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2 mars 2018 5 02 /03 /mars /2018 08:10

The english version follows the french.

Voilà mon équipe de 14 chiens : Morrison, Kaltag, Volt, Elim, Echo, Eole, Eagle, Falcon Flipper, Devil, Granite, Gamine, Gin gin, Gipsy.

Nous partons avec le dossard nr 35. Samedi, 3 mars, c'est le départ cérémonial à Anchorage. Dimanche, 4 mars, c'est le véritable départ à Willow, je partirai aux environ de 15h, heure Alaska.

Je remercie toutes les personnes qui m'ont aidé  à me rendre sur la ligne de départ. Merci aux parrains de mes chiens. Même ceux qui ne font pas partie de l'équipe, vont travailler fort pour nous aider.

Un merci spécial à Mr. X., mon extraordinaire chien de tête. À 11 ans, il fait tous les jours 28 km, comme leader des tours avec nos hôtes.

My 14 dog team : Morrison, Kaltag, Volt, Elim, Eagle, Echo, Eole, Falcon, Flipper, Devil, Granite, Gamine, Gin gin, Gipsy.

We start with bib nr 35. Saturday, March 3rd, it is the ceremonial start in Anchorage. Sunday March 4th, it is the real start in Willow. We will start at about 3 pm, Alaska time.

Thank you to all the people that help us. Thank you to my dog's sponsors. Even the dogs that are not in the team, will work hard to help us.

A special thank you to Mr. X, my great leader. At 11 years old, he is still running 20 miles a day, as the lead dog with our guests.

 

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14 janvier 2018 7 14 /01 /janvier /2018 17:12
CES EXTRAORDINAIRES CHIENS DE TRAÎNEAU DISPONIBLE EN E-BOOK.

Mon dernier livre : ''Ces extraordinaires chiens de traîneau'' est maintenant disponible en version électronique sur Amazon.

 

Work is in progress for the english version of my last book : ''These amazing sled dogs''.

 

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18 novembre 2017 6 18 /11 /novembre /2017 18:59
Des massages professionnels pour nos chiens par Christiane Koch-Champeval - massotherapy for our dogs.

Christiane Koch-Champeval est massothérapeute certifiée pour petits animaux. Ayant elle-même des chiens de traîneau avec son conjoint Jean-Marc, elle se spécialise sur ces athlètes. Elle se rend compte que le massage standard de 20 minutes par animal ne peut pas être réalisé dans le milieu de la course longue distance.  Elle enseigne maintenant une méthode qui est rapide et efficace. 

 

Christiane offre son temps et son expérience pour le massage de mon équipe Iditarod pendant l'entraînement et avant la course.

Merci, Christiane.

 

Christiane Koch-Champeval is massotherapist. She is a certified small animal practicioner. She is also a musher and  owner of sled dogs with her husband Jean-Marc. She practices on her team and she realizes that standard massage, 20 minutes for each dog, does not work with the reality of sled dog racing. She teaches now a technique that is fast and efficient.

Thank you, Christiane.

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14 juin 2017 3 14 /06 /juin /2017 19:38

PRÉSENTATION DES CHIENS.

 

Pour l'Iditarod 2018, mon équipe sera constituée de quelques vétérans d’expérience et de quelques jeunes. L’équipe de course est constituée de 19 chiens à l’entraînement.

 

For the Iditarod 2018, my team out of 19 dogs will include some experienced veterans and some young dogs.

 

Anvic, né en 2010. Il a terminé l’Iditarod 3 fois et de nombreuses courses de 300 miles en Alaska. Il vient de chez Dean Osmar.

Anvic, born in 2010. He is an Iditarod finisher and he raced in many 300 miles races. he comes from Dean Osmar's kennel.

 

 

 

 Devil, né en 2010. Il a fini l’iditarod 2014 et participé jusqu’à Ruby en 2015. Il a terminé la Yukon Quest 300 en 2017.

Devil, born in 2010 in my kennel. He is an Iditarod finisher in 2014.

Sponsor : VIANNA LINKE

DEBORAH MCKINSTRY

 

 

Doulik, née en 2010, elle a participé à L'iditarod en 2014 jusqu'à Mc Grath et en 2015 jusqu'à Galena. Elle sera remplaçante en 2018.

Doulik, née en 2010. Elle a participé à L’Iditarod 2014 jusqu’à Mc Grath et à l’Iditarod 2015 jusqu’à Galena. Elle est remplaçante dans l’équipe de 2018

Doulik,born in my kennel in 2010. She took part in the Iditarod in 2014 to Mc Grath and in 2015 to Galena. She is the replacement dog in my 2018 team.

