Shaynee TraskaHometown: Gladwin, MI
Shaynee Traska, 30, was born and raised in Michigan. When she was nine years old, her aunt and uncle met Joe Redington, Sr. and told her about the race and the sled dogs. She then told her parents that she would race the Iditarod someday. She says, “After years of dreaming and praying, at the age of 14, I obtained my first sled dogs and started my own kennel in my hometown of Gladwin, Michigan. It was always my dream to run the Iditarod with a team of dogs I had raised and trained myself. I raced my team in Michigan for many years, eventually starting my own breeding program when I was 19. As the kennel size and the yearning to race in Alaska increased, I looked for ways to move the kennel north. In the spring of 2012, I loaded up my 25 dogs and drove the 4,000 miles to Alaska.” When she got to Alaska, she began working as a dog sledding guide in Juneau and found her winter home in Two Rivers. Shaynee continues, “That first winter I trained my dogs completely on my own while learning the trails. The team and I also competed in our first qualifying race, the Two Rivers 200 and earned the Vet’s Choice award.” Shaynee and Jeremy were married in the fall of 2014, and their kennel has grown to 40 dogs, the majority of which they have raised from newborns. “I have always imagined myself and the dogs traveling across the Lord’s beautiful creation and meeting the wonderful people in the villages along the way. After 20 years of dreaming, hard work and many adventures, God blessed me an amazing journey to Nome in the 2018 Iditarod. This year we will return to once again explore the wild country the trail offers and to draw closer to the land that we ever have through the highs and lows of mushing 1,000 miles. Howling ridge Kennel can’t wait to be a part of the beauty and toughness of the Iditarod again this year.