The Last Frontier Mushing Co-op

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We have some exciting news! If you recall from an earlier post, Derek and I purchased a large parcel of land in Two Rivers and subdivided it with our friends/fellow mushers Chase Tingle, Matt Hall, and Amanda Brooks. Not only do we get to live next to other dog lovers, but we have recently combined our tourism expertise and created the Last Frontier Mushing Coop!

By joining forces, we can continue to focus on racing throughout the winter but also expand our tourism to create even more mushing fanatics. Derek and I will spearhead the spring Adventure Trips, and we'll have even more options throughout the winter. Bring on the winter!!

Check it out!

Life on the Glacier

Handsome Yuker with a big smile!

Handsome Yuker with a big smile!

The dogs and I have been up on the Denver Glacier in Skagway, Alaska for about 10 days, and the dogs are loving it! The first several days, the entire yard barked and played late into the night, enjoying the change from mud to snow. At first their enthusiasm was adorable, but it soon lost its appeal as the dogs barked at 3:00 and 4:00 AM. Now that we've started tours, the dogs have settled down a bit and keep playtime between 5:30 AM and 10:00 PM, thankfully.

Tours are a "walk in the park" for the dogs, with each tour averaging between 1.5 and 2 miles. I've been trying different youngsters in lead and have been particularly excited about King Louie. He's a tank! Even if the team is hauling 5 people through soft rotten snow, Louie puts his head down and propels forward, motivating the whole team behind him! I hope to continue working with Louie and other pups and yearlings through the summer to build their confidence and turn them into incredible leaders next year!

You'll notice from the pictures, all the structures are white. The sun is exceptionally bright on the glacier, so to keep the structures from attracting sunlight and causing the snow to melt faster, everything is white. My lodging consists of a tent, which I share with three other employees. In addition to sleeping tents, we have a cook tent, lounge, and communication tent in our little glacier city. Helicopters fly up to the glacier, drop off tourists from the cruise ships, and then return later to pick them up after they've had a sled dog ride. There are almost 230 dogs on the glacier! The ride itself is only approximately 20-30 minutes, so the rest of the time the dogs are getting extra love and snuggles!

Gorgeous skies!

Gorgeous skies!

Several of the camp tents.

Several of the camp tents.

Sunset over the dog yard.

Sunset over the dog yard.

Off to Summer Camp!

Tomorrow morning Ryno Kennel is headed to Skagway, Alaska to the Denver Glacier. That's right- 40 athletes and one human- ROAD TRIP!! We'll be living on the glacier all summer and giving tours to guests from the cruise ships. If you happen to be traveling through Skagway, catch a ride on a Temsco helicopter up to the glacier and come visit the dogs! We'll have limited cell and internet access throughout the summer, but I'll be sure to post pictures of the pups and glacier life.

Have a great summer!!

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New Axe!

First- Happy Easter! I hope you are all having a wonderful day with family and friends (both two and four-legged).

My older brother Nick just gave me this incredible axe that he made himself! He found the old steel head while antiquing, harvested and shaped the hickory handle from a tree at my family lake, and then imprinted it with the Ryno logo! Nick even made the leather sheath! Part of me wants to hang it on a wall to save forever, but Nick made it to race specifications so it'll get lots of use accompanying me on all of our adventures. What an incredible gift!