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

MICHÈLE MARCLAY

LAURA PETREY

 

 

 

 

Eagle, né en 2012. Excellent costaud. Il a terminé l’Iditarod en 2015 et la Yukon Quest 300 en 2017.

 

Eagle, born in my kennel in 2012. Good strong dog. He finished the Iditarod in 2015 and the Yukon Quest 300 in 2017.

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

BERNARD AESCHLIMANN

 

 

 

 Echo, fille de MR. X et Doumia. Née en 2012. Chienne de tête. Elle a terminé l’Iditarod en 2015 et la Yukon Quest 300 en 2017.

 

Echo, Mr. X and Doumia's daughter. Born in 2012. Leader. She finished the Iditarod in 2015 and the Yukon Quest 300 in 2017.

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

BLAISE MATILE

 

 

 

 Elim, né en 2012. C’est le fils de Mr. X et Doumia, comme les autres « E ». Il a terminé l’Iditarod en 2015 et le Yukon Quest 300 en 2017. Il aime aller en avant.

 

Elim, born in 2012, Mr. X and Doumia's son, like the other "E". He finished the Iditarod in 2015 and the Yukon Quest 300 in 2017. He likes to lead.

 

PARRAINS - SPONSORS :

JACQUES MEZERGUES 

DEBORAH MCKINSTRY

 

 

 

 

 ÉMERAUDE, née en 2012, elle a participé à l’Iditarod en 2015 jusqu’à Manley Hot spring, la course étant partie de Fairbanks et la Yukon Quest en 2016 de Fairbanks à Carmacks avec Sébastien Dos Borges Santos.

 

Emeraude, born in 2012, she took part in the Iditarod in 2015 to Manley hot spring, the race started from Fairbanks and she made the Yukon Quest in 2016 from Fairbanks to Carmacks with Sebastien Dos Borges Santos.

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

NICOLE CHRISTIN

 

 

 Éole, née en 2012.  Chienne de tête, elle a terminé l’Iditarod en 2015 et la Yukon Quest 300 en 2017.

Eole, born in 2012. leader, she finished the Iditarod in 2015 and the Yukon Quest 300 in 2017.

HÉLÈNE GIRARDEAU

 

 

 

 

 Falcon, né en 2014, chien d’équipe, il a terminé la Yukon Quest 300 en 2017.

 

Falcon born in 2014 in my kennel, team dog, he finished the Yukon Quest 300 in 2017.

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS : MADELINE YANG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flipper, né en 2014. Chien d’équipe. Il a fait la Yukon 300 jusqu’à Pelly Crossing.

 

Flipper, born in 2014, Falcon's brother, he was in the Yukon Quest 300 to Pelly Crossing. Team dog.

 

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

DANIÈLE HOLDER

EMELINE LOTRIAN

KATHLEEN KARIBALIS

BETH VALENTINE

 

 

 

  Gaby, née en 2015, lignée Jessie Royer. Elle a fini la Yukon Quest 300 en 2017.

Gaby was born in 2015 in Jessie Royer's kennel. She finished the Yukon Quest 300 in 2017.

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

CHRISTIANE BULA

 

 

 

Gin  Gin, soeur de Gaby, elle a participé à la Yukon Quest 300 jusqu'à Carmacks où je l'ai déposée parce qu'elle était en chaleure.

Gin Gin, Gaby's sister, was in the Yukon Quest 300 in 2017 to Carmacks, dropped because in heat.

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

VIOLETTE CHRISTIN

 

 

 

 

Gamine, née en 2015, lignée Jessie Royer.  Excellente chienne très timide.

Gamine was born in Jessie Royer's kennel. Very good dog. Shy.

PARRAINS/SPONSORS :

THIERRY MAURER - VENT DU NORD

ALINE VUILLOUD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gipsy, née en 2011. Elle a fait plusieurs courses longues distances avec Sonny Lindner et Jessie Royer.

Gipsy was born in 2011. She raced in several long distances races with Sonny Lindner and Jessie Royer.

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

LISETTE EMERY

ROLAND ROCHAT

A guest from California that forgot to let her name.

SUE MARSHALL

 

 Granite. Né en 2011. Il a terminé l’Iditarod en 2017 et de nombreuses courses de 300 miles. Il vient de chez Dean Osmar.

