Summer time for the athletes of Squid Acres is almost as busy as the winter. When we return from our annual arctic trip, we put the mushing gear away and hit the RESET button. We begin working towards winter once again. Summer is the time when we try to make our money for the year and also get any major projects finished and out of the way. The whole team works in the summer to make this happen.  The dogs, and the mushers are all working hard to make money and to get ourselves ready for fall training in September and our annual migration back to training camp in Eureka.. in the meanwhile this is what we are all up to.

The dogs

40 of our dogs are running on the Denver glacier in Skagway, Alaska with the company Alaska Icefield Expeditions. Amanda Brooks is taking care of our dogs and giving rides to tourists up on the glacier. You can fly up on the glacier by helicopter and then get the chance to hang out with the dogs and go for a dogsled ride with Amanda. It is a pretty cool experience for the tourists and the dogs absolutely love the chance to get to run in the summer. We found early on in our days of mushing that the dogs, like us, are not a big fan of the hot buggy summers in Fairbanks. Going up to the glacier gives them the opportunity to do what they love most. Run on a daily basis. The snowy glacier keeps them cool and is bug free. While they only run a few miles each day it helps keep the dogs in shape and helps keep them mentally happy. Huskies are bred to run… so they need to run to be happy. The young dogs get the chance to get into a daily routine of being harnessed and run. When fall training comes these guys are already pretty mellowed out by the daily runs and are all muscled up.

Dog Camp on Denver Glacier
Dog Camp on Denver Glacier
Guests and dogs are flown to and from the glacier by helicopter.
Guests and dogs are flown to and from the glacier by helicopter.
Okie and Oz get fired up in lead.
Okie and Oz get fired up in lead.
The team hooked up for a tour
The team hooked up for a tour
Weasel and Dundee in team working hard!
Weasel and Dundee in team working hard!
Old Crow
Old Crow
Wiseman
Wiseman
Boron the biggest boy on the team. feet like pie pans.
Boron the biggest boy on the team. feet like pie pans.
Amanda and Nova
Amanda and Nova
JD.. she’ll either bite you or love you to death…
JD.. she’ll either bite you or love you to death…
Atigun needs to nuzzle her muzzle in your face.
Atigun needs to nuzzle her muzzle in your face.

 Not all of the dogs like the glacier, we keep a handful of the shy dogs home each summer so that they don’t have to be around the people and the helicopters. These dogs get to live in our big pens and go for free walks several times a week. We take them for free runs on the local trails and take them swimming at little ponds and lakes. Bleeker gets to play with his frisbee of course. They also get to spend a lot of time in the house with us and our dog-sitters. The dogs at home live a very spoiled summer lifestyle.. but they deserve it!

Paige

As the name of the kennel suggests… we like squid and fish. Paige is a fish biologist and through our company Spearfish Research, Paige does a multitude of fisheries work around Alaska in the summer. The job takes her to different native villages in the vast Yukon River Drainage of Alaska and the Yukon Territory.  Most of the projects focus on Chinook salmon, but she also gets the chance to work with with other fish such as chum salmon and sheefish. Chinook or King salmon are currently in an unprecedented decline and it is affecting the subsistence and commercial fishing lifestyles of people throughout the Yukon River Drainage.  She is currently working in the village of Emmonak out on the delta of the Yukon River. This project is looking at juvenile Chinook salmon, determining timing of their migration out to sea and looking at their overall health. After this project, she will lead a group of subsistence fisherman, some from Russia and some from Canada, on a trip along the Yukon River to visit fisherman from other villages in a cultural exchange. Check out the video below from the trip she did in 2012 bringing Canadian subsistence fisherman to Alaska to see the issues with Chinook salmon in their villages.

She will also be involved in some other salmon studies later in the summer and a sheefish project on the Alatna River. These are some exciting projects in some really neat areas of Alaska.

Cody

Cody splits his summer between being  an archaeologist and building dogsleds for other mushers. He works throughout the villages and remote areas of Alaska on different archaeological projects. Most of the projects work to identify archaeological resources before development projects can move forward. This is part of the EIS process. If archaeological resources such as artifacts or human burials are found, the project is put on hold until another location or route can be identified or if approval from all stakeholders is gained,  the materials are excavated in a scientific manor and repatriated to the people of the area to do with as they wish.  This summer he is spending a few weeks in Kotzebue working on an excavation of cultural materials to help with airport construction. While out there, he’ll also went to the village of Kiana to do a survey of cultural resources for a development project there. Later this summer he’ll be working for the National Park Service surveying for archaeological sites in Gates of the Arctic National Park. When he returns from a summer of field work it will be time for him to get in the shop and build dogsleds again for his dogsled company, DogPaddle Designs. He builds all type of dogsleds for racing, freighting and recreational mushing.

