Sunday, March 28, 2010

Newton Marshall is the first Jamaican to race the Iditarod. He trained under Champion Lance Mackey, and used Mackey's dog for the race. He trained the previous two years with Hans Gatt and finished the Yukon Quest in 13th place. His team dogs in Jamaica are mixed breeds rescued from the streets or from the Jamaican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (JSPCA).

When I asked if I could take his picture, he said, "Yeah Mon!" Then I asked if I could get a close-up, and he said, "Yeah, Mon!"

He finished 47th out of 71 and it sounded like he suffered quite a bit, but he finished! Here's an article:

Monday, March 15, 2010

My coworkers getting some close-ups! Photos by Mike Bergstrom and Matt Hertel

Here are some dog trucks I saw last week during Iditarod. The Canadian truck belongs to Karen Ramstead of Alberta, I saw it but didn't get a pic, it's borrowed from the ADN. I'm not sure who owns the other truck, but it definitely stands out!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The tortoise I am taking care of gets to roam around in the yard all summer, and really wants to start heading out! Cherchy can't wait for spring!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Lance Mackey is pretty much a legend around here. In 2007, he became the first person to win both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod in the same year. His father Dick is one of the founders of the Iditarod. Two amazing medical facts about him are that he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001, and is now cured but lost most of his salivary glands so he has to constantly drink water on the trail. He also suffered nerve damage in one of his fingers and had it removed before a race. He was considered done with his mushing career after his illnesses but in 2005 came from behind to win the Yukon Quest.

The funny thing is, that was the year I handled on the Quest for Dave Dalton, and since Dave came in 4th, I was constantly traveling and waiting at checkpoints with the front runners and go to know his wife Tonya and handlers. We sort of bonded over being rookie handlers for the Quest, which is a daunting task (driving 1,000 miles from AK to the Yukon and back). They were driving an old truck that was literally breaking down on the road, and his handler had a down jacket held together by duct tape. Since then, Lance is a four time Iditarod winner and three time Quest winner. No wonder his kennel is called the "Comeback Kennels."

And as you can see, he has quite the product placement on his dogs, their coats looks like dog food bags, I'm sure that was a lucrative deal! Good for him! Here's Lance, his dogs, his nice new truck, his legendary dad and a few pics I took in '05 at the Quest banquet after the race, when his lead dogs were given steak on a silver platter by a waiter in fancy chef's hat to acknowledge their greatness!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I saw these guys at the end of the cermonial start, I don't know who the musher is, but I absolutely love the message! Especially on dogs that are going to get this much TV and newspaper coverage the next two weeks!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Here's one for my brother-in-law Scotty, it's rookie Wattie McDonald from Scotland, who was dressed in a kilt, as were his handlers! I asked for a pic and he kneeled by the dog so I didn't get a good one of the kilt, so I borrowed the bottom two pics from the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage from the Anchorage Daily News website. SO cute, the dogs are in tartan, too! Here's more info about Wattie (who I'd never heard of!)
Also, that hat in the top pic looked SO warm and cozy!

Saturday, March 06, 2010


The Iditarod ceremonial start was this morning in downtown Anchorage. Teams only run about 25 miles, and the official timed start of the race is tomorrow. It's a way for mushers to do publicity and meet fans without having the pressure of having to actually start the race. Their dogs only run for about 45 minutes. In addition, the musher has an "Idita-Rider" who gets to ride in the sled. These Iditariders have bid in silent auctions to ride in the sled and the money goes to funding the Iditarod. I got called by a producer friend of mine this morning, she needed someone to do a quick last minute super easy production job at the end of the ceremonial start. I was planning on going to the start anyway, so I agreed, and instead of going to the start, where there's TONS of crowds, I drove out to the END of the start, near Far North Bicentennial Park. It ended up being so much fun. For one, there's a LOT less crowds there, and I had a press pass so was able to get into the musher area and hang out there. And as a total coincidence, I got there at the exact moment my friend Zoya DeNure (Bib 5) was coming in, and she needed her handler to jump off her second sled to guide her dogs in, so she asked me to jump onto her second sled, which of course, I happily did! In the third picture down, I have taken the place of her handler and am riding the second sled! It was sort of surreal to be riding on the runners of an Iditarod sled! Well, it was her handler's sled, which comes off tomorrow, but still it was really exciting! I also got to chat with some of my favorite mushers (many Iditarod mushers also run the Yukon Quest, which I handled for a few years ago) and take a few pics. The official timed start is tomorrow morning in Willow. Zoya is the "model-turned-musher" who I've handled for during the Copper Basin 300, as well as taking care of her pups at her and her husband John's kennel in Paxson and at their place at Maclaren on the Denali Highway last fall. Her website is if you want to follow her progress. This is her second Iditarod, she took off last year to have a baby. Zoya and John rescue and rehabilitate discarded shelter dogs and are showing that you can win races with rescue dogs. Go Zoya!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Work has been super busy, I'm working on two interesting projects at once. One is dealing with drug and alcohol abuse in Native teens. We'll be shooting in April in Barrow, the northernmost state in the US. I'm super excited to go, as I've never been...even though I've spent time on the North Slope at Prudhoe Bay on a wildlife project, Barrow is even FURTHER north! I may indeed be able to see Russia from there! I'm also continuing with the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge project, and just finished up a second winter shoot. So far, for our winter shoots, we've incorporated wildlife (mainly small caribou herds this time of year, as well a few other animals), cross country skiers, snow machines, planes and dog sledding. Can’t wait for spring and summer when we'll be really getting more into the wildlife filming. Because work's so busy, I haven't been able to take many pics. Therefore, I'm posting some from my trip to New York in August. I spent about 36 hours in NYC before the premiere of the PBS doc, "For the Rights of All" in Washington DC. I'm fortunate that my dad and step mom have an apartment waaay downtown near Wall Street, so I got to spend the night there. I usually spend most of my time on the lower East Side on my visits to NYC (graduated from NYU), but figured I might as well explore the Wall Street area for a change! These pics were taken at the New York Stock Exchange (you can see it from my folks' window!), naively thinking I could take a tour. There was only pedestrian traffic, as well as armed guards and explosives units. But I did get to watch a bomb sniffing dog get a treat and as I was taking a pic, a truck pulled up to get inspected, so I got to watch that, too. Very cool!