 

Granite was born in 2011 in Dean Osmar's kennel. He finished the Iditarod in 2017 and several 300 miles races.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaltag est né en 2010. Il vient de chez Dean Osmar. Chien de tête qui a fait l'Iditarod.

Kaltag, born in 2010 in Dean Osmar's kennel. Leader. He finished the Iditarod.

 

 

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

BERNARD TERRIBILINI - VOS VOYAGES - YVERDON

 

 

 

 

 Morisson, né en 2008. Chien de tête, Il vient du chenil de Mareen Bradley. Il a fini la Quest 300 en 2013 et 2017. Il a fait l’Iditarod en tête du départ à l’arrivée en 2014 et 2015.

 

Morrison, born in 2008. Leader. He was from Mareen Bradley's kennel. He finished the Yukon Quest 300 in 2013 and in 2017. He was leader in the iditarod 2014 and 2015 from start to finish.

 

PARRAINS/MARRAINES - SPONSORS :

MAURICE GRANDJEAN 

ALINE VUILLOUD

DANIELE TOCK - VENT DU NORD

PASSAWEE UDOMKAEWKANJANA

DEBORAH MCKINSTRY

 

 

Smokey. Né en 2010.  Il a fini l’Iditarod en 2017 et de nombreuses courses de 300 miles en Alaska. Il vient de chez Dean Osmar.

 

Smokey was born n 2010. He finished the Iditarod in 2017 and several 300 races. He was born in Dean Osmar's kennel.

SPONSOR :

NATHALIE CLAIG

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 Volt, né en 2013. Il a fait plusieurs courses de 300 miles en Alaska. Il vient de chez Lance Mackey. Il peut aller dans n’importe quelle position.

Volt was born in 2013. He was in several 300 miles races. He was born in Lance Mackey's kennel. He can run in lead.

STEVEN LOTRIAN

VIANNA LINKE

DR KATHERINE A STEELE

 

 

AUTRES SPONSORS :

ROGER BOURGUIGNON : FRAIS VÉTÉRINAIRES - VETERINARY COSTS.

NICOLE BAUMANN

FAMILLE MICHAEL, GLADYS, DENALI ET SERVIAN LANGLOIS

CHRISTIANE KOCH-CHAMPEVAL - MASSOTHÉRAPEUTE - MASSOTHERAPIST.

VIANNA LINKE SPONSORS ALSO OTTER.

CHRISTIANE  BULA : BOOTIES

GRIZZLY VALLEY KENNEL : FISH

 

 

 

  THANK YOU      THANK YOU

   

 

VOUS VOULEZ PARRAINER UN CHIEN, CONTACTEZ-MOI. CHAQUE PARRAIN/MARRAINE RECEVRA LA PHOTO DU CHIEN ET UN SOUVENIR DE L'IDITAROD.

 

IF YOU WANT SPONSOR A DOG, GET IN TOUCH WITH ME. EVERY SPONSOR WILL RECEIVE THE DOG'S PICTURE AND A SOUVENIR FROM THE IDITAROD.

 

D'AUTRES PARRAINAGES SONT POSSIBLES POUR LES ENTREPRISES : LOGO SUR LE CAMION, LE TRAÎNEAU, LES MANTEAUX DES CHIENS OU MON MANTEAU.

 

OTHER SPONSORINGS ARE AVAILABLE FOR BUSINESS : LOGO ON THE TRUCK, THE SLED, THE DOGS' COATS OR MY COAT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 mai 2017 2 09 /05 /mai /2017 10:21
Dans ce livre, je partage, avec mes compagnons, l'aventure des deux plus grandes courses de chiens de traîneau, la Yukon Quest et l'Iditarod.

Dans ce livre, je partage, avec mes compagnons, l'aventure des deux plus grandes courses de chiens de traîneau, la Yukon Quest et l'Iditarod.

Bonjour les amis,

Je serai en Suisse du 16 au 27 mai 2017.

 

Je serai à la foire du Sentier le samedi 20 mai 2017, toute la journée, pour dédicacer mon troisième livre "Ces extraordinaires chiens de traîneau".

 

Le 20 mai, en soirée, j'ai une rencontre avec les membres du Musher Club, après leur assemblée.

 

Le 25 mai 2017, je fais une présentation et une séance de dédicace à Yverdon, au restaurant de la plage, à 19h00.

