One Man's Alaska

2011 Iditarod - Engine problems

March 10, 2011

2011 Iditarod News: So imagine, here you are, an Iditarod musher, just cruising along, minding your own business, when a fellow musher starts catching up to you. Being a nice guy, you pull over to the side of the road to let the other musher pass. So far, so good.

Turns out the second musher has a female dog in heat, so when they go by, your dogs go nuts, jumping all over each other, and twisting all their lines. At some point the only thing you can do is start letting some dogs loose in an effort to straighten everything out, even though letting sled dogs loose can be a really bad idea, because as I've mentioned before, they really do like to run.

Oh, and while this is happening, your a long, long way from civilization, somewhere in the middle of an Alaskan winter.

The story at

I ran across this true story yesterday on the website, but didn't have time to go back and get the details until now. Here are a few quotes from the story:

Jamaican musher Newton Marshall said he was on the right side of the trail between Finger Lake and Rainy Pass, when Buser's team surged beside him.

"I pulled over just to let him pass, and I guess he had a dog in heat or something, and so they went on to my team," Marshall said.

Buser told Swenson that the dogs tangled and he was forced to turn some of the team loose to unwrap the teams.

Some male dogs in Buser's team chased the female in heat down the trail, Marshall said.

Such is the life on the Iditarod trail.

If you haven't heard of the 2011 Iditarod Jamaican musher, here's a link to his web page on the website.

back to the One Man's Alaska front page