Mushing Magazine, First Issue, 1988

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Get lnaolaed, in the Alos|r,u IWuslting Spiret Take one of the following opportunitiesto support the YUKON QUEST!

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.pvstttwg A comprehensive magazine serving the dog sledding world. FEBRUARY/MARCH 1987 VOLUME l NUMBER 1

FEATURES Fit for the Trail


By Tom Wells Mushing is not simply standing on the back of the sled.

An Eye for the Last Great Race


Bv Al Geist One of the official photographers for the world-classevent offers a glimpse of his work.

Gee-Poling a Juggernaut


By Charlie Campbell

Adventures in the Tanana Valley while moving a 750-pound juggernaut.





Pup Raising Reaches New Heights




to Livengood

and Back


Feet, Happy


MUSHERS Top Mushers share Tips at International symposium-

Bysusan M.wiu


By Karinschmiilt


By Carol Kaynor Some400 mushing enthusiasts convergein Fairbanks for two days of exchanginginformation.

"Holy" Smoke: A Lifelong Interest By LeslieBarber Noyes


The honorary race marshal for the 1987 Open North American recalls his racing past.

,W '"e%,.

MUSHING is published bimonthly by Stellar Communications,Inc., 3647 Main Street, Ester, Alaska 99725. All material in this magazine is copyrighted 1987 by Stellar Communications, Inc. AII rights are reserved. MUSHING welcomes freelance contributions, but is not responsible for loss or damage to unsolicitedmaterial. Pleaseenclosea S.A.S.E.if the material is to be returned. Newsstandprice per copy: $2.00. Subscriptions:1 year, 6 issues,$10.00.2 years, 12 issues,$18.00.Add $6.00 for Canada ($10 for other foreign subscribers).Payment is in U.S. currency. HOW TO CONTACT US To write: MUSHING, P.O. Box 144, Ester, AK, USA 99725 MAILING

IHE COVER: Heavy snows slow Jim Hepburn's lead dog Ruby on a patrol through Denali National Park. Three freight enough supplies to support people and dogs for the two-week trek from park headquarters to the Kantishna River and back. Photo by Tony Sisto

To call: e07\ 479-O4b4


We make our subscriber list available to carefully screenedorganizations and companies whose products, services or fund-raising activities may interest some of our readers. We will remove your name from such a list at your request. Please write us and include a copy ofyour address label. ADVERTISING POLICIES Advertising rates are given on application.While attempting to accept only reliable advertising, MUSHING will not be responsible to the public for advertisements, nor the views expressedin them which may not necessarily be those of MUSHING. We reserve the right to decline or discontinue any_advertisement without explanation. To place a classifredadvertisement,call (907) 479-0454.

February/March 1988 o J


Susan Butcber, Professbnal Sportsu'om(.ot of the Ye(Lr,1987 Winner, Iditdrod Tizti.ISled Dog Race, 1987 ChatnPktn

Sled Dog Breeder

1.#t* w .s't CF


./lrlusmwg FEBRUARY/MARCH1987 VOLUME 1 NUMBER 1 Todd Hoener & Al Geist STAFF EDI T O R , T o d d H o e n e r PRO D U C T I O N & B USINESS DI R E C T O R , A l G e i st DES I G N , P o l l y W a l te r A S S O C I A T E E D I T ORS, Carey L3rink

Ca r o l Ka yn o r ,

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P UB L I S H E R , Es te r , A l a s k a

S t e l l a r Co m m u n ica tio n s, In c

P rin t e d a n d P u b l i s h ed in Ala ska . USA

Letters & Notes Dear Editor, I'm pleased to hear of your plans to launch MSHING magazine and I anxiously await the arrival ofthe first issue. The founding of MUSHING attests to the fact that dog sledding is not only a way of life to many peopie of the North, it is a growing sport that is becoming more popular every day. I began following dog sledding when I first came to Alaska 20 years ago. While I've never run dogs in any serious way, I served as a checker at Rabbit Lake during the 1985 Iditarod and have been a spectator at more races than I can remember. Alaska stands an excellent chance of hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics. I hope mushing is part of those games; it would be a certain gold winner. While in Juneau, I'm looking forward to reading MUSHING.IT will be the next best thing to standing on Second Avenue in my hometown of Fairbanks for the final heat of the North American. Best Wishes, Steve Cowper, Governor I am looking forward to the first issue of MUSHING. All the

This magazine is the natural result of people wanting more information about a growing activity which is gaining interest worldwide: dog mushing. The project began with a simple idea: Give mushers and mushing enthusiasts a vehicle for communicating with each other, and the knowledge they generate will improve the overall quality of dog sledding. MUSHING is that vehicle. We hope to develop the magazine into a broad network which will allow readers access to useful information, adventurous entertainment and greater opportunities. We will regularly present articles on dog sledding history, innovations, and prevention and treatment of dog diseases and injuries. There will be a section for mushing events around the world. We will also have stories about mushers with an eye out especially for the mushers indigenous to the North - the "first" mushers. Dog sledding, like many activities, can create controversy between different interests, and we plan to address those issues which can affect the musher's lifestyle. It is also our desire that IIIUSHING be open to its readers. We are dependent on reader feedback and input to ensure these pages are filled with rewarding and appropriate articles. For example, if a matter arises concerning safety, trail use, new regulations or outfitting, we will be relying on our readers to bring it to our attention and to help us update each issue. We encourage reader comments. So begin with our first issue. Let us know how we can improve. We will be busy building our next issue, gathering more information and expanding everyone's understanding - and enjoyment - of mushing.

mushers of Alaska and even those to the south and east of us could be put in touch with each other. I hope to see regular interviews with racers, handlers, chronic race organizers, volunteers and long-distance travelers. Their stories will be a source of information and inspiration. I want to see lots of maps. Maybe someone from Huslia could draw the trails of his part of the country on a map for the magazine. And someone from McGrath and Nenana and Manley and Anaktuvuk. I'd also enjoy articles about winter gear (pullover parka vs. open-front style for instance), sled construction for different purposes, or different training techniques and tricks. One on locomotions and conformation of the canine would also be great. I think there should be classified ads and a calendar ofcurrent

events- racers and results. Thanks, Patty Doval College,Alaska I'm enthusiastic about the new mushing magazine. I think the magazine can provide sideline enthusiasts like myself a better picture of the personalities and lives behind the scenes,as well as give us a better idea of what is involved in raising a dog team and how we can participate more in the sport without owning a team of dogs. I'm looking forward to seeing articles on mushing history in the state, the peoplebehind the dogs, and lodgesand places nonmushers can go to learn how to mush or just enjoy a ride in the sled. Good luck! Sincerely, Leslie Barber Noyes February/March 1988






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Nenana dog musher Joe Runyan feeds his pups in their specially designed wire cages.

P upRa i si n g by Joe Runyan

Reaches New

MUSHINGs technology department had its first skull session the other day. Present committee members included myself and "Willie," as we shall call him to protect the innocent. The ensuing dialogue illustrates the difference between raw information or science and technology. Willie felt he was on the cutting edge of new technology. His fertile mind, prompted by this year's paucity of snow, designed a snow hook that operated on suction and could anchor a 16-dog team on a quarter-inch snow pack. When I pointed out a few considerations that could compromise performance, such as the irregular surface on the Second Avenue starting chute, Willie admitted right there at the coffee

Height s table that said condition presentedproblems. A gel made of octopi mucous was suggestedas an adhesivefacilitator for the two-foot diameter suction cup. This inspiration was well taken and Willie is now enroute to Pago Pago,struggling with the fine points. This mental joust brought home the reality of what this column is about. Technologyis information that works. Call it execution, follow through, or just getting the job done.

H ere i s a case i n point : t he technology of raising healthy sled dog pups. In i ts pre sent st at e, I would say the technology is deficient. We are losing far too many pups to a condition generally known to the dog mushers as "parvo." The eight- to 12-week-old age bracket is heavily affected and suffers too high a mortality rate. Call it what you will, but 98 percent of us would agree that diarrhea and dehydration could indicate distemper, parvo, roto virus and a host of other diseases.The fact is, despite the handle you attempt to put on it, many kennels, including my own, continue having high mortality rates with pups. Those of you that have lost pups sympathize. Those fortunate enough to have escaped the parvo plague can empathize because, as one pundit said, "It can happen to the best of families." Moreover, it is my observation that success or failure on the parvo syndrome front is largely a matter of luck. I have visited kennels isolated 100 miles downriver from the nearest Yukon village. Some lose and some do not. Gravelled kennels, attended to with an eye for cleanliness, often have health difficulties as significant as other kennels more casually organized. As will be shown, the problem is a big flaw in the general system ofraising sled dog pups. Whether they are raised roaming free or in kennels of sawdust, concrete, gravel or earthen floors, they all share one thing in common - they are all on the ground. Raising pups on the ground presents big health problems, and no matter how clean the area, it is not clean enough. Enter the old adage, "When the student needs to learn, a teacher will appear." Several years ago I had contemplated raising foxes and was introduced to some local breeders. In particular, a tip of the hat goes to Rusty Christie, a well respected fur rancher, now retired. This spring, in the midst of a search for some answers, I paid him a visit. In 15 minutes I learned more about the tech-

February/March 1988 c /





nology of raising pups successfully than the sum total of the last 15 years. I was talking to a man who had su cc es s f ullyand c o n s i s l e n tl Y raised thousands of canines in an economic manner with a minimum of effort, medications or veterinarian bills. Our conversation generated enthusiasm and made me feel like going right home and working on the dogs. I'd been barking up the wrong tree. It was as if WiIIie was recommending I adjust the suction-cup snow anchor, when in fact I should have been teaching the dogs "whoa." And that is the secret. Put Your priorities into stopping the cycle of parasites and disease. In other words, prevention is the cure. Treatment of disease should be the last weapon in Your arsenal and the last Place to sPend Your money and time. Ruity straightened me out and put me on a system the fur indusiry has emploYed for Years. That dog mushers have not in general followed the lead of fur industries is probably a matter of necessity'^ Up until the recent appearanc-e oI p.trro, pup losses were tolerable



Materials 12- to 14-gauge welded wire 1" x 1"

Fig. 1.

and not high enough to cause mushers to look for other methods. At one time fox farmers raised kits on the ground in enclosed wire cages, as do manY Present dav muihers. However, this method was not satisfactorY and now fur farmers worldwide use a svstem of economicallY consiructed, elevated wire cages' See #1. figure "Mt.ty advantages distinguish

'n,fu! When Alaskais just waking up f rom a long winter's nap, Fairhanksis already alive with excitement. Come to Fairbanksand watch some of the northland'sfinest athletes'go for the gold' at the Arctic Winter Games . . . throw on your nartv duds for an old-fashioned end-ot-winter 'dance at the Fairbankslce Festival. . ' and meet the mushers after their world-classsled dog race, the AlascomOpen North American Championship. That's Fairbanksin the Spring . . . extremely exciting. ExtremelYAlaska! Arctic Winter Games' March 13-18,1988 riirbanks Chamberof Commercelce Festival r March 18-20,1988 AlascomOpen North AmericanChampionship o March 18-20,1988 For more information, contact: FairbanksConventionand Visitors Bureau 550 SPR2First Avenue ' Fairbanks,AK 99701-4790 oo7) 4s6-s774



