In Alaska, the heart of the dog mushing season is now. Both the Yukon Quest and the Fur Rondy races are completed and the North American and Iditarod are beginning soon.
I presume this timing was suited for a recent story in the American Profile, which is an insert magazine in newspapers across the country. “Sledding with the Seaveys” is a story about the Seavey family and their dog mushing history.
It is also timely in that Dallas Seavey won the Yukon Quest a few weeks ago, the youngest musher ever to take the title. As the field of mushers prepare for the Iditarod, this year is certainly shaping up to be an interesting and competitive race.
The cover of the magazine was from a shoot I did two years ago in Nome, Alaska, during a sled dog race called the “All Alaska Sweepstakes“. Mitch Seavey won first place which was a winner-take-all $100,000 purse!
To get the photo, I hired a super cub plane and flew all over the Seward Peninsula, since the race checkpoints were all in remote locations, inaccessible by road. In the final hours of the four day race, about 20 miles outside of the finish line in Nome, we landed the plane on the snow. I ran over to the trail just in time to capture a shot of Mitch Seavey passing Jeff King to usurp the first place spot. For Jeff King, who was leading the race, ouch, that had to hurt. The top three mushers were Mitch Seavey, Jeff King and Lance Mackey.
As for my purse, well, free lance photography is a shaky business. I invested a lot in covering the race with travel and airfare expense. I did it largely out of personal interest but of course I hoped to at least squeak a day wage out of it. Some investments take a while. Two years later, that trip now registers black instead of red in the accounting ledger. But what a fantastic experience in spite of its economics.
Good luck to the Seavey’s as they race the quickly approaching Iditarod. Both Mitch and Dallas will be contenders.