Sight For Sore Eyes

You could call it snot eye. A mucous discharge, yellow or greenish color, in the eye. It may be a result of dust or dirt in the eye, pollen and allergens; the worst variety is probably “pink eye” a contagious infection that spreads from one individual to another. Dogs, humans and other animals can have the discharge for many reasons. Earl Norris, the famous Siberian Husky musher, was often seen with this in the socket of his glass eye. Perhaps he took it out at night, put it in his pocket, then licked it before replacing it in the morning. That’s what Will Steger did with his contact lenses…

The first time I met Earl Norris was in 1974 at the Iditarod start. He told me “that sled will never make it to Nome.” The next time was January 1978 when I went to the Settlers Bay race near Knik. Earl offered again, “that sled will never make it to Nome.” I sold one of my sleds then to Rick Swenson and he used it all the way to Nome, though he was beaten by Dick Mackey in a photo finish.

Used On Three Continents

When eye discharge occurred with my dogs in the past, at races, for example, where veterinarians were present to advise and prescribe, they had their favorite ophthalmic antibiotic ointments with or without corticosteriods. I have a large collection of these small ointment tubes. I still have them because they were not effective most of the time, or if they were effective they did not work as well as the product of choice in my experience.

Terramycin  (oxytetracycline hydrochloride)

Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment with Polymixin B Sulfate

Again, in my experience, the first treatment had a major effect in 12 hours; the second and following applications stopped the discharge  completely.

My advice, if you are traveling with dogs, “Don’t leave home without it!”

On the subject of eye health, may be the subject of another post:

In the Alpirod year 1990 ?? both Jacques Philippe and Pascal Nicoud went snow blind in the Bramans Bessan stages. (Upper Val D’Arc, Haute Maurienne?) Beautiful high altitude trails under clear skies and bright sun.

One year during the Beargrease race Bill Smith frosted his eyeballs. These were much different conditions, snow at night that would stick to eyelashes making vision difficult so some mushers were not blinking enough. Doug Swingley did the same in Iditarod. Did they both wear contact lenses?

For many years I have been using ski googles, sometimes even at night. They have shading that improves contrast and blocks harmful UV from the sun. In the Pirena race Plateau de Beille I borrowed a special pair from Gerhard Offer that were perfect for running in moonlight without a headlight.




Doping Is In Vogue

Vogue, the magazine.

Kelli White

Kelli White a US Olympic Track star was the first athlete to be hit with the World Anti Doping Agenciy’s new enforcement methods including use of evidence and procedures in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well preempting due process provisions in US law. (Due process inter alia the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.) For her it was a “non-analytical positive result” which is bureaucratic double-talk, the same that Lance Armstrong is being hammered with; circumstantial evidence that would normally not be conclusive in a law court.

Where have you heard this before? “The threat from XX is so great and serious that we are suspending your right to YY.” Trust us! We are doing it for your own protection… What about the threat of coercive authority? What about the threat of government infringing on basic human rights? Historically that has been the most grave and harmful danger.

Kelli White was involved in what became known as the BALCO doping scandal. Unlike many others, Kelli White did admit to her offenses and told all.

I have been looking for a copy of the Vogue Magazine article with her detailed explanations of what she used, why she did it, what the effects and side-effects were. In one account she suggests that the drugs did not increase her native ability but allowed her to recover from minor injuries more quickly and stay in shape as she grew older. Maybe if I could get some Modafinil I would be able to find the article. The testosterone aka “the cream” and many other performance enhancing methods and drugs I habitually use are not enough to give me photographic memory.

In the absence of the  Vogue article here is a similar account she gave in testimony to Congress.

Statement of Ms. Kelli White U.S. Olympian, Track and Field

Committee on Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation

May 24, 2005

Mr. Chairman, esteemed members of the Committee, thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to appear before this very prestigious group. My name is Kelli White, and I appear here today having made the regrettable mistake of using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs during my athletic career as a sprinter. With my experience and knowledge regarding use of performance enhancing drugs, I welcome the opportunity to assist in the efforts to remove doping from sport.