Sides& Ends 10- to 18-gauge welded wire 1" x 2" cut hole for door cut hole for dog house entrance put together with clips or hog rings

the elevated-cage sYstem from other rearing schemes. ' The parasite cYcle is broken when pups are in elevated cage6. Feces and urine Pass through the wire floor. The most fastidious kennel owner would find it imPossible to keep cement, PlYwood, gravel, sawdust or earthen floor Lennels as clean and drY. An elevated wire kennel is alwaYs clean. ' Bacteria and virus are reduced. The kennels are elevated, exposed to wind and sun, and therefore dry, making it difficult for germs normallY found in warm, moist mediums to get a start. In addition, the fecal-oral route of transmission is obviously stymied. As a 'Diseases are isolated. four or three practical matter, pups are placed in each cage at weaning. From that time to 16 weeks they are not in contact with other puPS or dogs. Therefore, the wild sPread of disease is curtailed, especiallY in a large kennel operation. If a PuP does become sick, it can be easilY identified and treated without jeopardizing the rest of the kennel. t Paranoia about outside influences is reduced. Because the pens are elevated, worries about ,risits from other kennel-owner friends is reduced. After all, the pups are in cages and will not contact areas where humans, ioose dogs, rodents. or other vectors have trod. ' Socialization of PuPs becomes easy. Scott and Fuller in their

book, Dr.rgBehavior and others have set the record on socialization quite straight. The six- to eight-weeks period is a critical time in the pup's life for contact with humans. With the pups situated waist high as if they were placed on the kitchen table, it is an effortless task to handle them. Even after a torrential rain that puts you in rubber boots, the pups will be a pleasure to handle. My daughter and her friends go from cage to cage all summer to play with the pups, and they stay clean, too. 'General animal husbandry is enhanced. Because the pups are broken into small units, management of feeding is easier. The bully does not dominate the feed pot. The pens, situated in close proximity, also make for a regular time-saving pattern. The pens are self cleaning, always immaculate anri dry, and that of course solves the biggest headache: cleanliness. My wife and I raised 175 pups this summer in the pens that I have described with a loss of only two pups. Many are now out on the chain and running. Consider


Common access

the following recommendations from our summer's trial with elevated pens: 1. Put your battery of elevated pup kennels in a sunny, open area to take full advantage ofthe sun and wind. This keeps the kennels super dry and ultraviolet sterilized. 2. Make the floor of the dog houseremovablein caseit is ever

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soiled. At one point I made some dog houseswith wire floors, but now consider it unnecessary. Straw may be a nice addition, but remember that it could be a good medium for bacteria. I did not use straw. 3. Make the roof removable so you can check on your pups, especially if one is not feeling well. 4. Devise a method to keep vac-


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cination and worming records right on the box, such as index cards in weatherproof plastic stapled on the box. 5. Use flat, round feed bowls such as cut-off five-gallon cans. They won't tip, but at the same time can be removed for cleaning. 6. Spread lime on solid waste to hold down the odors. Some kennel owners may suggest weeklY scooping or other schemes.

wooden liP at the entrance wh.ich prevented the PuPs from crawlrng out but did not restrict the bitch from entering. However, the PuPs couid explore the wire cage section which was out of reach to the bitch. This was a Practical arrangement because the bitch *onlld tear uP the kenneis desisned for PuPs' Therefore' we .impromised and staked the bitch conventionallY on a chain'

At five weeks. or when the PuPs were eating well, the litter was w eaned. E arl Y w e aning was done for several reason s.We want ed t o get the puPS on wire and awaY tination whiie theY iro^ "otttut bY m al"er nal protected w ere sti i l to start wanted we antibodies, socializing the PuPs, and lastlY, we wished to reduce the stress of the bitch so that she could more easily get back into race form' At four to four and a half months the PuPs were, generallY speaki ng, P ast the danger zone and reacted favorablY to vaccinations. They were moved to the yard and staked out in the usual manner. In my opinion, the elevated-Pen system is a straightforward method that works. When it's raining outside and the bears are walloiing in mud You can smile and enjoy Willie's account of Pago Pago. Your puPs wiII be high and dry in immaculate condition' NOTE: The author invites innovators using this sYstem to communicate their ideas and observations with this publication'

7. Position the doors on the elevated kennels so You can service two cages from the walkwaY be- tween Th" p"tt". It saves time and walkways can be made with half the material. See frgure 2' 8. Visit a fur farmer to take advantage of his exPertise, and collect more tiPs. Like a good melodY, this sYstem can have many varYing themes' It's up to the musher to adjust pro."drr."" and to fine-tune' The tasic idea of elevating the PuPs off the ground is what gives the system merit. For my own Part, which is subiect to revision, we Proceeded in ihe following way. InitiallY we raised Lhe PuPs to three weeks in the conventional manner - when the pups were born. the bitch was staked'bY her whelPing box with the pups. AL three weeks we Put the pu^psin an elevated kennel, .bout ott" foot off the ground' The elevated structure was Part wire cage and Part wooden dog house' Th'e bitch-was able to enter and feed the PuPs through an oPening in the wooden dog house section ofthe kennel. That oPening had a 10



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Near the Stees eLounge February/March 1988 o 11

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by SusanM. Will On March 8, 1940, news of the world war temPorarilY shifted from the front Page of the Fairbanks Daily Newi-Miner' Instead, viewers read this: "The mercurY hovered at 10 degreesabove zero, and just a hint If* fluttered earthward as an even dozen eager dog teams lunged from their marks this *oittittg at the start of the 1940 Fairbanks Dog DerbY. "More than 1500 earlY-rising snectators- the largest gallerY in ttre historY of Fairbanks dog racing - lined the starting lane and ciowded against the rail on the Cushman Street bridge overhead to witness the first hundred yards of a 164-mile run over frozen trails to Livengood and return. 12 .


"First to Pull awaY from the tense swarm of onlookers, oromptlv at 8 a.m., was Harold Woods.veteran RamPart musher', his team of 10 sturdY malemutes lead(sic)by five-Year-old 'Chuckie'...." So began the coverageof the first ra& between Fairbanks and iirr"ttgood, a race which was held in 1940 and 1941. The historY of major Fairbanks doe sled races extends back to the S8lmile 1927 Signal CorPsrace' This race started in Fairbanks, ran north to the communitY of Summit and returned to finish in Fairbanks. Then came the SweeP.t"X". TroPhY ComPetition, which precededthe Livengood races and L"gutt in 1936.It consistedof thiee 30-mile heats from Fairfu"[t to the Chatanika River and back. But the races to Livengood were


different. In 1940 and 1941, the races ran 165 miles from Fairbanks to Livengood and back. This longer race developed in part as a result of several mushing organizers who were inspired by the earlier Nome All-Alaska Sweepstakes, a grueling 400-mile race run in the early 1900's. The 1940 Fairbanks Dog Derby departed from beneath the Cushman Street bridge, traveled downstream to the Chena Slough, then up the slough past the railroad bridge and across Ester road, followed the U.S. Smelting Company's power line to the top of Engineer Hill, then ran along the SteeseHighway to the Elliott Highway fork. Beyond that point it followed the course of the old highway to Livengood and back. Checkpoints included Jerue's (19 miles out) and the halfway point at Snowshoe Cabin (35 miles out). A major part of the race was the parimutuel betting booth which indulged not only wagers on the outcome of the race, but also numerous minute pools on when the winning team would cross the finish line. It undoubtedly fostered other bets throughout the race, as the drivers were required to check in at telephone locations along the route, which allowed updates to be called into town. In addition to manv of the rules

Drivers sign up for the drawing Agbaba waits his turn.


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still in use today, these races required that the minimum number of dogspermitted was five with "...asmany more as the owner or driver shall deem fit." The first day ofthe race ended at Livengood and, after an exact 10-hour layover, the teams could head back to Fairbanks. Teams started at two-minute intervals. All teams were required to return with the same dogs they started and, to ensure this, dogs were identified and photographed

prior to the 7940 race to Livengood. John A|len signs in as Mike

by an official before starting the race. This was the frrst dog race to be broadcastlive. KFAR radio's Bud Foster was able to report on the spill taken by GeorgeJimmie's "spare f,i1s"- the extra dog carried from the starting line in his basket. Within 100 yards the musher slowed the team and got the dog back into the sled. The $3000 first place was taken by Bergman Kokrine and his six dogs (with one in the basket) in 16 hours. 7 minutes. 33 seconds. He was followed by Arndt Skaug, who drove Leonhard Seppala'sSiberiansto a $1000 secondplace in 19 hours. 2 minutes. 45 seconds. The remaining finishers included GeorgeJimmie in 19 hours, 23 minutes, for a third place of $500 with nine of his original 13 dogs in harness (including his "spare tire"). Bob Buzby and Johnny AlIen campedon the trail Saturday night and crossedthe finish on Saturday. William F. Goddard, the chairman of the 1941 All-Alaska Dog Derby, and other members of the committee spent months on snowshoes,clearing, measuring and marking the trail to Livengood for the 1941 race. It was chained off at 82.5 miles each way in order that "...recordsset on this course may be reviewed and acceptedby national athletic organizations, giving a basis of comparisonwith February/March 1988 .


racing times of drivers in other oarts of the United States." After the earlY evening drawing the night before, the 13 teams of 111 sled dogs were readY to go at 8 a. m . on F r ida Y, M a rc h 7 ,l 9 4 l ' First off the starting Post. down the Chena River and under the Cushman Street bridge' was 18-year-old Bob Hanson, a veteran of four dog derbies. He drove the same team and used the same Ieader as he had in the 1940 race' The temperature was 11 below zero - "too warm for the best efforts of the malemutes...." While the teams were working on the trail, the fun had just begun in Livengood' The town aiirost tripled in population for the event; 141 dog houses were constructed at Livengood in PreParation for the race, and dog food, sled supplies and handlers were flown in from Fairbanks' Race progress rePorts were Provided bY r*u'tt-ptutt" pilots. staff members of the iJnited States Signal CorPs and KFAR's transmitter statron' The grueling trail took its toll on the teams. Harold Woods' Bergman Kokrine, and Mike Rebaba left Livengood with *6inhtt in their sleds equivalent to tf,e weights of the criPPled dogs that each was forced to leave in Livengood. The winner, Jacob Butler, fin-

ished in 20 hours, 23 minutes, 6 s econds,more than tw o hours slower than the Previous Year s winning time, ProbablY as a result of the above-freezing temoeratures and new snow on the irail. FIe narrowlY edged out Bob Buzbv. who was onlY five minutes behind Butler at the Jack Prest cabin, 24 miles out of Fairbanks' B uzbv' s total ti me gave hi m second place with a finish of 20 houis, 31 minutes, 43 seconds' Butier, whose name was the flrrst to be engraved on the new trophy, found that his leader, Silu"t, ul.o got a sPecial troPhY' A ,ou.t, dt"i.ed turkeY - the glft of Harry Burnoff, HarrY Minlozoff, Dan Bessaff, and Alex Tavitoff - was Presented to the dog' A new, gold-finished Dog DerbY perpetual troPhY had been Prouia"a u" a gift from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to replace the old silver troPhY' ilo*"rrut, unbeknownst to the competitors, the Purse money was not in hand. This Proved a bitter blow to mushers such as Jim Huntington who had decided to enter tlie race when word got out to the bush that there was $10,000 in Prize money' LI$tington drove his dogs to RubY fro"m Hogatza River. From there he talked a Pilot into flYing him and his 14 dogs into Fairbanks'