 

À bientôt

En Suisse du 16 au 27 mai 2017
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2 avril 2017 7 02 /04 /avril /2017 18:09

Chers amis,

Je serai en Suisse du 16 mai au 28 mai 2017. Je vais avoir avec moi mon 3 livre, "Ces extraordinaires chiens de traîneau", disponible pour la vente. J'ai quelques dates disponibles pour une présentation ou une conférence. Si vous avez des suggestions, contactez-moi.

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24 mars 2017 5 24 /03 /mars /2017 08:19

Mon troisième livre, "Ces extraordinaires chiens de traîneau", vient d'être publié aux Éditions Alayuk. J'y relate mes aventures lors de la Yukon Quest 2012, l'iditarod 2014 et 2015 avec mes valeureux compagnons. Pour le commander, contactez-moi par e-mail : fressineau54@gmail.com

My third book, "These amazing sled dogs" is published in french. I wrote about my races with my incredible canine friends, the Yukon Quest 2012, the Iditarod 2014 and 2015. I work on the english version. It could take a few months.

 

NOUVEAU LIVRE
NOUVEAU LIVRE
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9 février 2017 4 09 /02 /février /2017 21:09

 Entrevue sur TFO (Télé Franco-Ontarienne)

Cet automne, j'ai participé à une entrevue avec Gisèle Quenneville pour la télévison Franco-Ontarienne pour l'émission carte de visite, voilà le lien : http://www.tfo.org/fr/univers/carte-de-visite/101066526/marcelle-fressineau-meneuse-de-chiens-alayuk-adventures

Émission  France 3 "Faut pas rêver"

L'hiver dernier, nous avons participé à l'émission "Faut pas rêver".

 L’émission  "Faut pas rêver" / Grand Nord / Yukon a été diffusée hier en France. Elle a été vue par 2 millions de téléspectateurs  et sera rediffusée prochainement sur TV5.
Vous pouvez la visionner durant une semaine à l’adresse suivante, sur Youtube :  http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5M8lBTuF84

 

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3 février 2017 5 03 /02 /février /2017 12:41

 English version hereunder.

Demain, 4 février, je serai au départ de la Yukon Quest 300, à Whitehorse, avec mon équipe de 12 chiens :

Morrison,  Kaltag, Devil, Elim, Eagle, Echo, Eole, Falcon, Flipper, Gaby, Gin Gin, Gipsy.

Le départ est à 15h heure du Yukon et nous partons en 2ième, soit à 15h03.

Tomorrow, February 4th, I will be on the start of the Yukon Quest 300, in Whitehorse, with my 12 dogs team : Morrison, Kaltag, Devil, Elim, Eagle, Echo, Eole, Falcon, Flipper, Gaby, Gin Gin, Gipsy.

The start is at 3 pm, Yukon time, We start in second position, at 3h03 pm.

 

Morrison, Devil
Morrison, Devil

Morrison, Devil

Eagle, Echo
Eagle, Echo

Eagle, Echo

Elim, Eole
Elim, Eole

Elim, Eole

Falcon, Flipper
Falcon, Flipper

Falcon, Flipper

Kaltag - Gipsy
Kaltag - Gipsy

Kaltag - Gipsy

Gaby - Gin Gin
Gaby - Gin Gin

Gaby - Gin Gin

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26 juin 2015 5 26 /06 /juin /2015 18:18
My team, Iditarod 2015, ceremonial start. Photo Jeff Schultz.

My team, Iditarod 2015, ceremonial start. Photo Jeff Schultz.

Monday, March 9. This is the real start in Fairbanks. The temperature is dropping under – 20 F.

I am as excited as the dogs are and I can’t wait to start. I try to stay on the drag mat, but it is difficult to slow down my team. They are very happy to run the 16 together for the first time this season. They like to run after the other teams too.

My team at the start is composed of : Mr. X and Morrison as leaders, Feist and Beaver as swing, Beige and Olive, Devil and Cheyenne, Baïkal and Emeraude, Carmack and Doulik, Eagle and Eole as team and Elim and Echo as wheel.

Mr. X and Morrison, leader from Fairbanks to Nome.   Emeraude during the vet. check. Photos Jeff SchultzMr. X and Morrison, leader from Fairbanks to Nome.   Emeraude during the vet. check. Photos Jeff Schultz

Mr. X and Morrison, leader from Fairbanks to Nome. Emeraude during the vet. check. Photos Jeff Schultz

Elim and Carmack.                        BaïkalElim and Carmack.                        Baïkal

Elim and Carmack. Baïkal

Beige and EchoBeige and Echo

Beige and Echo

Beaver                                  Cheyenne and Niivi. Photos Isabelle Dubois.Beaver                                  Cheyenne and Niivi. Photos Isabelle Dubois.