By way of background, I competed in track and field for most of my life, having begun at the age of 10. In my early teen years, I began working with renowned coach Remi Korchemny, who would remain a significant figure in my life over the next decade and a half. I went on to compete collegiately and graduate from the University of Tennessee before turning professional in the year 2000. At that time, I returned home to the Bay area of California and began training full time with Mr. Korchemny.

Shortly thereafter, in December, 2000, my coach introduced me to BALCO founder Victor Conte. Conte initially gave me a package containing both legal supplements, as well as a substance which later became known as the clear or the designer steroid THG. At the time, I was unaware that anything I received from Mr. Conte was a prohibited performance enhancing substance as I was told by both my coach and Mr. Conte that the vial they had given me contained flaxseed oil. A few weeks later, Mr. Conte admitted to me that the substance he had given me was indeed not flaxseed oil, but rather a prohibited substance that if not taken properly, could yield a positive drug test. I immediately ceased using the liquid because at that time in my career I did not believe it was necessary to take performance enhancing drugs to be competitive. I competed over the next two years without the use of any performance enhancing substances despite being constantly urged to do so. I was continuously being told that the usage of performance enhancing substances were necessary to be competitive because everyone else was doing so.

My 2002 season was very difficult, as I struggled with injuries for most of the year. I had a great deal of uncertainty regarding my status as I entered by the 2003 season, and I did not want to miss it. I failed to make the 2003 Indoor World Team, and was receiving more pressure to start a performance enhancing drug regimen. My advisors were pointing to other performances of athletes, and saying I needed to do what they were doing in order to compete on that level.

In March of 2003, I made a choice that I will forever regret. I visited Mr. Conte at his lab which was near my home, and we sat down and devised a program to utilize performance enhancing drugs in my training and competition. At that time, I began taking EPO, the clear (or THG), the cream and stimulants. I remained on this program over the course of four months, and with the help of Mr. Conte, I was able to pass 17 drug tests both in and out of competition while utilizing these prohibited performance enhancing substances.

In a relatively short time period, I had gone from being a very competitive sprinter to being the fastest woman in the world! In June 2003, I captured both the 100 and 200-meter United States Championships, and followed that by winning the same events in the World Championships in August in Paris. Although I crossed the finish line first in all of those events, I knew in my heart it was accomplished partially because of the other line I had crossed.

Instead of what should have been the high point of my career and a tremendous accomplishment in my life, I was ashamed of the choices I had made. In addition to enhancing my performance on the track, there were other physical effects I encountered while taking this mix of substances. My blood pressure was elevated, and I also experienced an acne problem, increased menstrual cycle and slight vocal chord trouble. The first and only failed drug test I experienced was following the World Championship meet in Paris when a stimulant known as Modafinil was discovered in my urine sample, but the penalty for that substance would not have been even a suspension from track and field.

A few weeks after the World Championships, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies raided the BALCO Laboratory. A few months later, I admitted to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) officials what I had done as I have outlined for you today. I received a two-year ban from competition for my actions, as well as lost all of the results from my previous four years of competition. I also agreed to assist USADA in its mission to clean up sport, and now offer to be of service to this Committee in any way you see fit. I believe athletes who use performance- enhancing drugs are hurting themselves, cheating the public and betraying our youth. A performance-enhancing drug user trades his or her overall health, well-being and integrity for a shot at fame and fortune.

I believe it is important that you understand the reasons I made the choice to, in essence, cheat. I strongly believe that the use of steroids and other prohibited performance enhancing drugs are wrong, and the there is no place for such use in sports. However, athletes whom have made that choice are not necessarily bad people. In my own situation, there were many factors contributing to the very poor decision I made which included the influence of a long-time trusted coach. But most importantly, I began using these substances not to give me an advantage, but because I had become convinced I needed to use them to level the playing field with my competitors. It is a very troubling situation when you have trained to compete in a sport at the highest level, but feel those with which you are competing have an unfair advantage. I make neither any excuse nor justification for my horrible choice. I merely hope to lend some understanding to this Committee as to how someone who loved her sport and trained cleanly for most of her life got involved in this awful abuse.

