Im already looking forward to next season to see what some of these pups can do after having their first 1,000 mile race under their harness!

Cindy Schaus said...

Ha! Nomex, thanks for the smiles! Cute, cute, cute story! The black team is moving along nicely. its so great that both teams still have 14 dogs. I love being a part of all of this. Thanks for all the details.

Dawn From Maine said...

Go Aliy and puppies! Rooting for you from Maine! Go Girl!

Barbara Boucher said...

thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning with the tale of Nomex!!

Lourdes, VT said...

Wow! It is a statement of Aliy's strength of character to keep her schedule and to keep a positive attitude for her dogs!!! And I can also see how much trust the pups have in her to continue the race after the emotional and mental trauma they experienced on the trail!!!
Prayers going their way all the way!!! πŸ™πŸ™πŸΆπŸΆ❤️❤️❤️❤️πŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸŽ†
Well, our friend Nomex is having a great adventure as well!!! What a great pup!!! ❤️🐢❤️

tmcaleer said...

Sweet Nomex!!

patricia lewis said...

Hee hee, Nomex. Thanks, Linda. We needed that.

Pam Higginson Colorado said...

Thank you for all the updates. Hoping all the mushers and dogs will be safe getting to Nome. Prayers to everyone.

Ahkiona said...

I love this story about Nomex! SP Kennel dogs have such fun personalities!

Toni Tadolini said...

Nomex was obviously still calibrated for race time! How kind of you to indulge his circadian setting!

Margaret said...

Thanks so much for clearing the air, so to speak! I am sure everyone will honour your request to only think positive and send only those vibes to the trail!!!

Passing on my competitive energies to all 15 members of the Red Team, woof!!!

Chipper in lead says it all!!! Yes "chipper" is the word for the gorgeous landscaape and certainly we know3 "Chipper" is a fast-moving leader!!!


Anonymous said...

Sending so many good thoughts to Aliy, Allen, Clyde, and the rest of the red and black teams! Thank you for all of the posts, Moira!

Judy in VA said...

Aliy is phenomenal! 'Nuf said!

Cindy Eckhoff said...

Linda, you are the best!!

Anonymous said...

That was a very cute story about Nomex. Allen has taught him well and he has a great future.

Leanna said...

You can always count on Aliy and Allen to put the dogs first. Both are veterans and have probably seen everything. But being attacked by another human being is a totally different experience. For Aliy to continue racing is a testament to her strength and resilience. I too believe answering this event with positive actions is very important. It is good to see most who follow this blog feel the same. Go SP Kennel!

Ingrid said...

Wishing many healing thoughts for Aliy and her dogs. How I so admire the strength and determination of this whole team. Onward to Nome, you have already won this race.
Much care,

Anonymous said...

I share everyone's comments. SP Kennels always represents the spirit, courage and determination of the teams and dogs. You are all winners to me!

Livonia, MI

Gaye Morgan-Walton said...

Love, prayers and strong, positive vibes going out to the Red Team and the Black Team. We all love you so much! Wherever you finish you guys are TRUE WINNERS, more than ever this year.

Gaye Morgan-Walton said...

BTW Loved the Nomex story! I had a dog years ago who liked to admire herself in the mirror; She had to be shaved once due to foxtail grass embedded in her nd would not look in the mirror for a month or more after one shocked glance. She was wolf-chow mix and looked like the breed now called Euraisers (sp?), almost a husky type but a golden tan color. Really looked a lot like a shaggier Clyde LOL.

Carrie Hopkins, Windsor, CT said...

Oh, Nomex, you silly boy! Keep trying to get that puppy to play with you, buddy! I love how intelligent they are yet how the simple things can keep them entertained for hours. Enjoy some down-time, buddy! You've earned it! And Aliy and Allen, great job both of you with the next generation of SPK! I've enjoyed watching the tracker and reading news from the trail. Safe travels for the rest of the race. Sending thoughts, prayers and positive energy up there for you and the teams.

Dawn E said...

What more could be said but
GO ALIY GO ! Lucky 13 get 'em! Yay, Allen and the B-Team! So proud of these teams.

Anonymous said...

We are so very proud of Aliy and her team of athletes and are behind you, with you, 100%. Sending BIG hugs of love and support to her as she races up toward White Mountain and Nome. We absolutely know she is doing her best, no doubts and are so impressed and thankful for the race she is running. GO Aliy! love from Diane and Julie in Seattle

J elliott said...

Emily Shwing rocks... And Aliy let all her fans know for sure what she & crew are dealing with emotionally. Beautiful consise commentary.

I know Aliy wont see this for a very long time - but youre not just a racer anymore - you are a racer/warrior. Let the ugly feelings slide from you and your team & relish how all of you dealt with it.

Swinging trail markers as swords - its a movie I'd watch over & over. Swell with satisfaction and pride and hug all your partners long and hard at your next stop.

You are all safe!!!

Kathy said...

A big Thank You to Linda and SP for posting of the stories. Wonderful!
Aliy you are so strong--I'm not so sure I could have done what you
are doing! Go Girl Go!!
Watch Allen and the Black team mate WOW! Go Allen!!
Get Well Clyde--One Tough Dog!
Nomex-you are too Funny!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fun story, Linda, and for sharing.
Aliy is still quite impacted by what is visible from afar. Her dogs might be able to carry her spirit as well as focus on running the best they can. When she was worried last year right before the finish about maybe Jeff having had a major bad luck, it threw her off, mentally. Now one of the most precious and innocent, a loving and performing dog is ripped from Jeff's side. This is scary. To find balance and do the best to win needs no pressure, no burden, as she feels burdened now, with her promise to do her best. I wish we could let her know, that we know this already - no matter, we her fans trust in her, the dogs trust in her, and she might feel light and carried again. Please, if anyone speaks to her in the next checkpoints, help lift this burden by letting her know, that she is doing fantastic and much better than she think she is. Smiles from us here to all the good spirits.

Linda Toth said...

So that is why Cutter gets us up to let him in and out a few times a night during winter!

Great story that made my morning (although I imagine morning came a bit too soon for Linda)

Carol said...

My heart, my soul, and my prayers are behind you, Aliy.

Marilyn cozzens said...

Thanks so much for keeping us updated. Sending positive energy, love, & hugs to Aliy & team mates. Go Aliy & Red team.

Marilyn cozzens said...

BTW- cute story about Nomex. Mirrors are fun. Thanks Linda for your loving care.

swordwhale said...

A wonderful insight into what makes a winner; dealing with the obstacles when you must, carrying on with a positive attitude. Great role models all of you at SP!

Nomex tale, hilarious!

Moosekahl said...

That Nomex tale is awesome!!! I can so see that interaction with his doppleganger!

Maryalice Adams said...

Thanks for the updates. I have German Shorthaired Pointer who does the same thing when she sees herself in the mirror. She barks and barks trying to get that "other dog" to play with her! Hilarious and great entertainment for us humans. ;-)