A prehistoric excavation in the Brooks Range

A prehistoric excavation in the Brooks Range

For us, summertime really is about working hard and making money to support us for the rest of the year so we can spend the winter training and exploring with the dogs. That doesn’t mean that summer has to be a bummer. These field jobs keep us on the move and keep our thirst for adventure quenched while we dream of running dogs. The trips in the Alaskan back-country and to the villages also help our racing as well.  We get the chance to meet mushers and visit kennels throughout the state while we are on these jobs. We’ve even gotten dogs from people in the villages of Eagle and Koyokuk that Paige had worked with on fish projects.

Paige bringing puppy Jones up the Yukon River from the village of Koyokuk, two summers ago.

These connections with folks in the villages is amazing. Cody just met an elder in Kiana that had run dogs his whole life and they had amazing conversations about the old days of dog mushing. These trips can also be a sort of training for racing. They allow us to scout some of the areas that we will race or do future expeditions in. It is fun to roll into a checkpoint in a remote village and have your friends from the village come down to see you. Makes you feel like home on the trail and it has a comforting effect that we do believe helps with the racing. Everything you can do to feel comfortable out there helps!

So as you can see summer is a busy time in Alaska, but in 2 short months we’ll be hooking up the team daily again and we can’t wait!

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Cody’s Yukon Quest Recap.. Start to Dawson City. The long winded version.

April 9, 2014

Almost 6 weeks have passed since our Quest run prematurely ended at Braeburn Checkpoint.  The race has played start to end in my head over and over like a DVD player stuck on repeat. Almost nightly I relive the race sometimes it has different endings, but when I wake the ending is the same.  It […]

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Scurion Headlamps… Lighting up the dark of night for Team Squid!

December 11, 2013

We often get asked what that satellite dish thingy is on our heads. Well my friends, we are not tuning in Tokyo, we are lighting up the night with our Scurion headlamps.  Today in Interior Alaska, sunrise is at 10:50 am and sunset is at 2:43 pm, leaving us with a period of  real daylight […]

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Change is coming!

November 7, 2013

Since we last wrote about Dorado’s legacy, we have made great headway with the Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors on making changes to the dropped dog protocol. After the race we talked with many mushers and race volunteers to see what these people with vast Iditarod experience thought was important to make the dropped […]

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Our new handler, Charity, writes about her new job!

October 7, 2013

The smells of the dog yard are setting in my skin; Fish and kibble and raw meat watered thin. Been ten days since I’ve showered, Clean clothes now a fading luxury. The soles of my shoes are covered in hues of dog poop The likes you hopefully won’t ever get to see.   Now these […]

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Powering our technology with HUMAN POWER thanks to Windstream Power LLC!!

September 16, 2013

  We’d like to thank our one of our newest sponsors Windstream Poweer LLC for coming on board with Squid Acres Kennel. They have generously set us up with one of their human power generators to help us keep our small 12 volt battery bank all charged up. We live off grid here in Eureka […]

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Skype in the Classroom

September 13, 2013

In recent blog entries we have mentioned our exciting new involvement in the Skype in the classroom program. Skype in the classroom is a FREE and easy way for teachers to open up their classroom. Meet new people, talk to experts, share ideas and create amazing learning experiences with other teachers and guest speakers from […]

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6 months and 1 day until go time! Cody is signed up for The Yukon Quest!

July 17, 2013

It’s official! Since the day Cody rolled into the Fairbanks finish line last winter he has been dreaming about getting back out there for another go at it. Last year Cody had a nice rookie run that we are proud of, despite the fact that he suffered a bad knee injury 2 days before the […]

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Dog Sponsorship for the Upcoming Season.

June 29, 2013

Today is the Iditarod Picnic and the first day of sign ups for the 2014 race. In our last post, Paige shared the news that she will be running the Iditarod again in 2014 as a tribute to our dog Dorado.  The first day of Iditarod signups is kind of like the start of the […]

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Summer trip to Eureka

June 21, 2013

“We spent a few days at our training camp in Eureka to get ready for the upcoming season and to hike and play with the dogs!” From Dog Days of Summer, posted by Squid Acres Kennel on 6/10/2013 (18 items) Everyone is happy for a change of scenery and to be back at camp! Gwinzii […]

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Iditarod update

June 10, 2013

We were dealt a pretty big blow at the end of this years’ Iditarod with the passing of our beloved dog, Dorado. But we are moving forward and hoping that his death will make changes to the Iditarod dropped dog program that will make things better for EVERY dog that is left at ANY checkpoint. […]

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