phone purge

Products of my birch basket weaving course.

We've been enjoying beautiful clear late summer days.
Puppy wrasslin'
My Iditarod Fundraiser T-shirts!!  First run sold out, will be getting the second order in shortly. I 'll get some better pictures up so you can see how nice the blue heather tshirt really is. $40. Available for purchase at the Team Anadyr Online Store (top right) or at Underdog Feeds in Wasilla. Reserve yours today! 
I MUSH AK t-shirts. Original design by me. $30. Available for purchase at the Team Anadyr Online Store or at Underdog Feeds in Wasilla.
Driving towards Willow or Mordor? You decide.
Beautiful dahlia our neighbor Bob (the windshield guy)  brought over.
Haven't decided on a name for this sucker yet. 

Dog box is coming along. Stained it black.
Talkeetna is an exquisite place to be on a clear day.
The little girl, Miss Mygga. 
Puppies found a prize! Wheeeeee!
Thanks so much to my friend Madonna for loaning me her booth in Talkeetna last Saturday! A lovely day.


"UK Siberians prove they can go the distance"

Interesting article by the UK canine newspaper Dog World profiling Rob Cooke's recent success within the long distance racing format in North America. They also put forth the argument that Rob's performance is going a long way to disprove the assumption that, due to the lack of distance races in the UK, Siberians there are turning into a "sprint racing animal."
"The Siberian Huskies running on Rob’s Quest team wouldn’t look out of place on the trail or show ring in the UK and their performance earlier this year proved yet again that well-constructed Siberians can and do go the distance. It isn’t really surprising Rob’s dogs look so familiar to us as six members of the Quest team have a British mum and their all-American or Canadian teammates have relatives who have made the reverse journey across the Atlantic to run our short races as happily and effectively as their cousins eat up the miles on long distance trails."
Well, a good dog's a good dog. Read on:



Kenny & Lisbet's Spring Mushing Adventure

Last spring my friend Kenny from Fairbanks dropped by the kennel for a visit. Sunny, wet, spring mushing fun ensued !

Kenny harnessing up lead dog Ruby.
Wrangling Fezzik.
Harnessing up another of the big boys, Robber.
Kenny and hop-a-long Pete. I was really impressed with Kenny's dog handling skills (this was his first time in a dog lot)
Ruby girl enjoying the sunshine.  Robber & Pete in swing.
Getting ready to leave our lunch site on Windy Lake.
Pete Robber
Fezzik Papas
And then off to my parents to break in some puppies!  Kenny on the tag sled behind the snowmachine. 
Puppies' first run on L-shaped Lake.
Lisbet & Kenny
Good puppies. Looking a little bewildered. 
Super dog handler Kenny looking good with the shovel. Good job & thanks for the visit !! See you this winter :)


Thank you Els !!


A big thank you to Els van Lierop for sponsoring my sweet little Linnea!!  Els has sponsored Linnea for the upcoming race season plus purchased the booties Linnea needs for Iditarod! 

Els has been a friend & supporter of Alaskan Kennels for many, many years. If you are interested in sled dog/Siberian history, take a look at her fantastic website: http://www.kolymakennels.com/page8.html There she has put together many interesting stories & histories, especially regarding Kolma Kennels' role in the history of the Siberian Husky and mushing in the Netherlands and rest of Europe. 

Thank you so much for your support Els!   

xoxo  Lisbet & Linnea 

A little about Linnea
Linnea is the smallest dog in the team, weighing in at about 30lbs. Sweet but shy, Linnea takes awhile to warm up to strangers, but soon proves herself to be quite the charmer. Sweetness aside, Linnea is a tough little lady. Although small, she is very well proportioned. She's a wicked fast trotter and has no trouble keeping up with the rest of the team. She gets along with all other dogs and is a particular favorite of mine for walks in the woods. Linnea is also the mama to the Solstice puppies born this July. With constant rain and no chance to escape, she got tired of her puppies last week and has since moved back into the dog lot alongside the rest of her teammates :)

Ruby & Linnea in lead, blue time on the Yentna River
Two of my favorite girls on the river at daybreak. 
Linnea & Ruby in late November sun.
Pea & Linnea on a spring walk. 

Thank you Joseph & Kim Smith !

A big thank you to the Smith family for their generous donation to Team Anadyr! Your support is very much appreciated  :)


Could Siberians win Iditarod?

I was asked this question recently on a local radio show and I totally and completely evaded the question.

Why did I feel uncomfortable answering this question?

Because I think the answer is yes.

Yes, I think a Siberian team could win Iditarod.  Technically, every team that enters a race has a chance, however infinitesimal, of winning. But my answer is not based on technicalities. It is based on the assumption that in a long-distance format, Siberians are capable of maintaining speeds that would land them on the podium and in the record books. 

But here's the kicker. Until proven otherwise, my views are just pure speculation. So, when he asked me if I thought Siberians could win, my initial thought was YES, of course. But that is such a ridiculous view to most mushers. Would the host seriously ask that question of any other musher? No. Because 99 percent of the mushing population would think the question as ludicrous as my actual answer. I didn't want to discuss my unconventional views while being recorded on a radio show I already felt nervous on, so I didn't say anything.