STARTING ORDER, t s4iAtl-alaska Dog DerbY l. Bob Hanson,Fairbanks 2. Jacob Butler, Fairbanks' 3. Bob BuzbY,Fairbanks' +. ir* ffr",1"gton. HogatzaRiver 5. Harolg Woods'RamPart 6. Ed Jones,Fairbanks. 7. Stanley DaYo,Livengood' 8. Jim Alexander,Minto' 9. C. RosstCroskYrMoses,Minto' 10. Fred Stickman,Nulato' 11.Arndt Skaug.Chatanika' 12. Mike Agbaba,Fairbanks' 13.BergmanKokrine, Tanana'

STARTING ORDER. rgaO-FairbanksDog DerbY I. Harold Woods,RamPart. 2. Arndt Skaug.Chatanika. 3. Bob BuzbY,Fairbanks 4. Johnnv Allen, RubY. 5. Roberi Hanson,Fairbanks 6. Walter John, StevensVillage' ?. BergmanKokrine. Tanana' 8. GeorgeJimmY, Galena' 9. MiktAgbaba, Fairbanks. 10.JacobButler, Fairbanks' 11. Harry Sam, StevensVillage' 12. Crosk.yMoses,Minto'

Place& Purse Musher 1. ($3,000) Bergman Kokrine 2. ($1,000) Arndt Skaug 3. ($500) GeorgeJimmY ) JacobButler 4. ($300 5. ( $200) Walter John Bob Hanson 6. ( $50) Harold Woods ?. ( $50) Harry Sam 8. ( $50) Mike Agbaba 9. ( $50) 10.( $50) Bob Buzby 11.( $50) Johnny Allen 12.( $50) Croskv Moses

14 .


Once in town, things were more expensive than he thought. Thirteen teams were entered and prizes were to go to the first five plu.*.. Huntington trained his dogs duri ng the d aY on t he r iver an"d lived meageriY for the weeks prior to the race, figuring he lould at least get frfth for $250' After a rough trail, some criPPled dogs, and a surPrise fourth Place fi ni sh, H unti ngto n f ound t hat there was not enough moneY to oav hi s D osi ti on, which should it^uu rnua* him $500. DisaPnointed. he drove the dogs 600 miles back to the Hogalza River' Sled dog races could Push the war from the front Page of the paper for a daY or two, but the war finally took Precedence' The 1941 race was the last major Fairbanks race until 1946, when the first North American Championship was held. The iivengood races faded into history, but [heY Proved to be an interesting antecedent to what has develoPed into sPrint and mid-distance racing in Alaska today. Further information on the Livengood races can be found in fSSb,"fgaO, and 1941 issues of the f'ultbu"t . baitY News-Miner and inOn the Edge of NowherebY James Huntington' as told to Lawrence Elliott.

Total ElapsedTime Hrs:Min:Sec

18;07:33 19:02:45 19:23:00 20:04:10 20'.A429 20:23:39


l 21: 11: 23 2l:29:46 21:35:56 frnished SundaY finished SundaY Default

Total ElapsedTime Hrs:Min:Sec Musher 20:23:6 Jake Butler 20:31:43 Bob Buzby 21.27.36 n.trat Sfi"n JimHuntington 22:13:39 22:18:.53 *i,, Harold Woods 23:04:13 Or't:rt. Jim Alexander 23:17:23 Croskv Moses ?t.t', 26:23:30 ,81-,1,,..,Ed Jones 2?:10:10 '9.,'1':: Bob Hanson no regisleredtrme 10',,,. Mike Asbaba no regist'eredtime StanleiDavo .11r,'.' no registeredt'ime Kokrine Bersman 12l,.r. no registeredtime ,lg."t Frei Stick-un Place l. 2. 3.r::', r,.j,

Fit for the Trail by Tom Wells Growing up in northern Minnesota,I spent most of my life thinking that mushing was like going for a ride at the fair. The mushers sat back and had fun while the dogs did all the work. It wasn't until I came to Alaska, started testing the physiological responsesof Iditarod mushers, and took a few rides myself that I discoveredhow wrong I was! Whether you are interested in recreational mushing or have the bug to start racing - be it sprint, middle or long distance - you had better prepare yourselfphysically for what is to come. You are entering a sport which will place certain demands on you. Your life as a mechanic, businessperson, secretaryor whatever will not prepare you for mushing. Neither will your participation in other sports prepare you.

Mushing places demands on the heart and cardiovascular system, on upper body muscles, on back muscles and on leg muscles. Mushing, like other sports and many work activities, puts specific demandson the body. The body respondsto those demands and, it is hoped, adapts. The secret in preparing for any physical challenge is to train for it by overloadingthose specifrcresponsesjust the right amount. An example of this is the distance runner who checks her heart rate while training. Her heart and blood vesselsare in a system which respondsvery specifrcally to running. By raising the heart rate into what is called the "training zone,"she is overloading that system to becomemore efficient in sustained aerobic work. This training zor'econcept, having both a lower limit and an upper limit, makes up for over-

loading and also keeps us from overtraining. What are the physical demands of mushing? Your need for preparation will vary depending on factors such as how often you mush, the terrain you are mushing in, whether you are competing and what kind of event, or the number of dogs you are running; however, certain general statements can be made. Mushing places demands on the heart and cardiovascular system, on upper body muscles, on back muscles and on leg muscles. Whether you are Joe Runyan winning the Yukon Quest by spending a lot of time running between the sled runners, or you are a weekend musher riding on the sled runners, you need to have a well-conditioned cardiovascular system in order to safely enjoy mushing. Just having the cold wind in your face places a significant load on your heart by raising your blood pressure. Add to this any emergency situation, such as crashing and burning or having your dogs run off, and your ability to sustain work your cardiovascular fitness may be the only thing that keeps you alive.

Grip strength and the ability of the upper body to push and puLLon the handlebars are very important if you want to control the sled. It is also more satisfying to run behind the sled, especially up the hills, or to pump (pushing off with one leg while the other rests on the sled runner). You are helping your dogs go faster. They will thank you for it by working harder when they know you are also contributing. You can attain better cardiovascular fitness by maintaining somekind of sustained activity for a minimum of 20 minutes

three times a week. This activity can be brisk walking, riding a bi cycl e, aerobi cs,ru nning. or anything else that brings your heart rate up and keeps it up. Grip strength and the ability of the upper body to push and pull on the handl ebars ar e ver y im portant if you want to control the sled. Long-distance mushers tend to be very strong in these muscles and also prone to injuries in the corresponding joints because of the extra demands of training thousands of miles each year.

One of the most amazing feats I have ever witnessed in sports was Tercy Adkin's finish of the 1986 lditarod.

Reverse curls and the bench press are good specific weightroom exercises for mushing. Pullups and pushups are good ifyou don't have weights. So are activities such as cutting and splitting wood. Try to do these activities also at least three times a week if you want to become stronger at them. One of the most amazing feats I have ever witnessed in sports was Terry Adkin's finish of the 1986 Iditarod. This Montana veterinarian ran the entire 1,048-mile race with excruciating back pain. Considering the amount the back is used in mushing, this feat was really astounding. A musher not only uses the back to connect the forces ofthe upper body to the legs as he or she steers the sled, but also spends a large amount of time bending over during activities such as feeding the dogs and caring for the dogs' feet. A healthy back is maintained by daily back and stomach strengthening exercises, by doing situps and by getting on all fours and raising your lower back as if you were an angry cat. You should stretch the muscles of your back and the backs ofyour legs daily. Back mechanics are important also. Concentrate on using your legs when lifting during daily activities and get down on your knees when caring for your dogs. February/March 1988



How many of us can run eight miles an hour for a long Period after 72 days on the trail. Your leg-strength needs for mushing should be taken care of, for the most Part, bY the aerobic activities describedabove' However, the running You have to do behind the sled ii often at a much faster pace than trained for in those sustained activities. Susan Butcher's team was going eight miles an hour on the iast daY of the 1987 Iditarod. How manY of us can run eight miles an hour for


a long period afLer!2 daYson the trail? Not many of us, including Susan.However,PumPingmomentarily takes the musher's weieht off the sled and thus dethe Pull on the line' When "r"u-""", the team slows down going uP hills, a sprint between the sled runners is also helPful. Joe Runyan's Quest victorY and Robin Jacobsen'sBeargreasewin attest to this. To meet this need for a more explosivemuscular contraction what physiologists call anaerobic po*ef - you must do somesPrint or interval training. After a good month of sustained cardiovascular training, You can start workouts that altlrnate brief, intense work

efforts with low-level resting oeriods.For examPle,15 seconds of fast stationary bicycle pedaling followedby 30 secondsof verY , slow, low-iesistancepedaling'-Or, run up a 5O-Yardhill and walk back down before running again' Do these kinds of workouts once or at most twice Per week' Do not do them ifYou have had any cardiac problems! The amount You Partrcrpatern the above activities wiil directly relate to the successand fun You receivefrom the sPort of mushing' Thesefitness challenges,combined with the benefrts gained from actual mushing, will also make you feei better, enjoY-life more and, it is hoPed,live longer!



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Top M u s h e r sS h a r eT i psa t Inte rnati o n Sy a l m p o si um Dy Carol Kaynor Joee Redington Jr. teaches pups to walk through culverts and over plank bridges to reach their supper dish. Joe Runyan raises his pups in wire cages, as fox farmers do. Roxy Wright begins harnessbreaking her dogs at five months a n d t r ies t o m ak e th e ru n n i n g e x perience as positive as possible. Bi l l Cot t er believe s i n e x e rc i s i n g his dogs lightly 12 months per year, rather than subjecting them to intense or stressful training during the racing season.

