Support The Team

Where can you help support the team?
The amazing sport of dog mushing is extremely expensive. Many races do not typically have a large purse to pay out to top finishers...teams are lucky if they get their race expenses paid by what they earn.  The Iditarod is not only a huge undertaking and dream for musher and team, it is a huge financial devotion.  Many veteran Iditarod mushers agree that the cost for racing the Iditarod alone is approximately $20,000. To maintain a 40-dog kennel is one commitment, but to train for and race 1,000 miles is another.  If you feel like you would love to be a part of this team and help the kennel as they chase their snowy dreams, please let us know!  Send us something from the “Contact” section, Shaynee can help you figure out where your donations would best be spent, or you can let us know what you have in mind!  Below are some facts, figures, and suggested gift-giving ideas.  ANY help in ANY way, big or small, is beyond appreciated...we can't do this without YOU!

A Look at the Expenses...

  • Iditarod Entry Fee:  $4,000

  • Additional Race Entry Fees: The kennel will be doing a couple other mid-distance races prior to Iditarod, entry fees range from $50-$500

  • Booties:  We will need roughly 5,000 booties for training and racing at $1/bootie

  • Dog Jackets:  On occasion we need to buy new dog jackets to replace older, worn out ones. These cost about $45/jacket.

  • Miscellaneous Personal Gear:  Hand/toe warmers (we have tested many brands over the years and have found that “HeatMax, HotHands” makes the warmest and longest lasting chemical warmers, so we prefer these), trail food, gloves and socks for each checkpoint, batteries for headlamps

  • Miscellaneous Kennel and Racing Supplies:  Vaccines (yearly 5-way and Kennel Cough, required by race rules), probiotics and supplements for the dogs, runner plastic for the sled (will need to send out multiple sets to different checkpoints, $45/set of plastic), straw (we use in dog houses, on camping trips with the dogs, and sometimes need to provide our own for races, $10/bale), Heet (fuel used in our “cookers” to melt snow/heat water for the dogs when out on the trail)

  • Travel Expenses:  There will be many travel expenses for the team before and after Iditarod.  Here are a few of the costs...Gas to travel from Fairbanks to Anchorage for race start and home again after race (roughly 360 miles one way), Hotel in Anchorage, Iditarod Start-Anchorage, Flight for Jeremy to Nome to welcome Shaynee and the team, Hotel in Nome, Return flight for Jeremy, Shaynee, and team (yes, all of the dogs fly commercial airlines home!), plus sled and gear. Factor in other races the team will run prior to Iditarod and all travel expenses go up.

  • Day-to-Day Food Costs: Outside of racing, Jeremy and Shaynee must supply the basic, daily necessity of feeding a high fat/high protein diet to the athletes.  During the training and racing season, the kennel will go through a 40 pound bag of kibble (at around $50/bag) and 30 pounds of meat and fat (averaging about $1/lb) in ONE day

"Handler" Donations 

Become a "financial handler" for the Howling Ridge Team!


Handlers are extremely important in dogsled racing.  In many races, these crucial human members meet the teams at checkpoints to provide moral support and clean up after the musher once the team has hit the trail again.  In the Iditarod, handlers are typically not at checkpoints, as they are all remote and cannot be driven to. In fact, outside assistance is illegal during the race...the musher and team is on his/her own.  So this is your opportunity to act as a “financial handler” and support in another way!  At each checkpoint, all of the dog and human food and gear is sent out in bags for the mushers to resupply.  If it's not in those bags, too bad!  One of the most stressful parts of the race is buying, sorting, packing, and planning all of these bags that will be shipped to 24 different checkpoints.  Help us make sure we can fund all of these resupply stops along the beautiful, wild Iditarod Trail!

 

Donation Levels:

The Willow Start Handler:

Donation amounts of $100 will help get the team "hooked up and ready to go" at the starting line in Willow, Alaska. From this point forward, teams are on their own for the next 8-14 days. Willow Start Handlers will receive a shout-out on social media and a calendar of awesome photos taken on the trail during training and racing runs.

The Iditarod Halfway Handler:

Donation amounts of $500 will celebrate teams completing nearly 500 miles of The Last Great Race. During odd-numbered years, the halfway checkpoint of the race is the ghost town of Iditarod. Teams are in some incredibly desolate country during this portion. Iditarod Halfway Handlers will receive a shout-out on social media, a Howling Ridge calendar, and a copy of the children's book, "Dreaming of Snowflakes"...a story of Shaynee's mushing journey!