As far as mushing goes, conclusions are drawn from results, not passionate persuasions. You can only be convincing if you have the results to back it up.

And we don't.

Not yet. And we won't this year. And maybe not next year, or ever.

I don't want folks to think I'm entering Iditarod with a Siberian team with intentions of being competitive. This is only my second year of actual distance racing & Goal #1 is to finish!! I think my dogs could be competitive, and that it would be fun to try, but I think it would be even more fun to get my belt buckle on the first try. 

I'm entering Iditarod with Siberians because I love the breed & I love my dogs. I'm looking forward to seeing unfamiliar landscapes & facing unknown challenges with my best buddies, buddies utterly suited for the arctic climes we'll be traveling through. They were meant to travel this landscape, and we're going to do it at our own pace. A respectable pace to be sure, but not one determined by other mushers or race records. 

So, why do I feel the need to justify my non-answer? What's the point in even talking about the concept of a competitive Siberian team?

Because I don't want my non-answer to be taken as a no.

In North America, we are seeing a small resurgence of Siberians in mid and long distance racing. And these teams are, in fact, starting to be competitive. I'm talking specifically about Rob Cooke placing 2nd in the Quest 300, Lev Shvarts placing 7th in the Northern Lights 300, and of course of Mike Ellis placing in the money (30th) in last year's Iditarod. And then there's me, who has yet to be last in a race, even running super conservatively. So I guess I just want to plant the idea in a few more heads: Siberians are not slow. Siberians have potential. Don't write them off so quickly, and don't feel so bad if they end up beating you ;)


Fireweed Jelly

My fireweed jelly experiment.  Turned out fantastic! I think it's best on a cracker with cream cheese & a slice of jalapeño pepper :)
1. Collect fireweed flowers
Buds at the top are ok.
The recipe I used. 
2. Assemble ingredients. From what I've gathered, it's important to use powered as opposed to liquid pectin otherwise the jelly won't set properly. As it was, it still took 2 days for my jelly to set because, as you can see from the picture, my pectin was three years expired... oops. Still worked though. 
8 cups of packed fireweed blossoms.
3. Sanitize jars. Soap, water, boil, whatever you do to ensure the jelly is going into nice clean jars. 
4. Add water until water level is just below the top of flowers & boil until the blossoms are a sickly pale grey. 
Boiling out the color & flavor of the blossoms results in this beautiful deep hued purple liquid. 
5. Strain. I didn't have cheesecloth so I improvised w a flour sifter.
Add assembled ingredients and boil.
Can & Process.
Ta dah!  The finished product.
Alaskan Summer in a jar. 


Store is LIVE !

Click the "Store" tab on the upper right and check out my new webstore! 

 **I am now taking pre-orders for Iditarod & I MUSH AK T-Shirts**

What other items you would like to see offered? Let me know and I will see what I can do! 


happy august!

Collected some fireweed blossoms tonight to make jelly with. Not an easy task with two dogs romping around your feet, but more fun that way. I found some ripe blueberries last weekend by the pond; I'm thinking of taking a trip up to Hatcher's to see if I can find some more growing along the mountain side.  I might walk the Craigie Creek Trail up to Dogsled Pass. I love the Talkeetna Mountains and love being able to access them by foot or dog team right out the backdoor. I came back from Norway feeling so privileged that our kennel is located in the place that it is. We have trails for fall training right from the dogyard, and unlimited access to the backcounty in winter. Many mushers in Norway are hemmed in by roads and neighbors, and have to drive many kilometers everyday just to train, sometimes even after snowfall. Ugh. I've always known we are lucky in our location, but now I'm downright thankful that my grandparents had the foresight to move out and away from Anchorage in the '60s.  

I had a big disappointment yesterday-- the printer made a mistake on the t-shirts, so they have to be reordered and redone and it will be another week or two before they are ready :(  I do have some stickers and totes on the way--hopefully they turn out better!  So, still no merchandise. On a happier note, I'm excited to head back to Talkeetna this Monday. I'm going to host a "Meet the Musher" event at Dave Totten's Wildlife North Art booth at the Talkeetna Artisans Open Air Market. So a big THANK YOU to the Denali Arts Council for allowing me to take over Dave's booth for a day! I plan on being there every Monday until the end of the season, talking with tourists, selling my merchandise, Dave's wonderful pastels, and hopefully drumming up some support for my Iditarod run. If you plan to be in Talkeena during a Monday this month, please stop by and say hi! The Artisans Open Air Market features Alaskan-made art and handicrafts, sold directly to the public by the artists themselves. It's rare to find a venue that features exclusively Made-in-Alaska products and I'm happy to support it!

Building doghouses at work.
Delicious & such beautiful cans.
Harvesting fireweed.
My helper, Robber.
Going to make fireweed jelly.
These can be dried and used for cake decoration too.
Mom's 1986 Iditarod Brochure.
Lazy evening at Howling Dog Farm.