Bartz Englishoe Photography

Earlier this winter at the Iditarod Ceremonial Start during Fur Rondy, I had the pleasure of meeting Anchorage-based photographer, Bartz Englishoe.  It's always exciting to meet a fellow amateur photographer, especially one who's got such great technique.  His photos are stunning, and he really captures the essence of public events and sweeping landscapes in Alaska.

Check out Bartz's 2015 Running of the Reindeer album and his other work at Bartz Englishoe Photography.  I love how he portrays the excitement on people's faces, and his portraits are naturally terrific with great color and wonderful composition.  Keep up the great work, Bartz!

With my friend, Cyndi, at Fur Rondy in Anchorage.  Photo courtesy of Bartz Englishoe Photography.

Photo courtesy of Bartz Englishoe Photography.

Iditarod's Sweetheart

She’s an Ironwoman and a cancer survivor.  She's Alaska's sweetheart and a fan favorite of the Iditarod.  Of course by she I mean DeeDee Jonrowe, the one and only.  And in 2015, she’s competing her 33rd time in the Last Great Race on Earth. 

Known as the pink-clad musher who's succeeded in one of the world's toughest male-dominated sports, she’s an inspiration to folks across the globe, including me.  It's always a treat to see DeeDee and watch her brightly-attired self interact with her pink-bootied pups.

I hope you enjoy the photos below of DeeDee and her team at the Iditarod Ceremonial Start in Anchorage on March 7, 2015.  At the time of this blog post, the Iditarod is still on-going, and DeeDee has already suffered six frostbitten fingers after braving 40-below temperatures in Huslia, the halfway point in the race. 

Check out the video below from Kyle Hopkins with KTUU.  It definitely gives a glimpse into the sheer exhaustion that comes with mushing life.  We're rooting for you, DeeDee!

Iditarod Ceremonial Start

It’s no secret I’m obsessed with the Iditarod.  Many of my Alaskan friends ask me “Why?”  I ask, “Why not?”

To me, the Iditarod is the epitome of the best of Alaska: challenging, inspiring, and epic.  It’s an annual event full of historical significance, remarkable legacy, and deep tradition – all of which tests the limits of man and the strength and endurance of man’s best friend. 

The Iditarod is also the Alaska State Sport and one of the most competitive events on Earth.  Did you know more people have summited Mount Everest than finished the Iditarod?  Yes, it's really that tough. 

This year’s race is one for the books.  For the second time in the race’s 43-year history, the start location was changed to Fairbanks some 225 miles north, due to lack of snow.  This switch-a-roo is a game-changer for most competitors, but in some cases, it'll be a deal-breaker.

There are 78 mushers in this year’s race, including a handful of former champions and a slew of rookies.  Despite the uncharacteristically warm weather, the Ceremonial Start fortunately remained in Anchorage, and I was able to fly up from Juneau to take part in the festivities.  I had a blast seeing old friends, interacting with inspirational mushers, and listening to the cacophony of sleddogs eager to get the show on the road. 

My next few blogs will be Iditarod-themed, and I plan on featuring some of this year’s mushers – a few of my faves and a few “ones to watch.”  But for today, I'll highlight the Ceremonial Start and the real stars of the Iditarod – the dogs!

Comedy on a busy street.

Sarah Palin at the start of the Iditarod.

With Dr. Morrie Craig, a veterinarian from Oregon State University who specializes in drug testing of animal athletes. 

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DeeDee Jonrowe and her pink-bootied dog team.

Fashion at Fur Rondy

One thing I love about Fur Rondy is all the clothing and accessories not seen anywhere else in the world.  Colorful kuspuks and exquisitely designed fur coats are everywhere.  Attire is visually spectacular, yet practical for the climate.  Here are a few highlights from this past Fur Rondy weekend in Anchorage.

 Mother and daughter team, AJ and Angelina, take pause in their fabulous fur coats.

Mother and daughter team, AJ and Angelina, take pause in their fabulous fur coats.

I adore that Angelina is holding the mushers roster.  Devoted fans!

I don't know who these men are, but I know one thing for sure.  They were warm.

I can't quite handle how fabulous these two are.  Thanks for letting me take your picture.  This lady is so foxy, and this dude is so legit.  Sip on that coffee, y'all, because you two are ROCKIN' IT.

I can't even, y'all.  If you saw how pink the inside of that lynx mouth was, you would faint.  Assuredly. 

I felt so little next to this man.  The fact that he was wearing an actual bear is beside the point.

These boots?  I would own them if I didn't live in a rainforest.

What's going on in this picture?  Oh, a bunch o' ivory pearls, lynx claws, a whopper of an agate, and yes - an OOSIK.

This dude was strolling around LIKE A BOSS.  Because with a green eyed cat on your head and black-out sunnies, HE CAN.

The boss of all Alaska fashion bosses, DeeDee Jonrowe.  She rocks this pink fur-lined parka LIKE NO OTHER.

For some reason, this fella is surprised his photo is being taken.  He was a good sport.

 I want this hat so bad.  But I also want to pay off my car.

I want this hat so bad.  But I also want to pay off my car.

Delightful polar bear themed rick-rack and trim for a cozy kuspuk.  SWOON.

This guy tho.

Yes, my bid is $2.  I want it all for $2.

Trailer of death or trailer of money?  Your judgment.  Yes, some of those skins are inside out.

Bristol Bay representin'...

This is Grandpa Phil.  His gloves are epic, and no - you can't have them.

Model to Musher, Zoya DeNure, sports a lovely fur-lined kuspuk.

Beautifully talented Alaska Native dancers at Anchorage's Dimond Center.