My attorney, Jerrold Colton, and I have worked with assisting USADA in its efforts, and we believe this Committee should further support USADA as the fight is a very difficult one. Being mindful that my use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs was not detected through the extensive testing I received, USADA needs the resources to go further in its fight to detect the people who are breaking the rules. The BALCO scandal may not have been discovered without a competitor`s coach anonymously sending a syringe of THG to the USADA testers which ultimately led to the discovery of this heretofore unknown steroid.

Although I have been troubled by the disparity of the penalties facing track athletes versus other sports, I am mindful we are not protected by a players` association. I appreciate the many reasons why this Committee previously subpoenaed the BALCO documents pertaining only to the track and field athletes and turned them over to USADA rather than the other sports, but would like to see a more equal treatment of all sports. I also believe the roles of some national governing bodies involved in sports and the coaches which either assist in the wrongdoing or turn their backs on what they see must have some responsibility, culpability and penalty for their role in making sport unclean. The fight against drugs in sports is an extremely difficult battle. I am sorry that I cheated myself, my competitors, my sport, my family and the public for the choices I made in the past. As athletes, we know we are role models, and I betrayed my responsibility as such. Please feel free to call on me to play any role I can in assisting your Committee, USADA and anyone else you see fit in this very important matter. I hope in doing so, I help the sport I love more by what I do off the track, than anything I could have ever done on it. Thank you very much for your kind attention and for allowing me to appear here today.

Mr. Big Says

These are pages from a 1987 booklet explaining the relatively new Quick Change Runner System and other sled components.

The two Mr. Big illustrations were drawn by Jayne Richards Gagnon.

I think there is another Mr. Big advertisement that was placed in Team and Trail in the same period of time. I might run across it some day.

All in good humor; right, Rick?

Esdovie Subaki

E. I. Shereshevsky, West Siberian Laika…

This is a teaser, a stub as they say on wikipedia.

More information needed. How about it Renat, Anna O or Dasha? I gave that book to Malgorzata Szmurlo. Did she lose it?

1. Interesting but re genetics quite misguided:,N2Russia.html

2. Jajajaja (hahaha in Spanish): the following link describes Siberian Husky-like behavior. Of course it does, but admit that the Laika breed was not originally used as sled dog but for hunting. Laika is named for the dogs’ hunting behavior, chasing game until cornered or up a tree, then barking while waiting the hunter to show. (Sibe owners can recall their dogs’ willingness to bark almost forever.) Laika translation “barker.” Similar to Norwegian Elkhounds pursuing a moose.

3. More about Laikas:

Mike West

Clark Gable or William Powell in a movie version of White Fang? Nope; it’s Mike West from Hovland, Minnesota with a couple of his Malemutes; the Kotzebue not the Kobuk variety. Or was it vice versa? I’ll guess this was the kind of Malemute that Scotty Allan gave to Short Seeley when she was establishing the Siberian Husky breed. Knowledgeable pedigree experts could point them out in the studbook for Sibes. Betcha did not know that, some of you purebreed aficionados. And the Alaskan Husky fans don’t care except for the sake of argument.

Mike was another one of the World War II 10th Army Division musher veterans. He said that the Army got the intel mixed up on his dogs and Lou Wheeler’s so his dogs sat out the war at home. He trained raw soldier recruits in the program at Camp Rimini near Helena, Montana, then matched them up with dogs that purchasers like Dick Moulton shipped back from throughout North America.

He first came to Hovland as a trapper after running into his friend Benny Ambrose at a barber shop in Minneapolis in the 1920s. Pencil mustaches were the fad among macho movie actors, probably an artifact of the silent and low quality film period when they gave the leading men a strong upper lip on the silver screen.

