Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer


delivered to ice
Dog Mushing camp at the foot of the Godwin Glacier, Seward.
Stars & Stripes
US flag floats on Godwin's Dog Mushing camp.
canine craving
Dog mushing dogs howl, eager to run.
fresh customers
Helicopter about to land at Godwin's camp, with customers
On hold
Dog team lined up for another walk around the camp.
Icefield Expedition
A detail from one of the tents at Godwin's Dog Mushing camp.
husky howl
Dog howls longing to be able to go on another journey.
Vocation Selection
Keepers pair dogs at Godwin's dog mushing camp.
Summer Dog Mushing
Dogs tow a sled through the snow of the Godwin Mountains.
Zig and Zag
Dog mushing in zigzag, next to the camp of Godwin, Seward.
On my way
Groomer is towed by a newly formed team of dogs.
Traffic signal
A decorative sign from Godwin's dog mushing camp.
outdoor kennel
Pack of dogs from Godwin's Dog Mushing Camp, near Seward-
Affect of Handler
Greg Stoddard pets one of the dogs he's assigned to care for.
a tight curve
Groomer leads a team of pulling dogs he has just formed.
It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.

Judging by the sound alone, one might be led to think that Juneau was at war. Seaplanes take off one after the other, gliding along the Gastineau Canal.

And dozens of helicopters fly over and around it on lightning missions. At the origin, the causes of this agitation are the gigantic cruises that dock every day at the city's docks, leaving it in the shade, as the sun goes down from behind.

The Alaskan Strangeness of the Juneau Capital

Armies of visitors disembark from each of the ships as they surrender to the first souvenir shops they find. But like almost every village in the state, Juneau is tiny. Catch unprepared the typical Yankee of the Lower 48, used to endless spaces and imposing metropolises.

Inspired by the sheerest ignorance, they offend the locals over and over again, asking them, in the middle of downtown Alaska, “where is juneau after all?” or the way to get there.

When elucidated, they get fed up with their minimal urbanism in a couple of hours and seek to make up for the disappointment with unforgettable achievements in the last US border They are the preferred customers of panoramic flights companies. Tourists with a craze for grandeur and matching wallets or mere willingness to spend.

Helicopter, Godwin, Seward, Alaska

Helicopter about to land at Godwin's camp, with customers

Panoramic Flights. One of Alaska's Summer Mines

On a sunny day, its offices and hangars never rest. Reservations are made and more reservations are made, weighing after weighing and giving briefings after briefings from the early morning hours until late sunset.

Helicopter pilots, these, repeat the same routes, locutions and jokes until exhaustion, satisfied with the accelerated enrichment but still eager for the end of the season. Not as much as their sacrificed mountain partners.

Until some time ago, scenic flights were limited to unveiling the best scenery in Alaska. But the creativity of American marketing knows no limits. Starting in the mid-XNUMXs, scenic flight companies made landings on glaciers and the ice fields that feed them commonplace.

The Profitable Relationship between Panoramic Flights and Dog Mushing

And, shortly thereafter, they joined the main dog breeders and mushers from the Great North and enriched their adventures with baptisms "to be shipped" by Dog Mushing, in those same extreme places.

Over the years, this has become one of the most profitable packages whether or not it cost each hour and a half tour over 500 dollars.

But if the life of investors in the business is limited to managing and collecting profits, some of the participants lower in the hierarchy suffer very well to guarantee their dividends.

Dog mushing camp, Godwin, Seward, Alaska

Dog Mushing camp at the foot of the Godwin Glacier, Seward.

We took off from the surroundings of Juneau, for a second experience of the “modality”. As the helicopter ascends, we leave the alluvial plain of the Mendenhall Peninsula and ascend to the heights of Thunder Mountain.

Against the wind, the pilot conquers a final slope and reveals Lake Mendenhall and a wide valley painted blue by the homonymous glacier.

Meeting Godwin's Dog Mushing Camp

We then proceeded along the 19 km of the ice river to the high white expanse where it rises. There, we glimpse a huge white camp, semi-camouflaged over the snow, in which hundreds of dogs bark, excited by the sudden appearance of the aircraft.