Beaver Cheyenne and Niivi. Photos Isabelle Dubois.

Devil and DoulikDevil and Doulik

Devil and Doulik

Feist and Olive.Feist and Olive.

Feist and Olive.

Eagle,  Eagle and Eole.Eagle,  Eagle and Eole.

Eagle, Eagle and Eole.

Fairbanks start. Photo Jeff Schultz

Fairbanks start. Photo Jeff Schultz

Shortly after the start, nothing exists except our dogs. We live intensely in the present time. It is difficult to describe but it is the feeling to really exist. It is very agreeable and it is why mushers want to take part in these races year after year.

The first stage to Nenana, 60 miles, is on the Tanana River. It takes us about 6 hours. We take a few hours rest.

The second stage to Manley Hot spring, 90 miles is a night run. The temperature is still dropping for a few degrees. We leave the river to follow a narrow trap line. It is not easy for passing. We are still many teams on the same schedule. The northern lights dance in the sky. I take a rest and give a soup to the dogs.

We arrive near 9h30 in Manley Hot Spring.

Rest in Manley Hot Spring.

Rest in Manley Hot Spring.

The first 150 miles in less than 24 h! A little bit too fast for my team. I take care of the dogs. I decide to drop Feist. Since we left home, she is not at her best. She looks very tired and does not eat well. I go to take a rest and stay asleep too long. When I come back, Emeraude is limping. I don’t see any injury. The veterinary thinks that it is better to drop her. She has probably a cramp. It is better for her to have more rest and a good hydration.

The stage for Tanana, 66 miles is mainly a night run. It is very cold. We arrive near 2 am. After the veterinary checkup, I decide to drop Baïkal, his shoulders muscles are painful and Olive, she is exhausted and the next stage is long. It would be better to not carry a dog in the basket. I like Tanana as well as all the Natives villages. The people are so kind. For me, these villages are the soul of the race.

After a few hours rest, we are ready to start with 12 dogs for a long stage of 119 miles to Ruby on the Yukon River. The dogs take a slower pace. The first part is during daylight. I take a rest to give a soup. At the end of the day, the wind starts to blow up. We zigzag from one side of the river to the other. I look for a good place to make a long rest. Finally, I find a good spot, sheltered from the wind. The night falls. The northern lights are beautiful.

Northern lights.

Northern lights.

Several teams are passing us. This is the longest stage and I forgot to put on my GPS. At least, the check points are registered. I can realise than Ruby is still far away.

After a 6 hours rest, we start again. The wind is blowing. We pass near a cabin where many teams are resting. We keep going.

The late night and early morning hours are the coldest. Beige is tired. It looks like a mental problem but I take him in my sled. On the horizon, I see a big wind storm coming on the river. I reassure myself. I hope that the trail is not going that way. It should turn soon before going into this blizzard. No, we rush into it. I get worried and I have to protect myself from the wind who try to nip and bite me. If Mr. X stops or makes a half turn, I am screwed. The markers are missing due to the strong wind. Other mushers could pass nearby and I could not see them. Mr. X is still going with only one idea. It is to speed up, to go away of this area as soon as possible. The dogs have to get into snowdrifts. After one or two hours, the wind is going down. Thank you Mr. X, you are really formidable.

Finally, we arrive in Ruby, after more than 24 hours. I decide to take my 24 hours mandatory layover here. It is very cold but next days too. The veterinaries check Beige. They don’t find anything wrong. I hope to take him back in my team. Devil has a stiff shoulder and a beginning of frostbite on the penis. Massage and ointment. Every 6 hours, I take the dogs for a short walk to avoid numbing. I like Ruby. It is also a native village. The local people bring a very good moose soup and a delicious dessert.

It is fun to be a veteran because I know many friendly volunteers as Mark. He is in charge of Ruby and Kaltag check points.

Ruby check point. Photo Mark Greene

Ruby check point. Photo Mark Greene

Before leaving, I ask to the veterinaries for checking Beige and Devil.

Devil is still stiff. It is better for him to stay here.

The veterinary confirms that Beige is in good shape. Even more, he took a good rest and a lot of food.

I leave Ruby with 11 dogs. The start is slow until all dogs have to relieve themselves. After barely less than 2 miles, Beige decides to stop. I go back to Ruby and drop Beige.