The Coast Handler:

Donation amounts of $1,000 will help Shaynee and the team during some of the toughtest miles on the trail. When mushers reach the Bering Sea coast, they are beyond exhausted and already thinking about the sea ice, unrelenting winds, and, surprisingly enough, huge hills that will greet them and their furry companions. Coast Handlers will receive a shout-out on social media AND at race banquets, a Howling Ridge calendar, and a copy of "Dreaming of Snowflakes".

The Nome Finish Line Handler:

Donation amounts of over $1,000 will celebrate the wonderful victory of completing 1,000 miles across Alaska by dog team! Whether finishing first, last, or anywhere in between, every single dog and musher has overcome great obstacles and life-changing moments during this great adventure. We celebrate the drive and determination to reach the town of Nome and the accomplishment of a dream. Nome Finish Line Handlers will receive a shout-out on social media as well as during race banquets, YOUR name/company name displayed on our website, a Howling Ridge calendar, a copy of "Dreaming of Snowflakes, and, if applicable, logo patches/stickers of YOURS displayed on our clothing/gear.

 

 

Individual Checkpoint Handlers:

Suggested for families interested in donating:

Pick Your Favorite Iditarod Checkpoint:  Have a favorite checkpoint along the trail?  Maybe the beautiful mountain vistas at Rainy Pass or the windswept Bering Sea Coast of Shaktoolik?  You can choose a checkpoint you would like to support and the amount you pay will be the distance from the previous checkpoint to your checkpoint! Your donation will help fill our drop bags with vital food and gear for that particular leg of the race. Individual checkpoint handlers will receive a shout-out on social media when the team reaches that location.

  • Yentna: $42   Checkpoint at the confluence of the Yentna and Susitna Rivers

  • Skwentna: $30  Checkpoint is a cabin on the Skwentna River

  • Finger Lake: $40   Beautiful checkpoint on Finger Lake surrounded by mountains

  • Rainy Pass: $30  Upon leaving checkpoint, will climb to highest point in race (3,160 ft) and drop down into the infamous Dalzell Gorge

  • Rohn: $35  Little log cabin nestled in the spruce trees below the mountains, populaion:  zero

  • Nikolai: $75   Reaching this checkpoint, the toughest part of the race is behind the team!

  • McGrath: $48  A favorite checkpoint for teams to take their mandatory 24-hour rest...will Howling Ridge spend their longest rest here?

  • Takotna: $18   Small village of 75 people, great hospitality

  • Ophir: $23  A cabin built in the 1930's is the checkpoint near the end of "the road" in old gold mining territory

  • Iditarod:  $80     During the gold rush days, was a booming mining town of 10,000 people.  Now a ghost town comprised of an abandoned cabin.  Extremely remote and lonely.  Halfway to the finish line!

  • Shageluk:  $55  Hilly run coming into Shageluk.  Village sits on the Innoko River.

  • Anvik:  $25   Upon leaving Anvik, the team will run upstream on the Yukon River.

  • Grayling:  $18  Checkpoint on the Yukon River, village of roughly 200 people.

  • Eagle Island:  $62   This checkpoint is held at the only cabin in the area, there is no village or town here.  There will be a tent for mushers to warm up in.  And that's it.  As the Iditarod website description relays, mushers and race officials will be the "only living humans in an area larger than many entire states". 

  • Kaltag: $60   Last checkpoint on the Yukon River

  • Unalakleet: $85  Largest town between the start and finish, 800 people

  • Shaktoolik: $40   Windy-upon leaving the checkpoint, will hit the sea ice on Norton Bay

  • Koyuk: $50  Village on the wide-open Norton Bay

  • Elim: $48   Upon leaving this village, teams will head onto the sea ice

  • White Mountain: $46   Mandatory 8-hour rest for teams, checkpoint on the bank of Fish River

  • Safety: $55   Last checkpoint of the race at the Safety Roadhouse

  • Nome: $22   Finish line on Front Street underneath the burled arch

    Some descriptions of trail, checkpoints, and distances used from www.iditarod.com

Sorting gear into piles to pack in drop bags for a 300 mile race-notice blankets for the dogs, extra boots, jackets, bibs for musher, runner plastic for sled

Site Title

Help us pack those bags! 

Photo by-Gary Bekoalok

Drop bag items-food/water
for musher, booties/creams/
ointments for dogs, hand and
toe warmers
The best part of drop bag packing...having it done!

Iditarod drop bag packing...and this is just the dog food!

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