30 YEAR OLD YUKON QUEST Rookie
Nationality:
American
Occupation(s):
Owner/Guide at Arctic Dog Adventure Co.
Kennel Name:
Alaskan Kennels
Kennel Name Origination:
My grandparents Earl & Natalie Norris established our kennel in Anchorage in 1947. At the time, the Siberians my grandmother brought with her when she moved to Alaska were the first and only registered Siberians in Alaska, hence the name “Alaskan” kennels
Kennel Bloodlines:
Anadyr (Alaskan Kennels)
Breeds:
Siberian Husky
# of Dogs in Kennel:
40
Sponsors:
Arctic Dog Adventure Co., Underdog Feeds, Firewalker Kennels, Pale Blue Wanders Photography, Friends & Family

Musher Question & Answer

How many years have you been running dogs?
6
How did you get started running dogs?

At some point during university I realized the only thing I was truly passionate about was sled dogs. After I graduated in 2011, I handled for a distance musher in Norway, then equipped with my newfound knowledge on how to cut meat snacks, I came back to Alaska and ran my first Iditarod in 2014.

What do you love most about running sled dogs?
Are you a member of any other organizations involved in sled dog sports?
Not at the moment.
Why did you enter the Yukon Quest? What are your goals for the race?
Maintaining the workability of the Siberian Husky is very important to our kennel and we believe participating in races is the best way to meet that goal. My race goal is to make it to Fairbanks with a happy healthy dog team!
How did your dogs get their names?/ How do you choose names?

Barkly is noisy, Bitey is mouthy; Decibel is very loud. Viisi (5 in Finnish) is #5 in a litter of 7. Jenny, Jet & Jasmine are litter mates. Princess had a puppy named Pea and Powder had a puppy named Puff. Jim Brown has a son and daughter named Jimmy Jack & Jimmy Jill. Goblin and Ghost were born on Halloween. So, we often name dogs based on their family lines, characteristics, and/or pick a theme for the litter.

What music do you listen to on the trail?
Share a quick story about one of your indispensable Handlers

I’ve never had a “real” handler until last year, when I hired the indispensable Karolyn to help me with my guiding business, but I
have been blessed with best friends and a talented mom who have taken up the mantle of handler when I needed help. There are several start lines I NEVER would have made it to without their help.
From training, cooking, cleaning, packing, sewing, powdering booties, and emotional support, I am forever grateful to Franzi, Sarah, & my mom Kari for their help in making my dreams come true! I’m excited about the team aspect of the Yukon Quest and look forward to sharing this years journey with my partner Nils.

Tell us about your favourite experience with a volunteer on the trail
The volunteer on my mind this year is long time Iditarod volunteer Mark Greene, who unexpectedly passed away this summer. It’s the kindness and generosity of people like Mark that makes the folks supporting a distance race not just a community, but a family. He will be missed. As far as favorite experience on the trail, the pure, unexpected pleasure of hot coffee in Old Minto at -40F in the middle of the night during the 2015 Iditarod is hard to beat! Thank you school kids of Minto, AK !
List recent sled dog races and/or best performances
2014 - Iditarod - 48/69,2015 - Iditarod - 49/78, 2016 Iditarod 65/85, 2016 - Copper Basin - 37/47