Friday, November 19, 2010

The Denali Kennels

One of the common subjects of interest at Denali National Park and Preserve is the Sled Dog Kennels. The park was established in 1917 and the first Superintendent, Harry Karstens, was appointed in 1921. Karstens was already a musher and he brought his dogs with him for patrols. He established the park kennels; sled dogs have been active in the park ever since.

Not only are they more historically accurate for park operations, the dogs provide a means of transportation in the winter here that mechanized transport can't. They are more in keeping with the wilderness of Denali, where mechanized transport doesn't fit.

A team of 8 dogs coming back to the kennels after a short patrol:

The dogs are a favorite of most people around here. People - including park staff - flock to the kennels to meet the dogs, learn about the kennel operations, watch demonstrations, and (staff members) walk the dogs.

I've visited the kennels twice so far. Next week I get my training on walking and feeding the dogs. I'm so excited! A few more pictures:

Aurora and Trout wondering when it will be their turn to run:

Pup Sylvie (about 8 weeks old) trying to eat the current Flat Stanley mailing. The class that gets this picture will love it! Sylvie just came to us from a kennel in Eagle, AK. She's so cute when running around sniffing and chewing on anything that doesn't run away.

Three more pups - this summer's litter. I still don't know all of their names.

Tuya got to lead on this patrol. He looks rather happy; he's ready to run again! These dogs have more energy than any other beings I've seen. ;)

If you'd like to read more about Denali's Kennels and meet the dogs, click here.

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