I finally start from Ruby with 10 dogs. We are still on the Yukon River. It is wide and flat. The dogs are doing well. My main concern is the cold and the wind. Usually, I get used to be cold, but it is colder than usual.

Mr. X and Morrison are very happy to be in a known trail. The stage is not too long, 50 miles.

In Galena, this year, the check point is located at the old military base. It is very functional. Many mushers stop here for their 24 hours mandatory layover. Myself, I like better the native village.

I feel a little bit like my dogs. It seems that I were here not a long time ago.

Doulik has a swollen and painful wrist. I drop her here to give her enough time to recover.

I leave Galena near 3h30 am. The temperature is near – 40 F. I am freezing and I am not able to warm up. I am looking for my parka, thinking that I forgot it in Galena when I realize that I wear my parka, all zippers closed. I travel with other teams but I note that with only 9 dogs, I am slower than the 14 to 16 dog teams. I should travel to my own pace.

We still have a 590 miles to go to Nome. It is better to not think too much about that. I decide to go from one check point to the next one and I am going to fully appreciate this adventure.

Near 5 am, we are travelling on frozen ponds. When I snack the dogs, I am so cold that I take a look on my thermometer: - 58 F.. Well, I understand why I am so cold. No, I do not camp here. I speed up to the cabin. Several mushers are already there. It is a better place to take a break.

During the day, the temperature is rising to – 40 F.

Since we left Fairbanks, we are pleased to see beautiful sunsets, sunrises and northern lights. I have a camera but it is not working when it is so cold.

The stage of 82 miles is 92 on my GPS. Never mind, the sky is so beautiful with a colorful sunset.

We arrive in Huslia. Photos Jeff schultzWe arrive in Huslia. Photos Jeff schultz

We arrive in Huslia. Photos Jeff schultz

We arrive in Huslia at 8h30 pm. It is really special and emotional for a musher to arrive in Huslia with a dog team. It is the native village of Georges Atla, the legendary champion. He passed away last February. In his village he has developed a centre for young Natives. They learn all about mushing and they have to take care of the dogs. It helps a lot the young to stay motivated and keep them away of alcohol or suicide. It is an excellent idea that we should copy in other northern communities. Huslia and the other villages of this area are the birthplace of mushing. The natives used the sled dogs for carrying things and they began to organize races between communities. Their sled dogs, that we call “Indian dogs” are the roots of the Alaskan husky.

The people are very nice and friendly. We feel that they are very proud to take part in the Iditarod race.

The volunteer in charge advises the mushers that the weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning is an intense cold, the temperature could drop to minus 60 F until 10 am.

Great! I am very tired and it’s a so nice place. It’s better to stay there. I already have one toe and three fingers that not answering anymore and it’s so cold that it could be bad for the dogs too.

I am very happy to be here. What it could happens, at least, I am in Huslia! It is half way.

Beaver get a diarrhea. It no serious but it is better to treat it as soon as possible to avoid dehydration.

I leave Huslia near 10h30 am. The temperature is going up and will reach minus 30, but the wind gets up.

The stage is long, the same than Galena-Huslia, about 90 miles. For my 9 dog team, the cabin located at 60 miles is too far. I stop after 6 hours near Brian Wilmhurst and Rob Cooke resting. It is less cold.

When I arrive in Koyukuk, it is snowing. I do not want to stop too long because the next check point, at 22 miles, is Nulato, my favorite.

I go inside, I stay on a chair, as a woman wakes me up! Hey, you are falling!!

Again, I have slept too much..

In Nulato, my 9 dogs are still in good shape.

All the way, I have time to observe my team: Eole, Elim, Eagle and Echo are the Mr. X’s litter. They will be 3 years old in May. They are really good as their father. After 6 hours, Eagle stops and says “It is brake time!’’ I stop a little bit, then I give him a little bit of encouragement and he starts again. His brother Elim pulls like crazy from Fairbanks to Nome. Eole and Echo, the sisters get the line tight all the way too. They also have a very good appetite. It is a very important quality for a long distance sled dog as they have to eat 10’000 calories every 24 hours.

In Nulato, I stop about 3h30. I know that it is a mistake because it is snowing and on the river, the trail is difficult to find. But Nualto is my favorite check point: A lady gives me a big bowl of moose soup.

The people here are thoughtful. They work hard to keep the check point clean. It is not easy after so many dirty and tired mushers! Sometimes, they have dog shit on their boots or they spill their food on the floor. Nulato is the cleanest check point. Thank you.

