Above is a journal entry I did when volunteering for the Iditarod in March on drop dogs and the people who care for them. Drop dogs are the dogs that are left behind as the musher and his team continue the race. There are many reasons a dog may be “dropped” at a check point. An injury, dehydration, not eating, etc.
Every dog is given a thorough check-up upon arrival at every checkpoint by checkpoint veterinarians. A veterinarian can pull a dog from the team, but, from what I witnessed 99.9% of the decisions to drop a dog were made by the musher. As it should be. They have been with these dogs day-in- day-out since training began in early fall and know these dogs very well.
Once the dogs are dropped they are cared for, 24/7, by veterinarians at the checkpoints until they are flown out to central transportation hubs such as Unalakleet or McGrath. Here they are cared for by Vet Techs, professional dog handlers and veterinarians until a plane load has gathered. Then they are flown to Anchorage where they are cared for at the Women’s Prison in Eagle River, AK until they are picked up by their mushers/owners.
I come from the era of watching Warren Miller ski films projected against the wall of a bar. Hats off to Warren and his pioneering work. But this 12 minute film Afterglow, elevates ski movies to a whole new level.
Afterglow was filmed in partnership with Sweetgrass Productions, Philips TV and the Swedish Agency Ahlstrand & Wållgren. Atomic Skis, Freefly Systems (MOVI), NiteRider, Golden Alpine Holidays, Alyeska Resort & Talvista Lodge was also involved. Shot on location at Golden Alpine Holidays Sentry Lodge, Alyeska Resort, and the Alaskan Wilderness. Skiers featured in this film are Pep Fujas, Eric Hjorleifson, Daron Rahlves, and Chris Benchetler.
My favorite part of this whole film is the light segment where the skiers wear LED suits and careen down impossibly steep slopes, in deep powder, in the dark. Crazy shit this is. The creators also put the light segment to the song Silver Lining by First Aide Kit, which fits the scene like a glove. First Aide Kit is now my new favorite sister folk duo from Sweden. I gleamed all of the hard facts from Sweetgrass’ Afterglow Light Segment post on Vimeo.
Sketches of the Dalton and Park Hwy, AK as my brother tooled down the road 60 plus mph.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel the Dalton Highway (AKA The Haul Road). While I’ve been getting ready to instruct a two hour workshop on keeping travel journals (Nov. 14, 2013) I ran across these images of that trip. 400 plus miles from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay (one way) with three gas stations — Yukon Crossing, Cold Foot and Prudoe Bay. A fantastic trip where we saw several Musk Ox and a large part of the Northern Caribou herd.
Along the Parks Hwy.
Our first camp site at Hess Creek on the Dalton Hwy.
Hess Creek pull off in color based on Sketch.
Another spread from my sketchbook of our Haul Road trip.
Acrylic based on sketchbook page above.
Based off of sketches from trip.
Standing on the railroad bridge in Talkeetna, AK.