What's right for a sprint musher's dogs may often bejust as right for a distance musher's dogs. These were just a few of the points brought out during the mushers'panel at the 1987 International Sled Dog Symposium. Panelists discussed five topics related to racing Alaskan sled dogs: training, diet, breeding, selecting and training puppies, and the future of the sport. They also fielded several questions from the audience, ranging from training on hills to dealing with dogs that eat rocks. Although the panel included both sprint racers and distance mushers, they shared many common views and practices, leading to the theory that what's right for a sprint musher's dogs may often be just as right for a distance musher's dogs. TRAINING Joee Redington begins training about 40 to 48 adult dogs around October 1st. He starts them on an exercise wheel (similar to a horse walker) at about seven miles per hour. He then runs up to 12 dogs at a time for about three to four miles in front of a four-wheeler. At frrst Redington tries to main-

Nearly 400 people interested in mushing attended the mushers' panel discusston during the first evening ofthe 1987 International Sled Dog Symposium held at Alaskaland in Fairbanks.

tain a speed of 15 miles per hour; as he lengthens the miles, he tries to also increase the speed. He runs the dogs for three days in a row and uses the walker on the days they're not running. Redington likes to use the fourwheeler as long as he can, because he can control more dogs. He does a type of interval training when he reaches eight to 10 miles on his four-wheeler. "I'll run at 15 miles per hour for a ways, and then I will increase

"If you only can run four dogs, then that's what you should be running. If you let them run out of control, they learn bad habits."

that, maybe up to 17 or 18 for a very short distance, and as I do that, I give a command," Redington explains. "Then I go back down to 15 and stay in that area for a ways, about a mile or so, and then I will do that (increase the speed) again." After a while, when Redington gives that same command, the dogs increase the

speedon their own. When Redington graduates to the sled, he usually runs about 10 dogs. The end of August or beginning of Septembersignals training seasonfor Roxy Wright. She begins with 12 or 14 dogs in front of a four-wheeler or Volkswagen chassis.She runs the dogs only about three or four miles to keep them galloping rather than trotting. When the snow falls, she goesa longer distance - six to eight miles - but with only six or eight dogs until the snow is deep enough to hold an ice hook. "The most important thing is to always be in control of your team," Wright says. "If you only can run four dogs,then that's what you should be running. If you let them run out of control, they learn bad habits." By November, Wright is traveling about 10 miles with a 10- to 14-dogteam, and by January, she'srunning up to 20 miles. Wright usually trains for two or three days in a row, then gives the dogsa day off. Training is pretty much completedby the time serious racing begins in February; running in between races is just to keep the dogs in condition. "The most important time for training is in the fall," Wright February/March 1988 .


: I

i says."Once the race seasonstarts, hopefully you'Il have all of Your training done." The focus in training for distance mushing is a little different, according to Joe RunYan. He emphasizeslhe need for a healthY dog team at the starting line, Par-


t" I


ticularly if you're traveling a thousand miles. "Once You get on the trail and everybodY'srolling, they're just an engine that You're putting coal to, and You want to keep that engine running smooth." Runyan's training philosophy includes an all-summer project of short miles - a fourmile run about three times a week. In the winter, he never trains more often than one 30- to 40-mile run every other daY. Runyan seesan analogYbetween training dogs and aerobic training in humans, where training three times a week can Produce90 Percent aerobic efficiencY.So his training is conservative,and he savesthe hard workouts for the actual race. BilI Cotter's training methods parallel Runyan's. "I think that ideally, dogs should be exercised lightly 12 months out of the year," Cotter says. He starts "cart-training" his dogs in August - this year he used a sled on dirt. He begins with five-mile runs and increasesthe distance based on how quicklY the dogs have recoveredfrom the Previous run. If they return from a run with tails wagging and theY're not tired, they're readY for more miles. Cotter tries to keeP the dogs' confidenceuP bY easing into the longer miles. "The fastest way to ruin dogs is to destroYtheir confrdenceby overextending them." After he reaches25 miles in his training runs, Cotter begins taking trips with his dog team. In contrast with manY other mushers, he doesnot emPhasize"Put18 .


ting miles on the dogs." To Cotter, developing dogs that are athietes is more important than racking up miles. Cotter tries to make racing natural and easy for dogs, and concentrates on removing the StT E S S .

DIET RoxyWright has tried out many different diets on her dogs and has concluded that a diet hieh in meat is best for her dogs. She says dogs should be fed the best possible diet year-round, because it takes two or three months for them to assimilate a good diet. She feeds her dogs chicken, beef, eggs, corn oil, wheat germ oil, bone meal, liver, and sometimes by-products. A proper balance is necessarY if a musher is mixing her or his own dog food. "With meat, dogs are naturally carnivorous animals and they utilize it real efficiently," Wright says. She mixes drY feed in with the meat to Provide carbohydrates and bulk. Over the years, Joee Redington says, "I've seen the diet of sled dogs go from fish, to mixed fish and commercial food, to commercial food with different tYPes of meat added." He recentlY began feeding his dogs Kobuk Formula One, a commercial feed designed to eliminate the need for meat or other supplements; however, it is too soon for him to tell how the dogs will do on the new diet. Redington is concerned about maintaining the correct balance in his dogs' diet, and he hoPes the new feed will be a breakthrough in providing balance without the guesswork involved in suPplementing or mixing Your own. Both Joe Runyan and Bill Cotter generally agree with Wright. Runyan comments that he has fed his dogs a lot of frsh and notes that both fat and a good Yearround diet are very imPortant. Runyan also has noticed a correlation between insufficient fat and foot problems. Cotter comments that it is getting easier to feed dogs because these days a musher can buY a really good commercial dog food. "I think the day is coming verY soon when you just go home and add a little water to Your food and that's it. I'm looking forward to that day."

ROXIEWRIGHT, JOEE REDINGTONJR. QUESTIONSAND ANSWERS After discussingthe five toPics posedby moderator Jim Nolke, panel members answeredthe folIowing questionsfrom the audience. Q: Where is the sP6rt going in terms of restricted trail access and zoning regulations? Cotter says this is going to be a problem as Alaska becomesmore urbanized. "Fifteen Yearsago when I started racing dogs,a lot of racing was centeredin Anchorage and there were a lot of dog teams in Anchorage.To mY knowledge, there's not a single dog team in Anchorage todaY." Cotter thinks the same maY haPpen in Fairbanks, making it necessaryto live in outlYing towns or areas to run dogs."If we are going to have trails, we need to get them reservednow, and I know peoplein Fairbanks who are working on that. Moderator Jim Nolke also suggestscontacting legislators or other peoplewho will have an effect on trails. Q: Is there any advantage to training on hills? "I like the hills, no doubt," Runyan says. He saYshi1ls are good training, but that if You want to race, You have to be careful not to overload the sled. Cotter disagreeswith RunYan. He doesn'tthink it is worth going out of your way to train on hills. "It is just a matter of teaching the dogs io do what theY're suPPosedto do when you tell them to do it." Q: Is the three-daY-on, three-daYoff training Pattetn maintained for racing purposes? Wright says, "'We follow this plan more becauseit works well lhan anything else." She saYs they vary their training to keeP from overstressingthe dogs,but also admits that it might have some relationshiP to race oatterns.

Q: What is the ideal size and weight of a dog for mid-distance? Cotter says, "I'd pick the same size dog for either sprint or longdistance racing." He looks for males about 50 to 55 pounds and females about 45 pounds, but has had dogs that weighed up to 62 pounds. Runyan and Redington both agree with Cotter's estimate of size. Redington adds, "The bigger the dog, the harder it is for them to handle the race. They get heavy in the front and it gets harder to keep up the pace." Q: How do you pace your teams in training? Runyan says, "I let them roll sometimes,but for the most part I let them lope." He encouragesa natural flow rather than a wideopen gallop. Cotter says it depends on the type of race for which you're training. "The shorter races I can let them go; the longer races I slow them down," Cotter says, adding that he may have tried to slow his dogs down too much for the Yukon Quest. Cotter looks for a dog that can travel 12 miles per hour without tiring. For the Bull's Eye-

Angel Creek race, he trains much faster and lets the dogs run. "I think it's a mistake to teach dogs to go too slow." Q: How can a musher maintain a competitive dog team with a small kennel? Redington suggeststhe musher buy good dogs from large kennels and buy dogs that are already trained. He doesn'tthink limitedclass mushers should get into raising pups. "Let the larger kennels build the breed."Wright adds that you can't buy dogs from your competitor and expect to beat that competitor, but she reaffirms that it is possibleto buy a good enough team to race competitively. Q: Do you do stress-training at somepoint to see if the dogs can race? Cotter says he never drives the dogs into the ground. He tries to prepare them for the stress of the race, but he tries not to stress them out. "The place to test your dogsis in a race." Cotter says.He recommendsentering the smaller races to see what the dogs can do. Runyan agreesthat training and

racing are two different situati ons: " There' s no sense in injuring a dog to find out how it will perform in a race." Q: How do you get dogs to have tough feet? "I think it's genetic more than anything," Runyan says. He adds that insufficient fat in the diet can cause foot trouble. Although Redington has been told that white pads are not as good as black, his experience does not bear that out. He says foot toughness has to do more with the texture of the feet and the amount of sweating the dog does through its feet. Cotter says that sometimes foot problems are due to conditioning, and can clear up after a year. "Young dogs seem to have more tender feet and they need a little more work, but after a while they toughen up and are okay."

The last three topics - breeding, selecting and training puppies. and the future of the sport - will be covered in the next issue.

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February/March 1988 .



just outside clockwise from top left: 7) The exquisite scenery of the 1049-mile race begins Anchorage, as tirii scene on the llioose Run golf course near Eagle River shows. 2) Getting lens on his into the thick oI'the action, schultz used an-infrared remote conLrol and a 77mm Creek the Cripple at arrived team Torres' Frank When the trail. camera, which was buried'in sr. fakes his checkpoint, the remote was triggered. 3) "Father ofthe Iditarod" Joe Redington off Petersville Road near Trapper Creek in Southcentral team'on a November ^oonrise-iun Alaska.




"It was 1981 when I shot my first lditarod." "I didn't have enough money to go all the way to Nome, so the pilot flew me as far as Iditarod and then turned back."

.i,:"*r.i.. ="3 ..;91


r,ry ::pi" ."


An Eye for the Last GreatRace by A1 Geist It is no easy chore to photog.aph a 1,049-mile sled dog race that follows a thin, sometimes poorly marked trail through some of Alaska's most rugged wilderness in temperatures approaching minus 50 degrees F. For a former portrait and wedding photographer with limited finances and minimal knowledge of mushing, it was almost impossible. Yet Jeff Schultz not only endured his first year, but went on to become one of the world's best mushing photographers. "It was 1981 when I shot my first Iditarod," Schultz said. "I didn't have enough money to go all the way to Nome, so the pilot flew me as far as Iditarod and

then turned back." Along the way, they landed at check stations lining the race route and shot pictures until activity died down. Schultz occasiona.lly a,sked the pilot to land beLween checkpoints so he could get photograPhs of the mushers out on the trail. Back in Anchorage, Schultz somehow scraped together enough money for a commercial flight to Nome so he could photograph the end of the race. He was at the finish line when Rick Swenson won his third Iditarod. "The next year they provided me with a pilot and p l a n e ." he sai d. That was seven years ago, and Schultz has been an Official Iditarod Trail Race PhotograPher ever since. His photograPhs have appeared in the Iditarod Runner and many statewide, regional and


national publications, and are the center of a high-quality Iditarod calendar. "I really didn't move to Alaska to become the Iditarod's photographer," said Schultz. Originally from San Leandro, California, where he and his brother operated a small photographic studio specializing in portraits and weddings, Schultz moved north because of a love for the outdoors. He had heard about mushing, but that was about the extent of his interest in the sport. Even today, he doesn't consider himself a musher. "I've mushed, but I'm not a musher," he said. "I've borrowed dogs from Joe Redington for up to a week at a time to photograph the back country, but I don't own a kennel." February/March 1988



begins in earnest about two weeks beforeit actually starts. In addition to preparing his cameras and purchasing frlm, Schultz also has to pack the same survrval gear mushers carry. Mentally, he preparesfor the race year-round. "I'm constantly thinking about the race and new ways to shoot something.It would be very easy to sit back and shoot the same shots year in and year out, but I don't want to do that. I'm also thinking of time. If I can get the necessaryshot in less time, then I can shoot more shots and get more coverageof the race," he said. Schultz spendsmost of March leapfrogging racers to get his spectacularshots. "Each year is different and presents different challenges,"he said. "You don't know what you'll find on the trail until you're on the trail." The Iditarod calendar is a new medium for Schultz. "I figured it was time for someoneto do something for the lditarod," he said about the calendar. "That's when I came up with the idea for it."