We leave near 4h30 pm. It’s snowing and windy. The trail is ok for the first half. After, it is dark, with the snow and the wind, I cannot see anything. Some markers are missing. It takes only a few seconds to go out of the trail and to not see the markers anymore. It is also possible to make a half turn without realising it. I check my heading often. The dogs have to go through snow drifts but they look well motivated. I am sure they remember where Kaltag is. We are still far away when we see a light. The dogs speed up. When we arrive in the village, I take a wrong marker. I don’t arrive at the check point but I remember from last year and the dogs too, we make a u turn to arrive at the right place with a warm welcome from Mark, who is in charge of the check point.

The stage to Unalakleet, first check point on the Bering Sea Coast, is long, 90 miles. There is a cabin, Old woman cabin at about 2/3 of the stage.

With my 9 dog team, I prefer to stop half way. I stop also at the cabin, but for a short time. The last 15 miles are very icy.

We are now on the coast and I am very happy. We are at only 261 miles from Nome. Only, if there are no blizzard, no injured dogs or other problems.

The dogs are in good shape. They eat well and no more diarrhea. A little bit of massage for the muscles.

Unalakleet is the best place to get a rest because there are real beds but I do not want to stay more than 6 hours when we learn that there is a storm on the Norton Sound (The 50 miles on the Bering Sea between Shaktoolik and Koyuk) and 20 racers are stopped in Shaktoolik waiting for a more clement weather. The check point is located in a very windy area. There are not many protected spots for the dog teams. Inside, it is also small with the outhouse inside, Arctic style, with an elevated big throne taking one third of the room and sending the smell to the entire building. It is easily understandable why I prefer Unalakleet. It sounds like a paradise to wait the end of the storm.

It is not the opinion of several mushers. They decide to go, anyway. Here in Unalakleet, the wind is calm.

Sunrise in Unalakleet.

Sunrise in Unalakleet.

In the afternoon, the volunteer in charge advises me that the wind is going down. I could leave.

Finally, I leave Unalakleet near 5h30 pm. Shaktoolik is located the other side of the bay, but first, we have to climb a hill. We arrive at the shelter. The wind is still calm. I decide to go on. We have a steep downhill. When I arrive on the ocean, it is terrible. The wind is still strong and face blowing. I do not see any marker! Mr. X perceives the trail. I am very worry. The gusts of wind are strong. It is very difficult for the dogs. I admire Mr. X. I can notice all the progress he made since the race last year where we taste the coastal blizzard near Safety. The trail is not visible anymore but we cannot stop here. Mr. X is very focused. Suddenly, I see a marker on the left. Mr. X does not want to go there. I insist, thinking that it is strange because usually when I put the light on a marker, he likes to run on it. He follows my order, but he was right. The marker is in middle of nowhere. Now, we are lost. I stop the team and go on foot, trying to find the trail again. I walk 5 minutes. I do not find the trail, but I also have lost my team. The dogs are sleeping somewhere on the ice but I cannot see them. My own foot tracks are disappeared already. They have their dog coats, hiding the harnesses reflectors. Fortunately, my friend Nicole bought collars with reflectors for all the team. It is how I find them again. I jump on my GPS, put a waypoint and go back to find the kind of trail. First, I realise that in going to this marker, we made a half turn because the wind is in my back instead in my face. Heading Shaktoolik, it is a headwind. Maybe it is why Mr. X want not go. It means that the check point is not so far. I look around during one hour. Finally, I find again the kind of trail. We go on. Sorry, Mr. X! You were right! After, one hour, stressed by the fear to not see any kind of trail, we can see a light. We are at about 15 miles of Shaktoolik.

At 3h20 am, we arrive at the check point. I receive a warm welcome. The staff and volunteers were very worry. They should have followed my track with the Spot tracker.

Shaktoolik

Shaktoolik

The wind shut down when I leave Shaktoolik, near 10h30 am. Despite the last storm, the markers are still on the trail. I am reassured. We are on the Norton Sound, a 50 miles on the sea. We can see the trail but there are a lot of snow drifts. As some are deep, the dogs try to turn around. With 9 dogs, my team is slow.

Mr. X is going with the nose near the ground following the track. Me, I have the face up admiring the vastness when I realize that we are following a dog trail but not the trail with the markers. I call Mr. X. This time, I am right. We go back to the markers.

I learn later than 2 mushers were lost.

