Consider installing industrial carpeting free of pad underneath very simple to vacuum and steam-clean.
The Wood Stove!
We’ve had a few chilly nights (4F yesterday morning!), so it’s kicked our cabin construction into overdrive! When temperatures start to drop that low, it means the ground is freezing, and any projects that involve dirt work better be about finished. Luckily, Derek finished connecting our water just in time! If you recall from last fall, we pounded a well next to the cabin. The well has supplied us with water all summer and fall, but it hasn’t been connected to the cabin itself. A submersible pump propelled water out of a hose at the top of the well casing, which meant that when temperatures drop below freezing, the hose was pretty much guaranteed to freeze. To connect the cabin to the well, we dug a three-foot trench, cut a hole in well casing, and connected the pump to a pipe going to the cabin. We then insulated the pipe to keep it from freezing in the winter. And truthfully, when I say “we,” I mostly mean Derek. I occasionally gave a hand, but most the time, I was busy running dogs or doing kennel work! I’m continually impressed by Derek’s can-do attitude and patience when tackling these projects with...
Over the past few days, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Eagle and boat seven miles down the Yukon River to visit with Matt Hall’s parents, Wayne and Scarlett, in their beautiful, remote home. Wayne and Scarlett live a truly subsistence lifestyle. Their property can only be accessed by bush plane (there is a large gravel bar near their house), dog team in the winter, or boat in the summer. Every summer, they put a fish wheel into the Yukon to catch anywhere from 4,000-5,000 Chum salmon to feed their sled dogs. Several years ago, Wayne ran the Yukon Quest; however, now Scarlett and Wayne own and operate Bush Alaska Expeditions, a remote dog touring business that offers the real deal.
Tyler, Matt, and I drove to Eagle (about an 8-10 hour drive depending on road conditions). We combined it with a trip to Delta to grab our winter’s supply of straw for our kennels. Once we arrived in the small community of Eagle (population 65ish), Wayne and their handler, Greg, picked us, and we took their boat downriver to their homestead. You might recognize the city of Eagle, Alaska as a checkpoint in the Yukon Quest. While the Taylor Highway does go to Eagle, it isn’t maintained...
On March 23rd, Derek and I were married by close friends (Moore/Zirkle clan) who are basically family. On September 23rd (6 months later), we had a big party to celebrate! All my family flew up for the festivities (Mom, Dad, Nick, Cass, and Tom) as well as Derek’s parents (Rick and Sue). What they thought would be a vacation turned into a “work-cation” as they eagerly…or supportively rather… helped us to hang sheet rock in the upstairs and bathroom of the house. Not only that, but my mom and Cass single-handedly planned the party (I’m not much of a party planner). Even though it rained their entire visit, unpleasant weather can’t dampen this family’s spirit! They made our party an evening to remember. Good friend Amanda Brooks took our group photos as well as made that impressive cake!!
A big thank you to all the friends and family who came to help us celebrate!
Olsons and Pattons
If your pet were critically injured tomorrow, and needed to be hospitalized, could you afford the bill? We all strive
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We’re very excited to announce the arrival of Izzy and Supai puppies! Izzy is an all-star at SP Kennel with 4 Iditarods and 3 Yukon Quests on her resume. She’s spunky, happy, and an amazing sled dog! We were so thrilled when Supai was selected as her date.
Supai has been a core athlete for Ryno Kennel since the very beginning and finished every race. He has an insatiable appetite, strong work ethic, and one of the friendliest personalities around. Supai was born at SP Kennel (I was visiting my brother in Ecuador at the time) and his mother is SP Kennel’s, Scooter. We’re hoping these pups are the perfect mixture of both their parents. Perhaps a future Golden Harness Winner in the mix?
Until the pups are older, they’ll be staying with Izzy at SP Kennel. Eventually, Ryno Kennel will be taking home two of these pups to join our puppy class. We can’t wait for them to join the team!
A couple free loaders on our run!
After a few weeks of fall training, all the dogs are looking amazing! I may be biased, but I’d say they’re the best dogs out there! Here’s a short blurb about each ADULT athlete’s performance so far this season. I’ll be doing another blog post updating everyone on the yearlings’ performances as well as the retired athletes.
Amelia- She’s looking strong and focused. Amelia is one who moderately enjoys human contact, but prefers to hang with her canine buddies. I don’t think she particularly cares if I’m on the team or if it’s some other human. She’s a great eater and works hard, so if she maintains focus, she’ll be vying for a spot in the A Team.
Badger- Badger has Perm’s limitless energy. With his thick coat and good appetite, I think he’ll mature into a fantastic Quest athlete. He has a tough head and leads occasionally in training. Badger is looking strong so far this season, so if he maintains his weight (youngsters can have a hard time keeping weight on), he’ll be right in there with the core team.
Boone- Boone is sassy and jazzed for training. I love the energy she brings to a team. She made the Quest team last year and was one of the...
Dog lovers everywhere know how wonderful it can be to share life with a canine companion; the bond we share
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Each winter, Roxanne designs a new logo for Ryno Kennel to represent each unique race season. And this year she out-did herself again!
