Consider installing industrial carpeting free of pad underneath very simple to vacuum and steam-clean.
And there it is! Our first cold snap of the 2018-2019 winter.
Interior Alaska is known for its substantial temperature inversions in the winter, meaning that down in the riverbeds (aka Ryno Kennel) it can be -40F to -50F while on the hilltops it might only be -5F to -10F. This difference results in a fierce social media dialogue where lowlanders post photos of their thermometers, telling themselves the cold makes them tougher, while highlanders comment that they’re at a balmy -10F and question lowlanders sanity for living in the valleys. And while no one in their right mind actually enjoys these sorts of temperatures (except Derek, because then he gets the trails to himself), there are many great benefits of these cold snaps.
Running in the Hills
Rivers finally freeze opening up new trails.
The roads are no longer slippery, and you have traction on ice.
You get to test your cold weather gear to prepare yourself...
It’s never too late for a dog update! Here are recaps for all the yearlings after their first race, the Solstice 50.
From Saeward’s Team:
Dusky really rocked it at the Solstice 50! She provided steady power throughout the entire run, which is a wonderful accomplishment for a yearling in the excitement of their first race. She never got tangled and was very professional when passing other teams. Her only weakness during the run showed on uphills – at first, she tended to back off when we came to an uphill climb, perhaps with the expectation that the other dogs would take us up the hill and she could pull harder again after we reached the top. However, when she realized that the relatively small team needed her help to keep up the pace, she started pitching in more and pulling her share on the ascents. Given Dusky’s steady pace, she has a lot of potential as a long-distance racing dog!
Bull was definitely a strong team member for the Solstice 50, although he seemed distracted by the excitement of his first race. At the start, Bull was the yearling who seemed the most excited and nervous about all the onlookers and photographers lining the chute. When we were passed by a few...
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all our wonderful friends and family who follow and support Ryno Kennel! The holiday season has passed in a whirlwind full of training runs and tours. With the Copper Basin less than two weeks away and the Yukon Quest only one month away, we’re busy prepping drop bags and conditioning the team! In the meantime, here’s a blast from the past- this video is from exactly six years ago when the first Ryno Kennel litter of pups (Supai, Kindi, and Rucu) ran in harness for the first time. It’s where it all began. You might also recognize some SP Kennel oldies, Chacha, Bullet, and Tony. And of course our beloved Stormy and Cartel. We couldn’t have had better mentors to get us started. It’s amazing to think how many miles we’ve traveled since that first Ryno sled run on January 1, 2013! To many more adventures with friends and family both human and canine, Happy New Year!!
At Elmhurst Animal Care Center, we take great pride in being your trusted source of knowledge and information when it
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Ryne and Team
Yesterday all three teams finished the Solstice 50 with happy dogs and big smiles! Packing straw and food, we had intended to camp halfway for the yearlings since the farthest they had run this season was 35 miles; however, when we learned the course was a bit shorter this year due to the low snow conditions (only 40 miles), we decided to go for it! We all carried straw just in case the yearlings wanted a short break, but they charged ahead, unfazed by running the whole distance! As for the adults, well 40 miles is shorter than their standard training run, so they thought it was a fun romp around the neighborhood. The one challenging aspect of the race was the number of passes. With 34 teams competing, the trails were packed full with dog teams. Plus, part of the route was common trail, meaning that racers went out and back on the same section. During that section, we had at least 20 head-on passes! The yearlings were certainly intimidated by so many head-on passes, but they seemed to gain confidence with having the adults in front. I’ll be posting each dog’s performance review here shortly, but overall,...
What better way to celebrate the Solstice than by running the Solstice 50?!
The Solstice 50 is organized by the local Two Rivers Dog Mushers and will travel our home trails. We’ll have three teams in the race mushed by Tyler, Saeward, and myself. For this race, we’ll be focusing on introducing the yearlings to their first ever competition! Tyler has done a fantastic job training the yearlings so far this season, so they’re ready for their first event. Since the yearlings have yet to run such a far distance, we plan on stopping halfway for a couple hours to camp. They’ll be led by expert adults to make sure all the passes go smoothly and that the race is a good, positive experience for the youngsters. The teams will be comprised of:
The Pit Crew for all three teams will be Derek, Jezzy, and Sasha! Good luck to all the teams!
Not a bad campsite
This week, all the 2-3 year olds and I ran along the Denali Highway for a run/rest practice series. While we were gone, Kalyn and the trail-hardened older rockstars stayed in Two Rivers and ran the trails around here. This meant that go-to leaders, Goblin, Lefty, Cartel, Katy, Jana, Boone (basically all the adults who have been training the young up-and-coming leaders), stayed at home. I was so proud of Cooke, Wingman, Ewok, and King Louie for stepping up to lead the team! While most of our runs were in darkness, we did get to enjoy one SPECTACULAR camp and a few hours of daylight mushing. It’s views like these that rejuvenate the soul.