Last year, I made this stage during the night. I am really happy to see. The view is spectacular.

Norton Sound.Norton Sound.

Norton Sound.

After 6 hours, I stop to rest as Eagle asks me.

The ravens follow the race. They clean the trail. Many mushers do not have bowls for their dogs. They pitch the food in the snow in middle of the trail. Many dogs leave this food. Every mile, we run on these piles of food.

The big raven that I am watching since a long time is so big that when I come closer, I realize that it is a wolf. I am very happy to see this big wolf. When he sees us, he moves away.

It is dark when a team pass me. It is Isabelle Travadon with her beautiful siberian huskies team.

I have another luck: The northern lights get up and dance in front of us.

We arrive in Koyuk at 10h40 pm. Dogs are in good shape. They eat well. But me, I am not. I still have the flu with too high temperature and a strong diarrhea. I am also very worried about next stage because last year, it was hard.

After a few hours rest, I decide to go on. I took a pill that the veterinary gave for Beaver’s diarrhea. It is very effective for me too.

Last year, I was stuck in a blizzard but this year, I am lucky. The dogs know where they are going. It’s great. Even the uphill to the village is an easy going. The view on the sea is nice.

I like Elim because there is a nice forest around. We arrive near 4 pm. Last year, the staff here gave me encouragements to go on as my motivation was down. They are happy to see me in a better mood.

My 9 dogs are still in shape, not fast but steady. We leave Elim at 11 pm. We are on the sea from here to Golovin. I am lucky. Good trail, good weather. We take a break in Golovin.

We arrive at 7h30 in White Mountains. We have the 8 hours mandatory layover. It is good for my flu. Like last year, all the mushers should fill a glass with their urine for the anti-doping test.

We leave White Mountains near 4h30 pm. Last year, it was the worst stage. First the uphills were slow and difficult. I saw Lisbet and Monica pass me running near their sled. At this time I felt old. When I arrived on the coast, I was in a terrible blizzard. I was not able to see anything. Mr. X and Morrison were following Lisbet’s team. They were in love with one of Lisbet’s dog. Finally, we catched them up.

This year, it is different. The trail is very good because a snowmobile race packed the trail. The up hills are easy because Elim and Eagle, my strongest dogs are still pulling hard, motivated by Mr. X, Morrison, Carmack, Beaver and Cheyenne, my veterans who know the trail.

When we arrive on top, it is beautiful. The sunset is shining. The visibility is so good that I see the ocean. I do not see any white out. Even the downhill is easier than last year. I think that the snowmobilers have cut some willows in curves.

On the coast, the sunset colors are reflecting on the glare ice or on the overflow. It is splendid but the dogs walk in the water and I have to change the booties.

Sunset and northern light.Sunset and northern light.

Sunset and northern light.

When it is dark, I admire the northern lights dancing in the sky. The coast shows itself under its best side. Last year it was the opposite.

We arrive in Safety at 1 am. I don’t stop. I have no idea which day we are. I took so many rests that I think we are Monday and I think that we are going to finish the race.

When we arrive in Nome, we arrive on the main street, without snow. A police car is waiting for us. Mr. X is not minded to follow this car. When we arrive near the bars that stay open all the night for the event, all the people are outside cheering us. That’s great but Mr. X is afraid and goes the other side in a parking lot. My team is tangled around a truck… The cops come to help me, then we cross the finish line! It is Sunday, 4h30 am. I am on time for the banquet.

What I like the most in this adventure, it is the intense sharing with my dog team in this incredible and merciless environment.

Thank you Mr. X, Morrison, Echo, Carmack, Cheyenne, Eole, Beaver, Eagle, Elim. Thank you also for the dogs that took part in the adventure: Feist, Olive, Baïkal, Beige, Devil, Doulik, and Emeraude.

All dogs are in good shape. 14 of them took part in our one week expedition first week of April. Now, like me, they are eager to go again.

Thank you to my team that help me for training or preparing: Gilles, Jade, Sophie, Sebastien, Thierry and Julien.

Thank you to my sponsors and my dogs’ sponsors.

Thank you to all the people that are involved in the race: the organisation staff, the volunteers, the veterinaries, the staff in the check points, the trail breakers.

Thank you to Mike Holland, Pam Aviza and the other people that help me in Anchorage or Fairbanks.

Thank you to Meredith Ahmasuk, where I stayed in Nome. His father Harold Ahmasuk is a musher, Iditarod veteran. He is now more than 80 years old.

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