"In places like Rohn River, home is under a spruce bough. I always end up spending a couple of nights there."


{ i

Schultz enjoys the recreational aspectsof the sport and photographing the racers more than the rigorous training required to prepare a team and participate in a race. Still, he endures some of the same hardships along the route. "I camp pretty much the same way the mushers camp, except when we get to land at villages. At the villages, since I'm the official Iditarod photographer, I get to hang out with the Iditarod people.However, in places like Rohn River, home is under a sprucebough. I always end up spending a couple ofnights there." For Schultz, physical preparation for the Iditarod usually

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It took a lot of time and effort to convincesomeoneto produce the calendar, but he finally spoke with Flip Todd of Alaska ColorScan.Todd agreed to produce it, and the results speak well of their efforts. The beauty of the photography and the high-quality presentation transcend the difficulties of shooting pictures in temperatures cold enough to shatter film and freezeshutters. For the growing number of photographerswho are discovering mushing, Schultz has a few helpful hints. "I shoot Kodachrome 64 and Fuji 100 almost totally without problems;however, keep aware of the fact that cold weather makes film brittle and extreme cold will make your camera'sshutter operate slower," he said. Becauseeach camera operates a little differently, he recommendsthat photographersexperiment first and learn how their camerasoperate before shooting a race. For extreme temperature conditions, Schultz uses a special camera that has been stripped of all its grease.Motor drives and power winders are out. "They can easily break the brittle film. Your best bet is to advancethe frlm manually rather than risk the chanceof breaking it." Winter photographersshould also remember that the white snow confusesthe camera's light metering system, Schultz adds. "If you're shooting outside in the snow, remember to open up the lens aperture a couple of f-stops." Future projects may include a book or two. If Schultz shows the same determination that he did on the frrst Iditarod he photographed,it'll probably be two books.




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I/.i?reri by Leslie Barber Noyes "I wanted to race ever since I was a kid and heard about the racesin Fairbanks," 65-year-old Horace "Holy" Smoke, an Alaskan Native from Stevens Village, said with a grin. "People used to drive teams all the way up the Yukon River to get to Fairbanks for the races.I thought somedayI'd like to have a good team and enter a race." In 1951,Smoke won the sixth Open North American Championship sled dog race, held each March in Fairbanks, about 90 miles southeast of Stevens Village. He went on to becomethe first musher to win the North American three years in a row. The year 1987 marked the 60th anniversary of sled dog racing in Fairbanks. Organized sled dog racing in Fairbanks began in 1927 with the Signal Corps Trophy Race- a 58-mile round-trip run betweenFairbanks and Summit, a community north of Fairbanks and near Chatanika. To honor this historic event, the Alaska Dog Mushers' Association named Smoke honorary race marshal for the 1987 Open North American. Smoke'swish for a dog team and a trip to Fairbanks first becamea reality in 1939,when he and his cousin decidedto drive their dogs overland from Stevens Village to Fairbanks. "We pooled our dogs and followed a trapper's trail," Smoke remembers. "It wasn't bad. The trip only took six days and five nights." Smoke entered a few local village races,but quit competing during World War II. He served in the Army frorn 1942 to 1946. After the war, his mother, brother and sister helpedhim raise an-

March 26 and 27

Horace "Holy"

Six-Dog Eight-Dog OPen Weight-Pull

Smoke in Fairbanks.

other team. By 1950, Smoke felt he had a strong enough team to enter a Fairbanks race. "I flew in an airplane with my six dogs down to Fairbanks and entered the (5th) North American race." He placed second. "The next year (1951) I had more pups, so I put them in the race. I also had my leader 'Canyon.'That year I won my first North American," Smoke said proudly. He went on to win the 1952 and 1953 North American races as well. "I used my same leader and team for all those years," Smoke added. Smoke named his lead dog "Canyon" for the canyon on the Yukon River eight miles below Stevens Village. Canyon was born there at Smoke's fish camp. Although Smoke quit racing in Fairbanks during the late 1950s, he still keeps 13 dogs and he races in Stevens Village. Over the years, Smoke has noted many changes in racing. Today, dogs are bred strictly for racing. In the early days, Smoke also used his race dogs for work. "I hauled a lot of loads with them and trapped with them. Some days we'd drive a long ways." Smoke's dogs also never saw a car until they came to Fairbanks to race. "Nowadays, dogs have a good ride in a truck to the races," he chuckled.

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sled up steep banks without A nine- or ten-dog team is capable of pulling a fully loaded sled up the bank giidi"g the by iis team assists aulhor The iirulty.


a Juggernaut by Charlie Campbell Suddenly I found mYself wishing I were elsewhere- Iike, home with Mother. In front of me 10 Alaskan huskies harnessedto a towline in neat rows of two began plunging down a short, steeP drop-off onto the frozen Yukon River. Behind me, drawn on the heavY towline vibrating between mY legs, came the juggernaut; 750 pounds of sheet iron lashed onto a heavy, 12-foot,Eskimo-stYle sledge.In between, like the couPling between the locomotive and the coal car, I slid along on a Pair of short wooden skis. The skis moved with a mind of their own, attached at the tiPs to a bridle that was in turn attached to the towline. My right hand griPPeda heavy pole that was lashed to the side ofthe sled near the front and that angled uP to stoP next to mY ribs. The entire assemblYwas about two secondsawaY from 24



taking the big dive down the bank. The lead dogs,closeto the

The shortened and redesigned gee skis are attached at the tips with a bridle to the towline. The towline then connects the doss lo the sled. A sLraighl spruce sapling' the gee pole, is lashed to the sled to steer the load down the trail.

bottom, broke into a galloP as if to say, "Your problem now, Jack." Like the man who woke uP in a strait-jacket, I wondered how I'd gotten into this. To answer, I need [o tell you a little about freighting with sled dogs. A sled dog in good condition can pull approximatelYhis own weight over a long haul. Thus, two 60-pounddogs can haul 120 pounds,four dogs can Pull 240 pounds,and so on. A freight sled may weigh anYwherefrom 50 to 150 pounds.The weight ofthe dog driver is usuallY not brought into the calculation, but the fact is, if you haul 120 pounds with two sled dogs you will be walking - a lot - whereas if Your sled load weighs 480 pounds and You use a team ofeight dogst60 PoundsPer dog x 8480 pounds) You will ride in style; this is sYnergismat work. In the two-dog team, both must pull every inch of the waY. With upwards of frve, an individual dog can loaf for a few moments and then kick back in. (He'd better.) The dog gets a rest without the team losing too much headwaY. Anyone who has lifted a heavY object,such as a timber, with eight other peoplehas exPeriencedthe effect. The timber seemsto rise like magic, and Yet "no one is doing anYthing." The sensationis similar when You drive a large team of dogs.To someonewho is used to a small team of five 55-Pounders,which can usually be restrained bY a combination of the driver's strength and force of PersonalitY, the transition to a big team of nine or more usuallY leaves a strong impression. Picture a stout sled with 500 pounds of sandbagslashed onto it. Rockingthe sled,You can move it from side to side on a smooth, hard sled trail in increments of about six inches. To turn that sled 90 degreesis an afternoon's project. No* hook nine good dogs to the sled and give them the command "haw" with the air that You know what you are talking about. Ttre team will snaP left and twist that sled around with a bone-jarring jolt that makes You wonder if you've poppedanY lashings. Often with a heavY load of

freight stopped at the bottom of a steep grade, say the bank of a deep-cut creek or ravine, I will find myself assaiied by doubts. I'li think to myself, as I look up, they can't possibly make it, while I gauge the angle and the load with a critical eye. May as well give it a try. So the dogs rest for a moment, panting on the slope. "Everybody ready?" I say. The team stiffens. "Okay," I bark. Nine dogs scramble like mad. The sled jumps up the bank as if a bomb blew up underneath it. Off we go, careening down the twofoot-wide trail at a safe and sane 17 miles per hour. Whooey. And none of the dogs is "doing anything!" To give you a rough idea of the power a team can develop, consider that 15 dogs, averaging 60 pounds each, can pull a heavy pickup truck down the road at a brisk pace. In Knik, Alaska, in 1967, more than 100 dogs were hooked to a large highway bus and the entire outfit pointed down the road. Handlers were stationed along the length of the team with two-way radios to stop the assembly when necessary. At one point, as an experiment, the driver stepped hard on the brake. The bus did not stop. However, there are practical limits to the size of a sled load, and hence the size of the team,

"PleaseGod, let us not hit!" because the freight sled must be maneuvered along a narrow trail, over ditches and creeks, up and down grades, through drifts and along side-hill stretches. There are trees in awkward places, fallen logs, rough ice, open water, and all the vicissitudes of a winter trail in Alaska. Of course, the scenery is usually good and the traffic is not a problem. From the back ofthe sled, where the driver usually stands, a sled load of 500 pounds and up is very difficult to keep on the trail, even a good trail. Sometimes the sled seems to develop a mind of its own and will plow off the trail into the soft snow. Five hundred

pounds of sled in the ditch is what is referred to as a "problem." Other times, the sled will sail willfully toward a tree at the side of the traii. With the inefficient leverage of a sled driven from the back, the driver will strain, jerk, heave, and struggle to bring the front end back away from the tree (Please, God, let us not hit) and as often as not will bounce off the side of it, sending the sled to the other side of the trail where the whole tiresome process must be reoeated. Th" sa-e loaded sled can be controlled from the front with a minimum of effort. Picture a heavy laden shopping cart. To push it around a corner of the supermarket requires a strong and definite twisting motion applied to the handlebar, and the cart answers reluctantly to the helm. But if someone (your mom, say) steers the front end while you push, the cart can be led into turns precisely and even stylishly, with one finger. This control applies to the sled loaded with freight. That which requires much heave-ho in the rear may be accomplished with one hand and gentle pressure in the front. When this principle was realized by some clever but misguided person IoSt in dog mushing prehistory, the gee-pole was born. Misguided, because now 1000 pounds could be moved at great risk, where before 500 pounds would be plenty, as fine an example ofprogress as you could want. It was named a "gee" pole because the pole was on the gee or right side of the sled. "Gee" originated as a mule-driving command, rhyming with "Jee-sus criminey blankety-blanking pole." An eight-foot pole lashed and extended in front of the sled provided enough leverage so that a child might turn a 1000-pound load with ease. But you had to somehow stay in front ofthe sled. From the turn of the century to the mid 1930s, during the heyday of dog freighting, a heavier (80 to 100 pounds), slower breed of dog was in use, and of course economics dictated that they be loaded to the maximum. They usually moved at a slow jog or trot, or if the trail was

slow, a walk. A man in good condition could trot along a hard trail, or snowshoe a soft one, with the towline between his legs and his hand on the gee pole, steering the sled very handily. It made for a long run, however, and on the downgrades the dogs could get up quite a head of steam, giving the driver the sensation that he had a