Roxanne is a friend from high school, and I'm always amazed with her creative abilities! It can't be easy to come up with a new design each year, but she does it.
Warning Long Tangent (I didn't start out writing the blog post with this, but as I started writing about Roxanne, I couldn't help myself):
As I look back on the past six years since having our first litter of pups (the Ecuadorians), I'm in awe of all the friends, friends of friends, or friends of friends of friends who have helped us along the way. A Durango friend designed our main Ryno logo. Another Durango friend (Roxanne) has designed all of our yearly logos. Scott Chesney, Julien Schroder, and Whitney Mclaren have given us so many incredible photos to decorate the website and share special moments from the trail. Riley, Maliko, Gunhild, Liz, and Tyler have all given us so much time and energy caring for the dogs, building our home, or improving the kennel. Not to mention all the sponsors, friends, and family who have sent notes of encouragement or just a brief email that they're...
We're kicking off the season with rainy runs and school portraits!
Ewok lounging on the couch.
Jezzy checking out all the equipment.
Scott Chesney with Tailspin Media visited the kennel last weekend to kick off the season with school portraits! The canine athletes could choose between a couch photo or a white backdrop. Getting highly active sled dogs to relax and pose for the camera is quite a feat, so Scott normally has to come back for another photo shoot to retake any images with the pups who just couldn't sit still. I imagine it must be similar to taking school photos for kindergartners! We have lots of distractions ranging from treats to squeaky toys to jumping up and down and waving our arms. The award for most challenging canine to photograph goes to.... FLASH! Flash never ever stops moving, and she likes to look everywhere but the camera. Treats, squeaking toys, sound effects like barking fox or squeaking rabbits-...
Anyone who enjoys the great outdoors knows to bring along certain supplies “just in case.” Indeed, it’s always better to
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You might have noticed over the summer that we didn't have the normal "summer pup-dates." Because we had such a large puppy class last summer, we opted not to have any litters ourselves this year. However, we also like to have youth coming up through the ranks to join our team when experienced veterans retire. So....a couple youngsters recently joined Ryno Kennel! These two gals were born May 25th. They were part of a litter of eight puppies. Their mother is Atigun (Ewok's sister), and their father is Kurtis, one of Nic Petite's athletes. Ewok has been a rockstar these past couple of years, so I was excited by the pup's relation to Ewok. Plus, Nic's team had a pretty outstanding season last winter. Of course, most people probably don't really care about all the genetics and who's related to who. You just care about the puppies! So here are a few photos of the girls! They don't have names yet- any suggestions out there?
We've crossed a couple BIG projects off the list these past couple of weeks: Last Frontier Mushing Co-op Storefront Yurt and moving our old handler cabin.
1- Last Frontier Mushing Co-op Storefront
Last season, Matt and Amanda of Smokin' Ace Kennels were kind enough to allow us to run tours out of their yurt, but this year, we're expanding. Over the summer, we've prepped a new storefront location directly between our two kennels. With the help of a few friends, we erected our Mongolian Yurt in just a few days! The video below provides a visual of a few of the steps. In the video you'll see Matt, Amanda, Kelsey, Tyler, and myself running around. As they say- it takes a village! Basic steps for the yurt assembly are:
1- Build the deck (thanks Matt and Tom!)
2- Set up the door and arrange the lattice around the door.
3- Put the center ring on pillars and place it in the center of the deck.
4- Place one spoke per "x" in the lattice and secure it to the center ring.
5- Pull a white sheet around the frame.
6- Place felt insulation around the yurt. We used two layers given our cold winters.
7- Wrap the house in the waterproof outer layer and tie everything up with the three long ropes made of...
Welcome home! You step inside your house after a few hours out expecting a warm welcome from your pet. Instead,
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The first Saturday in August has arrived, and it's time for the Yukon Quest sign ups!!! We hope you all will follow along this year, and we can't wait to get started!
We're getting pretty excited here at Ryno Kennel- it's August first!!! Normally around this time, the weather starts to cool, and we begin to feel as if winter is just around the corner. It's not that I don't like summer, but winter is just so much better!
As the temps start to drop, the dogs' energy exponentially grows. They get sooo excited for the coming cold and bark and twirl whenever we pull out the ATV as if to say- it's time to run! I try to give the dogs as much exercise as possible. On rainy days, I've taken the pups out for short 2 mile runs down to the Chena River. We haven't been doing as many free runs and loose walks the past few weeks, because unfortunately we've been plagued by foxtails and grass seeds. Pointy seeds can work their way under a dog's skin and cause some issues, so most of our exercise has been in harness.
Overall, the dogs have been enjoying their summer vacation, and I've had the chance to enjoy a vacation or two myself! Jezzy, Sasha, and I enjoyed a short backpack trip in the Alaska Range with friends and fellow mushers, Kristin and Paige. Tom (brother who has being helping so much this summer!) and I took dirt bikes down the Denali Highway for a...
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