A few hours of daylight mushing.
Flash and Faff on a run around Two Rivers
Post run cabin time.
Photo Credit- Kalyn
Last week, we headed out to the White Mountains for a camping trip. Due to the low snow levels, we still can’t run larger teams with a sled; however, we can comfortably run 8-9 dogs per team. Kalyn and I recruited Cartel’s sponsor, Tracy, to come join us on our camp out. Tracy and her husband Bryan have a small kennel comprised of a few Ryno Kennel retirees- Brant, Chagga, and Teflon. And luckily for us, Tracy loves Type II fun, so she was a great addition to the training series.
While the two-year-olds ran the Two Rivers 100 last year, our camp out was only their second run/rest series. The experienced adults know the drill and immediately lay down once the straw hits the snow. They eat their meals and seem to intuitively know our training plan, meaning they’re not stressed by camping multiple times. For the youngsters, it’s a new experience. Most of the time in training, we go for a run and then they sleep at home in their own beds after a big meal. On a race schedule, they need to learn to sleep in new places, eat at all hours, and trust in the pattern of run/rest/run. Needless to say, the...
Most of us are aware of the dangers of our pets overheating in warm weather, but what about their safety
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Organized chaos at hook up on a run in the White Mountains
We’re hitting the stage in training where a 50 mile run is a standard distance, and the dogs are muscled up and beautifully fit. Just walking around the yard, their muscles ripple under their shiny coats.
Just out of curiosity, I did a quick Google search of canine V02 max. The internet was quick to come up with an answer. I’m not claiming this is fact, but one website said Lance Armstrong has a V02 Max of 85 ml/kg/min, a race horse has 180 ml/kg/min, and a sled dog has a value of 240 ml/kg/min! After watching this ultra athletes work, it doesn’t surprise me.
We’re also hitting that time of the year when the sun barely crests the horizon. Our current length of day is four hours and eight minutes; however, with dusk and dawn, it’s light for an hour or two on either end. By the Winter Solstice on December 21st, we’ll lose almost 25 more minutes of daylight.
With the long nights, we spend a lot of time doing chores and mushing by headlamp. Unlike normal though, it has been WARM. We’ve had very few days below zero with several even reaching 25 or 30F above! It’s...
Retirement. What does that even mean? For me, as a 29-year-old, retirement seems like a distant time and place that will magically appear once I get older. That’s how it works right? You hit a certain age when your body is tired and your mind is ready for a change and you magically have money in your bank account to relax, explore, and pay for health care? Ok, ok, maybe that’s not how it works. And since dog mushing doesn’t really come with a human retirement plan, I prefer to live by the mantra that if you like your work, you never work a day in your life. So we’ll just keep working!
While I may be nonchalant with my own retirement planning, I’m much more dedicated to the retirement of the athletes. Every time we welcome a new puppy to Ryno Kennel, it comes with the knowledge that we are responsible for every aspect of their life, including retirement. For some athletes, that means living out their days here at Ryno Kennel (like Crazy). For others, it means enjoying a couch in another home as the center of attention. Some athletes retire around eight or nine years old (this is common). Others retire earlier. And when they’re ready, it’s obvious. They might be more subdued at...
Cancer is one of the most common diseases diagnosed in pets, especially as they age. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make it
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Thanksgiving is one of my all-time favorite holidays.
1- There’s tons of food. Mushers are always hungry.
2- It’s right around the time we transition from ATVs to sleds, which is the most wonderful transition in the world (especially for my back and my right thumb, aka the throttle finger).
3- We get to spend it with friends and family, both human and canine!
We have so much to be thankful for at Ryno Kennel- from the crew who help with everyday tasks to the sponsors and fans who eagerly follow the kennel to the race volunteers- THANK YOU for making this lifestyle possible. And of course, these incredible canine athletes who every day allow us to be part of their wonderful world full of energy, optimism, and adventure. I’m eternally grateful for them.
Our Run from yesterday-
Some mushing days, the dogs are the only color we see!
Training, racing, and caring for a kennel of 45 sled dogs is no small feat, and we couldn’t do it without an amazing, devoted crew of mushers who give their time and energy to this team! We’ve had lots of incredible help in the past, and this winter, we’re lucky to have another top-notch crew!
This season, Kalyn will be assisting with training the adult race team. She has several years of experience training and racing sled dogs, primarily at Manitou Crossing Kennels owned by Jennifer and Blake Freking. For the past three years, Kalyn has handled for the Frekings down in northern Minnesota where she competed in the UP200, Gunflint Mail Run, and Mid-distance Beargrease. With all her experience, we’re so pumped that Kalyn will be helping to train the race team this year! She’s currently entered in the Copper Basin 300. When not mushing, Kalyn’s favorite pastime is paddling in the Boundary Waters or on the coast of Alaska. Kalyn is also a wonderful photographer, so get ready for some great photos this season!
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