Alaskan Culture… The Bogus Creek 150

There’s nothing quite like Alaskan culture. These hardy people not only survive the cold, but they thrive in the extremes. Dogsled racing is one such instance in which they shine like the sun on newborn snow.

The Bogus Creek 150 takes mushers and their dog teams from the town of Bethel, Alaska to Bogus Creek where it joins the Kuskokwim River north of Tuluksak Village. They’ll hit a check point there and then return down river back to Bethel and the finish.

These early images show the pre-race prep.

While I certainly enjoy the racing, I’m just as fascinated by the people, whether they be mushers, assistants or those bystanders watching the race, so I made a few environmental portraits along the way.

Jason Pavilla, age 16, and winner of the race in his rookie season last year, starts the 2020 race from the town of Bethel. Jason was to finish third in this years race.

There’s a stark beauty to the quiet wilderness along the Kuskokwim River, which I can only imagine gives some motivation to those would endure such grueling temperatures and conditions. This year the conditions were milder than most. A hard freeze followed by fresh snow made for fast travel. As I stood awaiting teams there was a vast silence broken only by the sound of paws and the runners of the sled. It was like watching an Alaskan dream.

12 thoughts on “Alaskan Culture… The Bogus Creek 150

  1. Just about everyone I know who lives year-round in Alaska prefers the winter. They love the quiet, snow, cold. I think they are somewhat crazy. 🙂 Your photos are awesome. That soft winter light is a photographer’s dream.

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