Astaxanthin Is Good For Asta

Asta and other dogs benefit from this versatile super antioxidant from microalgae. If Asta was on facebook it’s a cinch he would “like” astaxanthin.

More recent research on astaxanthin: >   “We found a nearly 90% increase in the activation of the FOXO3 “Longevity Gene” in the mice fed the higher dose of the Astaxanthin compound CDX-085,” said Dr. Allsopp.

The oral bioavailability and fractional absorption of natural and synthetic carotenoids
(including esterified- and non-esterified astaxanthin) can be excellent in humans (14,31,
47,52,59), but is generally poor in other mammals (51,54). In particular, the “white fat”
animals (mice, rats, rabbits, canines, and swine) have poor fractional absorption of an oral
carotenoid dose (11,50). These animals, in particular rats, rabbits, and dogs, are utilized
for experimental infarction studies in preclinical efficacy evaluations of potential clinical
candidates. Therefore, improvement of the absorption of carotenoids after oral administration in animals facilitates the evaluation of the oral efficacy of potential cardiovascular leads.

Truly Bigly!

Myrna Loy and William Powell were the actors playing Nora and Nick Charles in the Thin Man movie series. Asta is their dog. Nora has the best lines but Asta plays an important role, sniffing out and discovering evidence; just as often he runs off with the clues or engages in other comical doggy antics.

When the police try to break down Nora to implicate Nick in a murder by telling her stories about his many previous lovers, she replies, “And I thought he was just bragging!” In another case, a jockey who was caught cheating in a horse race has been discovered dead. “They’re really strict at this track aren’t they,” she comments. She is the opposite of the typical good looking but dopey or psychotic dame of the movies.

Wins Dog Derby

From the Milwaukee Journal, February 5, 1940

International Falls, Minn. -(U.P.)-Ed Calder of Fort Francis, Ont., won the dog racing derby at the city’s annual Frost Frolic festival Sunday. Charles Nickerson of Cloquet was second and George Esslinger of Lake Kabetogama was third.

Mushers From The Pas

Mushers from the past: mushers from The Pas, Manitoba, ca.1930.

Shorty Russick on the left, Emile St. Goddard on the right. Who are the other two?

At the Lake Placid Olympics, the first winter Olympics held in North America, sled dog racing was a big attraction to readers and spectators as a sport that was already well known to many fans and the general public across the US and Canada since the days of the Klondike Gold Rush and the All Alaska Sweepstakes. The New York Times and Boston Globe regularly carried news of sled dog racing events across North America. Mushing served to establish the credibility of the Winter Olympic Games in the USA and Canada. In the two day race, 7 dogs, 25 miles each day, St. Goddard, a French Canadian from the Pas was first, Seppala, a  Norwegian then living variously in Eastern Canada and USA was second and Russick, a Russian or Ukrainian living in The Pas was third.

Emile, Shorty and other North American mushers in that era traveled by train to races in Quebec, New England and Idaho with their dogs in baggage cars like the one in the background. At the race location the baggage car would be uncoupled and left on a siding as a mobile rolling dog barn for the teams.

An archive of mushing and The Pas photos here: >

The Pas freight train

These photos below from 1917 and the golden era of mushing in the 1920s and 30s are from a collection that belonged to Eddie Barbeau, a musher who was a contemporary and the same generation as men like Roland Lombard, Charles Belford, George Esslinger, Norman Vaughan, Ed Moody, Dick Moulton, Stuart Mace, Lou Wheeler, Mike West; a generation younger than Goyne and Seppala who raced the Nome Sweepstakes in the teens then spread the Alaskan style of dog mushing and racing to New England, Canada and the lower 48. The photos were given to my neighbor, Arleigh Jorgenson, when he met Barbeau at one of the early Race to the Sky events in Montana. Barbeau was living in the Helena area then.

Waiting for Arleigh’s write-up on Eddie I am posting more photos here for now…







A better copy of the Sepp photo above would show that it is inscribed and signed by Seppala to his “good friend Emile St Godard”




Albert Campbell

The real hero and winner of the 1917 Winnipeg to St. Paul Winter Carnival sled dog race.

