FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - Though the Iditarod is wrapping up, sled dog fever is still booming in Alaska. At one such demonstration of the sport, a mishap caused the dogs to run, without a musher, down a busy Fairbanks area highway. According to the owner, the dogs made an impromptu decision to go to Nome on their own.
A six-dog team runs away without a musher along a busy road in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The incident, part of which was captured on video, shows the dog team of musher Gwen Holdman, running along the Steese Expressway, heading south toward Airport Way in Fairbanks.
Holdman was giving a local boy a taste of dog mushing on the Chena River near Graehl Landing when the dogs hit an exposed patch of ice, turning the sled on its side and dumping those aboard. Rather than stop there, the dogs just kept going, running up the bank at the boad launch, taking two right turns, and heading out on the highway.
According to Holdman, some of the dogs had previously run the Iditarod. "I was really worried they were going to get hit by a car, you know. I mean, I was terrified. There were a lot of things that could have gone wrong, you know, in a situation. I really never had a team get loose like in an area where there's traffic before like that," Holdman said.
Thankfully, the dogs were safely stopped by members of the community, and no one was hurt in the incident.
"I was just so relieved they were fine and it just ended well," Holdman said. "And it's just so great to have good people around here that are willing to chip in and help when there's an emergency like that."