"I know a guy got run through with a gee pole." "You tend to get run over by the sled." "Dangerous.I wouldn't do it." tiger on his tail. Because of the speed. however, it was more important than ever to keep the monster on the trail Another genius decided that the driver might ride while steering and what was needed was some kind of steering vehicle attached to the towline in front of the sled. This vehicle was either a short pair of skis with loose, slip-on bindings, or a short, diabolical toboggan with treads, called a "Ouija board." Your choice. Oldtime dog drivers familiar with these devices say almost universally that such vehicles are dangerous, particularly if they sense you are contemplating using one with a big team and heavy load. "Be careful. Lotta guys get hurt that way." "I know a guy got run through with a gee pole." "That Ouija board is a killer." "You tend to get run over by the sled." "Dangerous. I wouldn't do it." Wise words from the elders, but alas, in my case unheeded. There were too many compelling reasons why I needed to haul this particular load of sheet iron with the gee pole: no gas or sno-go, too far to make two trips...and it looked like it might be fun. I loaded up the sled with camping gear, tools, food, fish for the dogs, lots of rope, and the gee skis. I had made these from a pair of old Army-issue hickory skis. The military recruitment ads call for "a few good men," and I could believe it after hefting a pair of February/March 1988



these hardwood monsters. I cut them shorter by about a third. Using sheet metal and a PoPriveter, I fabricated two horseshoe-shaped pans and laced some nylon webbing through slits I had cut in the sides. My boots fit nicely into the pans, and the webbing was fastened over the toPs and at the heels with Velcro. Thus, a quick pull on the Velcro tabs should release the foot. I sPliced a three-foot length of rope to the tips of the skis, and tied the rone to a crossbar which was attached with a bridle on the towline. Today I was going to drive from the back of the sled until we arrived at the place I had stored the load of sheet iron. I harnessed a team of 10 dogs, pulled the snow hook (the sled's anchor) out of the snow, and off we went with a whoosh. People who have not seen a dog team in action often Picture it as something like a Roman galleY ship: dogs straining awaY miserably at their task, the long cruel whip constantly snaPPing

over their heads. There are onlY rare occasions when you have to show the dogs who is the boss, and they tend to remember those for a long time. Fighting, which is a serious infraction, is such an occasion. The type of sled dog poPular today in Alaska is for the most part a 40- to 65-pound cross between early, heavy-boned indigenous stock and the engaging mixtures of hound, setter, Airedale, and who-knows-what that the miners brought into the territory during the gold rush. These dogs are faster, more enthusiastic, and a lot more tractable than the big Malemutes and Eskimo dogs. Novice dog drivers often express an interest in trying out the big dogs until they get a taste of thtr long walks behind the sled and the impossibility of breaking the brutes of their love for fighting. A "village dog," as the modern breed of mutt is sometimes called, tends to enjoy running, and unless the team has run many miles, the problem is getting them to stop or staY. A fresh team




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at the beginning of the day is full of beans. Visitors to my house express amazement that the dogs seem so happy to pull. Freighting tends to calm them down. The whole team usually looks good, as the pace is slow enough (about eight to 10 miles per hour) that the slower dogs are not run to a frazzle. They can go for 40 miles this way with a big load, and then do it the next day all over again if kept fed and happy. Today, my team was fresh, and as they loped down the trail I stood on an old piece of snowmobile track that I used as a damper or brake (people often use a claw-type brake, also). I leaned with the sled, twisting and working it around the corners. We drove through narrow thickets and loped across open lakes. We bounced off tilted slabs of ice and ran up the bank into the woods on the far side. After a few miles the team settled into their smooth, steady trot, breaking into a run on the downgrades and leaning into the harness on the hills while I ran behind.


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By the time we arrived where the load was cached,the dogs were down to a manageable Pace as I had hoped. I put the hook in the snow and began dismantling the handle bar on the sled. The weather was mild and sunny (about zero degreesF), and I hummed a little tune as I rerigged the sled. I loaded the sheet iron and lashed it with several cargo straps and rope. I judged it for tightness and wiggled the load to seeif it would shift. It seemed fine. My only concern was the front end of the load, which seemedvery sharp and inhospitable. I padded it with the burlap sack that held the frsh and threw each of the dogs half a frozen, fermented "sour fish" (chum salmon frozen in a crib in the fall). Next, I cut a straight sPruce sapling for a gee pole. I lashed the pole to the side of the sled, cliPPed the skis into the towline, and tried the pole for height and length. Perfect. I pushed it from side to side, satisfred that it would steer the sled. Nothing left now

and fall that anticipated by a second or two the rise and fail of the sled. The pole gave me perfect control; a light tweak brought the beast docilely back onto the trail. Even on the side-hill stretches, the kind of terrain that sends a big load inexorably toward the soft stuff on the downhill side, I found I could lead the sled as gently as a lamb. I did notice some extra friction from the skis, but we were moving about 8 miles per hour and having a good time, so I wasn't kicking. A Patch of glare ice woke me up as the skis skittered about, but soon I was back on snow, and with mY hand

but to try it. With a mounting sense of excitement, I moved all the dogs up a notch since I was now going to replace the "wheel," or aftermost dog, and tried mY best to project confidence and serenity. We needed no barking and lunging at this point. But would it work? Could theY Pull this monstrous load? Could I keeP it on the trail? Only one way to find out. I pulled the snow hook, coughing loudly to cover up the sound of it squeaking out of the snow (the more eager dogs take the noise as a signal to go). I placed the hook under a lashing on the sled. I walked casually forward and strapped myself into the skis, feeling very vulnerable, indeed. I tried to think peaceful thoughts. "Okay." The dogs pulled forward as one' and like the QE 2 pulling out of the slip, the load, the skis, the pole and I lurched ahead. We rounded the first little corner. Hey, this wasn't bad. Soon I sliPped into a pleasant reverie, the skis undulating in a smooth rise

"There'snothitg I trust more than ScienceDietS Nothingl'

I gave the word and off we went to the beat of the Doobie Brothers. on the gee pole, I admired the scenery. All of a sudden the lead dogs dropped out of sight, and then the swing dogs (next in line) disap-


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peared as they negotiated a ditch' Before I knew what was haPpenins,the wheeldogsdirectlYin iront of me took the Plunge,and I followed right behind them. Down I went, up went the PoIe.UP I went on the far side, down went the pole as the sled entered the ditch. FinallY, uP went the Pole asain as it came out of the ditch, uid th"tt the whole shebangleveled out. A feeling of elation possessedme. At the next ditch, the four-part pumPing of the Pole beean tb feel like a well-Practiced icrobatic move.The sun shoneon the trail and I talked haPPilYto the dogs.The daY neededsomething more, and stoPPingthe team, I got a SonYWalkman out of my bickPack. Adjusting the. . headset and straPPing on mY skis, I gave the word and off we went to the beat of the Doobie Brothers. A squirrel chittered from a tree bY the trail, and the dogs gave a haPPYlittle surge' This was the waY to move sheet iron. Then the trail began to incline downward. We Picked uP sPeed'

Now we're moving, I thought' Inclined a bit more. We went a bit faster. Steepenedfurther. The doss broke into an easYloPe' Excitement began to clot into little knots ofpanic as branchesbegan whipping Past. Ahead loomed a srroit ttitl. SIed, gee pole, driver' and dogs careenedtoward the brink at almost a full galloP'How had I forgotten this hill? I vacillated between throwing off a ski and trying to brake with one foot, falline an-dstopping the sled with the diag of mY bodY,or tr{ning down tlie volume on the Walkman so I could think. Instead, with the Brothers booming in mY ears, I clutched the gee PoIe and rode it out. The sled and the attached driver began to overrun the wheel does.ThJdogs cast frantic looks balk at me as the skis hissedjust behind their tails. I wished someone was standing on the sno-go track right about now' "Don't"stoP now," I said, crouchins to avoid a branch. fue hit the end of the sloPeand shot out onto an oPen flat' Trembling slightlY, I took off mY glove

and turned down the volume a little bit. Gotta be more careful' The trail now flattened out, and the afternoon PassedsmoothlY' Many a pleasant mile sliPPedbY through the woods and oPen Iakes. The onlY distraction was the snawing internal debate on how"I should take the last drop-off where the trail went over the bank and down onto the frozen Yukon River. What to do should I be conservative,stoPand wrap chains around the runners, and let it come down gentlY? Should I unhook somedogs, mavbe unload some of the sheet iron? Or should I just wing it? Deferring a decision is a decision itself. That was mY last thoueht as the Yukon came into viewl The edge of the droP-off loomed ahead' "Whoa," I said halfheartedlY' I steeledmyself for the droP' We tipped over the edge,and the sled cameto life like Dr. Frankenstein's creation. It lurched forward as if booted from behind; I clung helplesslYto the Pole' One of the lead dogs stumbled in a

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patch of soft snow at the bottom. A stump appeared where I had never seenone;,that is, right in front of the team. With a sensation ofbeing caught in a bad surf, I watched the world before me explode into whiteness. Silence.I cautiously openedone eye and wiped the snow out of it. The front ofthe sled sat about six inches from the stump. The pole had snapped.My shoulderlay almost underneath the front of one runner. I wiggled upward and extricated myself. A tangled mess of black and yellow fur wagged about eight tails at once. Hey, no problem. I used the broken-offportion of the gee pole to lever the sled back onto the trail. I uhtangled the dogs,set the hook, and lashed the broken pole back together with stiff nylon twine from my sled bag. Shorter, but it would do. I got back into the skis and gave the word. We were off once more. The trail snaked acrossthe rough,

tumbled ice of the Yukon, and the sled slammed and smashedits way over the icy hummocks. In spite of the long miles, the dogs picked up the pace.They smelled home now. I concentratedwith every fiber of my being on holding onto the bucking, broken gee pole. By the time I had made the halfmile crossing,I was drenched in sweat and every joint had been jerked in every possibledirection. As for the sled, I was amazed that wood and string could stand up to such punishment. My relief was exquisite as we went up the bank and turned down the straight main street of the village of Tanana. So was my senseof accomplishment as I pulled into the yard with the load. The tariff: five frozen fish. Comparing my mode of transportation to moving freight with a snowmobile,I figured,to be half as fast as the machine, twice as dangerous,but more than three times the fun. Next time I would

make the pole thicker: two-and-ahalf inches of seasonedbirch would not be too much, since I ended up using it as a chin-up bar a good part of the time. The skis neededsome kind of short metal keel at the tails so they wouldn't drift around so much on ice. Long stretchesof icy trail left me with legs like Gumby from the effort of holding the skis together and on course.The quick-releasefeature would definitely stay on the skis. But most of all, I would get a companionto ride the sled as brakeman. With the best hopesand intentions in the world, there were certain physical laws about sleds on a downgradethat could not be ignored. I have tried it with a partner since then, and it is a definite plus to know there is sorneonein back there with a way of halting the behemoth other than by prayer and positive thinking. Being able to stop isn't a bad thing. Take along a friend.