Albert Campbell, a Metis musher from the area around The Pas, Manitoba. Both Albert and his brother were in the now-famous race.

Two musher brothers whose father had recently died. Their mother said to them, go win that new sled dog race to honor your father.

A Walt Disney movie, Iron Will, had the story all wrong and backward.

The best article about the race which revived interest in the subject and lead to the Iron Will extremely fictionalized movie version. Winter 1971, Minnesota History Magazine:

>Campbell was born in The Pas, Manitoba (Canada) in the family of Creek native John Campbell (1875 – 1917) and French Adeline Beauchamp (1877 – ?).[1] He won The Pas Dog Derby in 1916, the first annual of 150 miles (240 km) long dog sled race held in his hometown as a part of Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival.[2]

However, he became best known in 1917 for winning the Red River Derby, the WinnipegSaint Paul 522 miles (840 km) dog sled race, which was part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival organized by the Saint Paul Outdoor Sports Carnival Association from 27 January to 3 February 1917.[3] His younger brother Gabriel, who also competed in the race, finished in fourth place. According to Campbell, by this success he fulfilled the last wish of his father, who died two weeks before the race started.[4] The race gained such widespread popularity that the Canadian government was reporting the news of the Campbell brothers’ progress to the Canadian troops fighting overseas in the First World War.[5] 

More details of the race:













Our Man In Knik

Straight from the horses mouth:





Larry’s pivotal role in the settlement of Alaska Native Land Claims:

“After the injunction, the state came down hard on Stevens Village. They sent a representative to the village to say, “Look, we wanted to give you guys freezers and hire your kids but because you got this injunction, we can’t do that now.” The chief of Stevens, Gus Evan, relented. The next day’s Fairbanks Daily News-Miner headlines read, “Stevens Village Doesn’t Want the Injunction.”
Al was flying back in from Washington, D.C., but DeLois was at home when Tim Wallis, Ruby Tansy and others began calling her on the phone, upset. Larry Brayton, our press agent, was mad too because Al “hadn’t told him anything”.

That night after Al got home, the Ketzlers agreed, “Okay, Stevens is giving up but we’re not. The other villages and us, we’re standing. Our position was that we had an agreement with the oil companies, they broke it but–we’re still standing.”

The next morning, the Ketzlers met Larry, now working with SkyRiver Films, for breakfast, who wanted to know what was going on. After they informed him, Larry said, “I tell you what! We’ll go back into Stevens with our cameras and film them giving up! And, we’ll get all the other villages to go in too!” The Ketzlers began organizing. They called Beaver, “We’ll have a meeting with all the people, tell them what’s going on and ask them, ‘Is this what you really want?’” Sam Kito and Tim Wallis flew up the Koyukuk River to bring villagers into town. In Stevens, we told them, ‘TAPS wants to give you freezers and jobs but to protect the land, you have to hold their feet to the fire. Do not give them right-of-way.’” After all was said, Stevens kicked everyone out so they could talk in private. They voted to stay with the injunction. “That was very pivotal,” DeLois pointed out.

“However,” Al added, “on the way back from Stevens Village after dropping someone off at Beaver, the engine on our plane quit. Although no one was hurt, we had to spend the night on a mountain. Kito and Wallis flew over, saw our predicament, and dropped three sleeping bags out. However, there were four of us. Guess who was the one without a bag. It was colder than hell and I thought I might freeze to death!”

Al continued, “Kito and Wallis brought Bettles Chief Charlie Evans and the chief of Beaver in to meet with Chief Peter John of Minto, who was solid. There had to be a consensus among the villages to block the oil companies’ right-of-way. They took a vote and together, they stood against TAPS getting venue.”

After the injunction—particularly when the courts backed it up–things happened really fast. The delay was costing TAPS a lot of money which caused pressure to accelerate to resolve Alaska Native land claims.”