I’ll try and keep this short and let my photos do the talking for me…
My dreams of Iditarod officially became reality when I stepped off the chartered Ravn Air plane onto the snow covered tarmac in Galena, Alaska. The air was brisk, but nothing extreme by Alaska standards. After a short layover I found myself boarding a small three-seater plane bound for the village of Huslia. As soon as my feet hit the ground I was whisked away by one of the locals on the back of a snow machine. Having never had a chance to get my face mask out of my bag I zipped my jacked up as far over my face as I could and ducked behind my driver for the trip in to town. I was dropped off at what I came to know as the Ball Field – a large open area in the middle of town that would soon become the our dog yard and main hub of outdoor activity. Thankfully I was working with many seasoned veterans who promptly went to work coordinating with the proper local channels to gain access to the appropriate buildings and find out where all of our gear that had previously been sent up was stored. We set to work setting up what we could right away before finally retreating to a family style dinner in the warmth of the Elders Center. Here I was officially introduced to those whom I would be intimately working with throughout the duration of my time in Huslia. While we were all there to work various jobs our reasons for being there were similar.
The next day began a whirlwind adventure that included earning my keep in various forms, meeting many new faces, trying new foods (including beaver tail, moose tongue, and bear claws), and learning lots of new skills on the fly, but lacked any substantial amounts of sleep. After the first musher arrive my usual sleep cycle lasted about 4 hours and until my last day there, I was able to successfully thrive off so few hours of sleep thanks in part to the adrenaline of the adventure at hand. I hope you enjoy the photos. Some of them are captioned, some of them are not, and many of them were never captured to begin with.
Follow this link to read an article written up by an Iditarod Insider about Huslia. Make sure to play the video at the bottom too for an aerial shot!