The Alaskan Adventure - 72 Days - 6,264 Miles

Fairbanks, Alaska - Part C

August 3 - 6, 2004

River's Edge RV Park

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We are still on the paddleboat river cruise.

Susan Butcher is an The Iditarod dog sled champion. Her kennel and training facility is along the river in Fairbanks. The paddlewheel boat pulled up along side her facility and we had the opertunity to hear a presentation by her about the race, dogs and kennel. It was very interesting to compare it to the talk given by the Denali Ranger.

Like the dogs at Denali, her dogs were very playful and eager to pull the sled. To keep them from running around they are tied to their dog houses with a 10 foot chain. The houses and chains were identical to the Denali kennel.
Susan Butcher using a microphone talking over the boats speaker system.
That's her husband and children in the background. It is a family operation.
The lake in the background is about the size of a football field. Around it is her short track. She has a long track which connects to the trails in the mountains.

The merry-go-round which is used to let the dogs run. The resistance of the structure can be increased to make the dogs work harder. When a dog gets tired it can jump on it's house and go for a free ride.
The dogs in a line next to the merry-go-round are chained to the ground waiting to be connected to the ATV.

Connecting the dogs to an ATV.
As the dogs are connected they keep jumping around and trying to pull the ATV, which is chained to the ground at this time. If it was not chained to the ground the fresh dogs could pull the ATV even with the brakes on. The dogs are connect while you watch so you can see how excited they get.
The dogs in the pen in the background are also jumping around and barking "take me."

The ATV chain was disconnected and the dogs dragged it for about 10 feet then she released the brake and they really took off.

They went around the short track and are now headed for the water.
Notice that the ATV has it's brake on and the front wheels cocked.
They have been draging braked ATV since it came through the fence.
They went until the lead dogs were in the water and her husband had to grab the harness to stop them.

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