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In the past, mushers once believed that if a dog would not run with feet that looked like mincemeat, the dog was not tough enough to make the team. Over the years dog drivers have made progress with breeding, nutrition and prevention. Now we use booties so that we can run dogs over Iong distances without asking them to run on injured feet. The care of a dog's feet is an important part of its overall health maintenance. Neglected feet can lead to depressed appetite, infection and overall poor performance. The first step to foot care is recognition of potential problems and prevention, followed by treatment. Foot ailments can be divided into injuries of the pad, problems in the webbing between the toes, and conditions of the nail and nail bed. PAD INJURIES Pad injuries are the easiest to recognize. They include cuts into the pad, slices off the pad and

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to heal because once theY begin the foot tends to become moist and swollen, aggravating the problem.

Nail bed lnJUfles

NAIL BED PROBLEMS Nail-bed ProblemsmaY be just. as frustrating to deal with as web injuries. Signs of nail-bed Proband redness of lu*t .t" "oi"Uittg with issociated often lhe tissue, serum or Pus around the base of the toenail. This disorder is easY to miss in a long-haired dog' Conaitio"t where tlie dog's feet break through the snow or ice on the trail 6use sore nail-beds' Tearing of the toenails maY be reduced bY routlne trimming of the nails and bv removal of dewclaws when

dogs are PuPPies'Gravel in a dog vuia *itt-tt"lp keeP the nails short duringlhe summer, but naiis should be trimmed during winter snow conditions' Most foot ailments maY be Prelrettt"d by recognition of potential orobt"*" and the Proper use of (no f,ooties.Booties must be intact holes) and fit snuglY so that theY stav on. But theY should not fit so tishtlv that theY cut off the cir."iutib". Tight booties will not let u aott feet-expandnaturally'.and too-iirge booti-eswiII hamper its movemlent.Booties should be removed during rest Periods to restore normal circulation' Mutty mushers recommend the use of Looties whenever the temperature droPs below -20 degrees


F. Cold temPeraturesdelaY healins. and that is when Prevention isiire wisest choice.Good conditioning is another form of Pre-ventiJn. A tired dog is more likelY to develoPfeet Problemsthan one that is run within its limits' Basic treatment of foot injuries include cleaning the wound with a mild betadinJsolution and the use of systemic antibiotics for feet that are swollen or infected' A wide varietY of foot ointments have been used with varYing degreesof successdePending-onthe Eonditions. DeeP cuts should be sutured as soon as Possibleto aid in healing. SuPer Glue or surgical glue has been used on cuts, on the nail. and to attach Protective niecesof material to Pad slices or worn pads. All foot disordersheal more iapidlY if a dog is kePt clean, warm and drY. The good health of a dog's feet is vital to its continuing Performance.Early recognition of injuries, with aPProPriatePre- . vention and treatment of ProbIems, will keeP a dog haPPYand in the harness, and wiil keeP the musher moving along the trail'

The orlginal musher's supply house!




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Supptying The World Wrth QuaIitY SPecialties Dont missthe boat! Castoff on one of the only authentic oo"*ine sternwheelersleft in Alaska(M/V Didcovery)for a, , voyageinto historicbackcountrTvia the beautiful iiV "lni*a andTaniniRivers.Welcomeaboard! ChLna Catl (907) 479-6i6TgoryourTravel "7ft1 r /e\ -W:'iilr-t"p. fr"l'J:i:tri,],lffi AK99708' P.O. Box 80610,Fairbanks' RiverboatDiscoverT,




p,lease enclose Send for your copy of our 52 page catalog $1.50. S ent rush bY l st cl as s mau!

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Contributors Writers Karin Schmidt, a veterinarian at Aurora Animal Clinic in Fairbanks, is also a recreational dog mushers. Joe Runyan is a past winner of the Yukon Quest. He and his wife. Sherri. live near Nenana. SusanWilI and Peter Bowers, both Fairbanks dog mushers, worked for many months to complete a museum exhibition on dog mushing called "The Driving Spirit." WiIl is also co-ownerof the Dos Musher's Museum, located in Fairbanks. Tom Weils grew up in Duluth, Minn. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, spent two years as a Marine and received a doctorate in physical education from Indiana University. He is now an assistant professorat the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and has studied mushers' fitness for the last two years. Leslie Barber Noyes grew up in Chicago, Ill. She movedto Alaska in 1973.She has lived in Haines' Juneau, Anchorage, Barrow and Fairbanks, and also traveled to many of the villages on the North Slope and in Interior Alaska. For the last four years, she has been working full-time as a researcher and writer on Alaskan resource,business,and cultural topics. Charlie Campbell once vowed he would never have dogs.That was in 1975 when he arrived in Alaska from Ontario, Canada. Now he has 20 dogs at his home in Tanana, Alaska. Photographers Cover, Tony Sisto p. 7, Al Geist p. tZ C 13, Alaska Dog Mushers' Association / University of Alaska Archives P. 13, Revel Griffin Collection p. 15, L6 & 17, Polly Walter p. 18 & 19, Jeff Schultz p. 19, Al Grillo p. 23, Leslie Barber Noyes p. 24, Barbara Martin p. 31, Polly Walter p. 34-35,Kevin Paulus

@" The Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau congratulates MUSHING magazine on their premier issue. We wish them many yesrs of untangled lines!

Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau 550 MU First Avenue. Fairbanks. AK 99701

1988 World Championship Sled Dog Race February19-


MORE LETTERS. GIad to hear mushers now have their own "trade journal." I hope you can get more up-to-date veterinary info on sled dogs into your magazine. It would be nice to hear about nutrition, something mushers can use to chooseamong the proliferating brands of dog food or to design their own menu. And keep us posted on race results! Best of luck to you with your magazine, Charlie Campbell Tanana, Alaska

fareEJ Qel"-go$


5g$t Anchorage, Alaska

February/March 1988 .




JANUARY 9i1O MooseheadSled Dog Classic The Palm Springs Aerial TramwaY Palm SPrings,Californra (714)885-7350

Winter Carnival Stowe, VT ( 6 1 7 ) 3 39-7907

JANUARY 13/18 John BeargreaseSled Dog Marathon Duluth, MN (2r8) 722-763r

Beaverhill Sled Dog DerbY Tofield, Alberta Canada ( 4 0 3 ) 6 62-3555

JANUARY 14 Denver National Western Dog Pull Longs Peak Pullers AllensPark, CO (30il 459-3225

JANUARY 17 IAMS PreliminarY #4 Jeff Studdert Race Grounds Fairbanks, Alaska (907) 457-6874

JANUARY 16/17 Beargrease130 Grand Marias, MN (2r$ 722-763r

JANUARY 23124 Alberta International Sled Dog Classic Alberta, Canada

Elza Dimon Memorial Kalkaska, MI (616)258-4970

Recipe Classic Sled Dog Race and Weight Pull Benton, PA Qr7) 759'2662

PennsvlvaniaCross-CountrYSled Dog ChamPionshiP Lewis, PA (814)362-3048 Vintersiass Tuffy's Triple Trail 1988 Grand RaPids,MN



Bethel Chamber of Commerce Down East Sled Dog Club Bethel, MN

(207)539-4324 8-Dog Classic Delta Dog Mushers Association Delta Junction, Alaska

ALPO/TupperLake Sled Dog Races Tupper Lake. NY (518)359-3328 J A N U A R Y 2 2 '2 ? St. Paul Winter Carnival Weight Pull Contestsand SPrint Races St. Paul, Mn (weight Pull) Canyon Falls, MN (sPrints) (weight)or (612) (612)937-8000 332-5371(sPrtnts) JANUARY 30i3. Green Bay Sied Dog Races Green BaY, WI (616)258-4970 The Bull's Eye Bar - Angel Creek Lodge 125 Fairbanks, Alaska 99712 (907)488-3992 Willow Winter Carnival Wiilow, AK (907) 495-642r Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Down East SIed Dog Club Lee, MN (207)738-5505 JANUARY 3O/31 Mid-Minnesota 150 Sled Dog Race Deerwood,Minnesota (218)534-3584

JANUARY 29130/31 First Worl<iChamPionshiPMit Distance Sled Dog Race SeeleyLake,MT (406)677-2174 JANUARY 29/30/31 LOthAnnual International Sled Races SeranacLake, New York (208)443-3153

JANUARY 3O/31 C a n n o nVa l l e YC l a ssi c Cannon Falls, MN (50?)663-8368(507)263-37

JANUARY 31/FEBRUARY C l a r i o n R i ve r C h a l l e n g e Cooks'sForest,PA @r2) 285-1466

FEBRUARY 5/6/7 10th Annual Marrnora CuP Marmora, Ontario, Canada $r3) 472-2930 FEBRUARY 6/7 Glendale Sled Dog DerbY Patton, PA (814)342-0649

NorrheastKingdomChamPion NewPort,VT (617)339-790? Businessman'sRace Nenana, Alaska 99760 (907)832-5569


, :

","$flfixn?" '""E#i:f*no*}o Tanac ros s R ac e

'i;.i;i"r;'rY#'rT" 12th A nnual N orth P ol e C hamp i ons hi p S Ied D og R ac e N orth P ol e. A l as k a { 90? r 488-9462

' M A R C H 1l r12r13 N orth B e nd ro Fl orenc e Mai l R un Fl orenc e, OR ( 503 ) 99?-3285

FEBRUARY 26.27'28 Rouyn Sled Dog Derby Rouyn,Quebec.Canada ( 8 1 9 i7 6 2 - 4 1 1 8 Ch a p m a n Da m Sle d Dog R aces Warren- PA r814r 732-5566 F EBRUARY L zII3II4 Wo r ld Ch a m p io n sh ip Sle d D og R ace An9!gra_s_e. f]a,1ka t9 0 7 r 2 7 7 - 8 6 1 5

EXXON Open Anchorage,Alaska Alaska Feed Gold Run Jeff Studdert Race Grounds Fairbanks, Alaska $07) 457-6874 FEBRUARY 7 Governor'sCup Helena, MT @06) 442-7538 FEBRUARY 7/8 RecipeCiassic Benton, PA (7L7)759-2662

Wo r ld Ch a m p io n sh ip S l ed D og Derby Laconia, New Hampshire r GlT r 3 3 9 - 7 9 0 9 FEBRUARY 14 IAMS Preliminary #5 Jeff Studdert Race Grounds Fairbanks, Alaska rg07\ 457-6874 FEBRUARY 20 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race F a ir b a n ks, AIa ska 1907t 452-7954

FEBRUARY 1O/14 Winter Carnival SaranacLake, New York (5i8) 8 91 -19 90

} ,' EBRUARY 2 0 21 St-Emile Internationa Sled Dog Ra ce ST - Em ile . Qu e b e c, Canada

FEBRUARY 12l27 Festival Du Voyageur St. Boniface,Manitoba (204) 945-3777

Mid-Atiantic Championship Race tGig o r Sn o wr Br o wn s M ills, N J ( 6 0 9 ) 2 8 7 - 7 6 80

