Jason and Melissa Stewart own and operate Owl Creek Kennel in Knik, AK. Owl Creek Kennel’s origins go back to the mid-80’s and was started by Melissa’s parents Mike and Patricia Owens in Nome, AK. Our goal for this season is for Jason to compete in his first Iditarod and cross under the Burled Arch in Nome. Jason and Melissa welcomed their newest member, Ellen Patricia, to Team Stewart in August of 2017. Jason also has a son, Caswell, who is 12.
Melissa Stewart, 28, was born and raised in Nome, AK. She moved to the Mat-Su Valley in 2009 to attend Northern Industrial Training and decided to stay. She later earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Charter College. Melissa has wanted to run the Iditarod as long as she can remember. Her dad ran the Iditarod the year she was born and mushing is in her blood. After completing four Jr. Iditarods and winning in 2005, Melissa ran her first Iditarod in 2008 and at the age of 18 she became the youngest female competitor to finish the Last Great Race. In 2017 she crossed under the Burled Arch for her 3rd time at 19 weeks pregnant. Melissa will be taking a year off from racing while taking on the new challenges of motherhood, but look for her out on the trails soon enough. Melissa also operates her own home-based business, Alaska Soaps & Scents, making and selling soaps and other personal care products,
Jason Stewart, 42, was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. Served Honorably in the USMC Infantry from 1993-1997. He received his Associates of Arts Degree from Hagerstown, Maryland in 2002. When he was 12, he had started spending summers in Alaska visiting his dad and his brother, Since he got tired of feeling homesick whenever he left Alaska, he left Maryland permanently in 2004 and moved to Alaska. He got started running dogs with an overnight camping trip in 2000. In 2011 he became a handler for another musher. In 2012, Jason met his future wife, Melissa Owens, and began getting as serious about her as he was about dogs. He ran his first race in 2015 and hasn’t stopped since. Jason has worked as a Corrections Officer for the past three years. He is also an Advanced Glock Armorer. He enjoys building dogsleds in the off season and helping his wife with her business ventures.