FEBRUARY I2II3I14 Fur Rondy World ChampionshiP Race Anchorage,AK (907) 277-8615 FEBRUARY 13/14 Women'sWorld Champ. Races Tudor Track Anchorage,AK

"La Mastigouche" Sled Dog Race Mandeville, Quebec, Canada ( 5 1 4 ) 8 3 5 - 4 4 40 Millinocket, Marne Do wn Ea st Sle d Do g C l ub M illin o cke t. M a i ne 6 - Do g Cla ssic De lta Ju n cl io n , Al aska

Li mi ted N orth A meri c an Jeff S r uddert R ac e Grounds Fai rbmnk s . A l as k a r907 t 474-9078

FEBRUARY27 RacetFu,nd Businessman's RaiserrChugiakDog Musners P.O. Box 67 1523 Chugiak, Alaska 99657

MA R C H I2l 13 N orthw ay V i l l age

FEBRUARY 27,28 Tok Women'sChampionshipRace T o k J u n i o r C h a m p i o n s h i pR a c e Tok. Alaska {9 0 7 )8 8 3 - 2 0 9 2 Eagle River ClassicSled Dog Race Chugiak Dog Mushers P.O. Box 67 1523 Chugiak, Aiaska 99657 Tripod Races Nenana, Alaska 99760 r907r 832-5569

SaynerSled Dog Race Sayner.WI {6 1 6 , 2 5 8 - 4 9 7 0 MARCH 4/5,6 Club de Randonneeesdu Nival, Inc Ste-Heedwidge,Quebec,Canada "efi du Lac St-JeanCup'' t4L8t 275-2945

MARCH 5 Iditarod, the Last Great Race Wasilla. Alaska 99687 ( 9 0 7 r3 7 6 - 5 1 5 5

MARCH 16 Jeff StuddertInvitational Jeff StudderrRaceCrounds Fairbanks, Aiaska 99712 1907r457-6874 M AR C H 1 8 /1 9 /2 0 AlascomOpenNorth American Championships Jeff Studderi Racetlrounds F a i r b a n ks.Al a ska 9 9 ? 1 2 (907) 457-6874

Newberry X-Country Newberry.Michigan {9 0 6 )2 9 3 - 8 4 2 1

Junior North American Championships Jeff Studdert Race Grounds F a i r b a n k s .A l a s k a 9 9 7 1 2 t907r 457-6874

-nor':*.u':t RangeleyLakes RangeleyLakesSled DogRacing Associa tion Rangeley.MN ( 6 1 7 )3 3 9 - 7 9 0 7

MARCH 25127 CanadianChampionshipDog Derby Caribou Carnval ' Yellowknife, No1!!1est'Terrilories (403) 873"?45s MARCH 25t26t27/28 Tour de Minto {Iditarod Qualifier) Nenana Dog Mushers Association Nenaria, Alaska 99?60 (90?) 832-556e MARCH 26/2?

r"k i#;;';i'c;;i,pi on. Tok Dog MushersAssociation. lnc. P.O.Bo x 1 0 2 Tok, Alaska 99780 r907t883-2092

February/March 1988 .




Repairs o Plumbing&Heating GeneralContracting

Bill Ma rsh , Su per v is or Office : 45 6-8 28 8 Beeoer: 456'0624 Neil Flat au, For em an

n co Z X

P O Box 8430i Fa i r b a n k s ,A l a s k a 99701



ServingAnchorage & Fairbanks(24 hour emergencyservtce)

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W e C arry A C omPlet eLine oi P remi um D o g FoodsA .N .F.IA MS ,P u r inaPr o P l an,S ci enceDiet , WaYnes.

or more dogs in Skijoring is the sport of being pulled on skis by. one organiza' hamess. ihe Alaska Skijoring and Pulk Associationis a nonprofit purpose is to protion formed in April 198i and lmated in Fairbanks Our mote skijoring as an organizedsport in Alaska' the sport of Skijoring offers a unique opportunity for beginners to sam-ple ll do! musning without hearryinvestmentsof time, money and equipment yoi'd lit more infomation on skijoring, call or write us today' " ASPA P.O. Ilox t12516 Fair banke, AK 99708 /9OTl 48tl'2167 or 457'6O16

an d H eal thAi ds Collar s, Sleds,Har nesses, or Polypropylgle DogBooties-Fleece tA'/ YelcroFasteners, lentQ uality Excel Count $7000/100 AlaskaMill & FeedCo. P.O.Box'101246 Alaska99510 Anchorage,

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Fresh Frozen Meats Dry Dog Foods Hardware, Collars, Harnesses


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StCustom Dog Sleds & Repairs Dog Sled Furniture Alaskan Wolf t lybrids P.O.Box 83377 Fairbanks, AK 99708

Kevin Jenkins (907)455-6401

O8"D P.Eo eO" eO&DCA,lfP (907) 3t9-2414 Mcrchantilc, Reslaumnl,Lounge & Hotel, Gift Shop Propricton - LartT & Pam Mcl-aughlin Built & Opereted Since 1923 27.5Miles from Fairbanks 5550 SteeseHighway PO. Box 2-5-T7 Chatanika.Alaska99712 Fairbanks.Alaska99-M



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R u s s a n d N a n c y - J o yG r e e n . O w n e r s

Gavora Mall 452 3088

250-3rd St . Graehl F a i r b a n k s .A l a s k a 9 9 7 0 1

and Livestock Canlne Arctlc P.O. Box 161O1 Two Rivers, Alaska 99776


Davld Skordells 488-7872


Fairfunks, North Pole, Delta Junction, lvlanley Hot Spnngs. Central, Circle, Nenana, Healy and Cantwell

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Willow 495-6346


On the Rack or Custom Made Summer & Winter Parkas


Mukluks. Fur Hats & Patterns

phone (e07) 4ts-4s74


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SLED RUNNERS 1 90 2HANSON RO AD .907\452-2394


Mail Orders Welcome (9O7) 456-4549

2600 Broadmoore, Fairbanks, AK 99701

Classified 70 ACRES FOR SALE. Good gravel based, timbered property. Over 1000 sq. ft. log home, accessibleby road, approx. 135 miles N.W. of Fairbanks, Alaska. For more information write S. Scali, Manley, AK 99756.S90,000.

SLED DOGS AND PUPS FOR SALE. Looking for trained sled dogs or pups. Call (907)488-2406or visit our kennels. GEORGE ATTLA, 2604 Whitman Road, North Pole, Alaska 99705.


NORTH STAR DOG MUSHERS ASSOCIATION. "Working to preserve and promotean Alaskan tradition." For more information call Richard Eathorne or Nancy Veitch at (907) 455-6224.

ARCTIC CANINE AND LIVESTOCK SERVICES. For more information call (907\ 488-7872.


10 ACRES WITH COMFORTABLE, 9OO S.F. CABIN. Good view, good trees, good land. West slope. Located in western part of Goldstream Valley. Three miles off Old Nenana Highway and 19 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska. Excellent access to unlimited mushing possibilities. $30,000. Serious inquiries please call (907) 479-8381.

WILDERNESS SLED SHOP. Toboggans, Sprint & Children Sleds. Also Repair and Kits P.O. Box 16034,Two Rivers, AK 99716 (907) 488-6094.

EVEN SMALL ADS IN MUSHING MAGAZINE BRING BIG RESULTS. FoT more information write MUSHING, P.O. Box 144. Ester. Alaska 99725 or call (907) 479-0454.

TRAIL ACCESS. For maps and information on mushing trails in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, call Jeff Bouton, Trail Planner, at (907) 452-4761, or write Jeff Bouton, Trail Planner, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Advanced Planning Division. Box 1267. Fbks. AK 99707.

DISTANCE DOGS FOR SALE. A few good yearlings for sale $200 bred for mid- and long-distancedogs.Doval (907) 455-4993.



Sell it fast...through the ClassifiedAds!


ALASC OM :OPE N NO RT H A M ER IC A N CHAMPIONSHIP 20,2O,& 30 mileheats Ma rch 1 8 th , 1 9 th , & 20th Fairbanks,Alaska

lf you have somethingto sell, make sure you give it the best chanceof being sold by advertisingin MUSHING magazine'sclassifiedsection.

Purse 1st -9s,600 zrn 4,500 3,300 3rd 4rh 2N 5rh 1,700

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RATES: $2 per word including name and address. MINIMUM CHARGE: $10 (Paymentmust. accompanyorders.) 1st of secondmonth precedingcover DEADLINE: date. MAIL ADS TO: MUSHING, P.O. Box 144,Ester, Alaska 99725 No agency discounts and no tear sheet provided.

R ac e Da y M a r c h 5 , lg B B


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Available on Request:

Anchorage to Eagle

. . .20 miles

Eagle River to Settlers Bay . .

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. . . .34 miles

Settlers Bay to Knik

. . . .8 miles

Knik to Rabbit Lake

. . .52 miles







Rainy Pass to Rohn

. . .48 miles


Mem b e r sh ipInfo.


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Be a Dartof an d

. . .48 miies . . .23 miles





Crippleto Sulatna Crossing ..



Find out more about the " Last Great Race on Earth",






Nulatoto Kaltag







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. . .58 miles









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Race Route

Pouch X, Wasilla, Alaska 99687 . Phone (9O7) 376-5155




cE'} /,^{$vLEY q)

Mile ChenaHot SpringsRoad Fairbanks,Alaska










Home of the I[ Tack Shop Mile 23.4 ChenaHot SpringsRoad Fairbanks,Alaska

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HOME OF THE WOODEN INDIAN 50 Mile ChenaHot SpringsRoad P.O. Box 675 Fairbanks,Alaska Checkpointof the Yukon Quest "1000 Mile Sled Dog Rsce" Start & Finish of the "125" SledDog Race CrossCountry Snowmachine Poker Runs February/March 1988 .


The KOBUK Team Pictured: (standing left to right) Jirn Nolke Bill Cotter JoeeRedingtonJr. Dr. Fred Husby Animal Scientist Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks Francois Varigas Ken Ulz President Kobuk Fuel & Feed Prof. RogerWolter Animal Nutritionist National Vet. School Alfort, France Joe Runyan (sitting left to right) Lynn Orbison Carol Kaynor Sherry Runyan Nancy Nolke Photography by Nelson's

From the Kobuk ResearchKennels to race trails throughout Alaska, the goalhereat Kobuk is to manufacture the highest quality feed at the lowest possible price. Whether you're feedingthe family pet or a kennelof racing sled dogs, we've got the feed that's just right for you.

We're the people behind the products.As mushers,we test, feed,and recommendKobuk brand dog foods. we formulate, listen, As researchers, re-design,and test both old and new products. As a team, we work togetherto make sure that Kobuk's productsare the best they can be.

For information on our latestnutritional research,ask any memberof the Kobuk racing team, or call or write us today.


P.O. Box 1599,Fairbanks,AK 99707 (907)474-90

Store Hours: Mon - Fri E am to 7 pm; Sat 8 am to 6 pm; Sun LL am to 5 pm (Locatedat One Mile PegerRoad, behind Yukon Equipment)

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