Pack of Dogs, Camp Godwin, Seward, Alaska

Pack of dogs from Godwin's Dog Mushing Camp, near Seward-

We are welcomed by Ted Williams, the person in charge of the field that leads us to his malamutes and huskies favorites while talking about the romantic but arduous life of the team.

Ted describes the long periods of mountain retreat. He and the other members usually go down to Juneau only once a week.

Tent Detail, Dog Mushing Camp, Godwin, Seward, Alaska

A detail from one of the tents at Godwin's Dog Mushing camp.

And, in between those days, they put up with a little bit of everything, excited only by the money they make and by socializing with their colleagues and with the dogs they train and treat.

Keepers and Dogs, Dog Mushing Camp, Godwin, Seward, Alaska

Keepers pair dogs at Godwin's dog mushing camp.

Visits from customers – who often appear in jeans and t-shirts – are as constant as they are ephemeral, and when storms do set in, helicopters cease to appear and isolation can last for weeks.

The Hard Subsistence of Many Affectionate Mushers

most of these mushers they are passionate about the sport and compete with their best dogs in major competitions, including the world-famous Iditarod Trail and Yukon Quest.

Dog mushing, dog mushing camp, Godwin, Seward, Alaska

Dog mushing in zigzag, next to the camp of Godwin, Seward.

A few days before we get to Juneau, we met Greg Stoddard about the Godwin Ice Field, situated near Seward, in the highlands of the Kenai Peninsula.

Dog mushing handler, Godwin, Seward, Alaska

Greg Stoddard pets one of the dogs he's assigned to care for.

Despite the deafening barks and howls, Greg explains us how the camp works but quickly cuts the way for clarifications and stories of the real mushing. 

He confesses, without ceremonies, that the association with panoramic flight companies and the months spent on the mountain allow them to dedicate themselves full-time to training and competition, avoiding old financial constraints, the same as many of their colleagues mushers continue to suffer.

After a few minutes, he resumes interrupting the conversation to meet the new wave of tourists who have just left the helicopter.

Dog mushing-camp dog mushing dogs, Godwin, Seward, Alaska

Dog mushing dogs howl, eager to run.

She takes another short tour of the camp, gathers a team of anxious dogs and, given the basic instructions for driving the sleds, a colleague makes the canine team slide on a closed trail that is already well dug in the snow, encouraged by two leaders Siberian Huskies conflicting.

Taking advantage of a short break from the tour, a fifty-year-old “passenger” in a flowing dress with flowers and a straw hat asked to change from the sled to the post. musher and, in three strokes, it totally confuses the dogs with its incoherent commands. Until the end of the journey, the dignity of the mushing little improves.

Dog mushing in Godwin, Seward, Alaska

Groomer leads a team of pulling dogs he has just formed.

None of the Eskimo peoples of the Greater Arctic ever thought that their millennia-old form of locomotion could be so infamously desecrated, but as long as cruises dock in Alaska and southern tourists disembark willing to spend, this strange Summer Dog Mushing will have to go on. .

PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
Anchorage to Homer, USA

Journey to the End of the Alaskan Road

If Anchorage became the great city of the 49th US state, Homer, 350km away, is its most famous dead end. Veterans of these parts consider this strange tongue of land sacred ground. They also venerate the fact that, from there, they cannot continue anywhere.
Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.
Jok​ülsárlón Lagoon, Iceland

The Chant and the Ice

Created by water from the Arctic Ocean and the melting of Europe's largest glacier, Jokülsárlón forms a frigid and imposing domain. Icelanders revere her and pay her surprising tributes.
glaciers

icy blue planet

They form at high latitudes and/or altitudes. In Alaska or New Zealand, Argentina or Chile, rivers of ice are always stunning visions of an Earth as frigid as it is inhospitable.
sitka, Alaska

Sitka: Journey through a once Russian Alaska

In 1867, Tsar Alexander II had to sell Russian Alaska to the United States. In the small town of Sitka, we find the Russian legacy but also the Tlingit natives who fought them.
Prince William Sound, Alaska

Journey through a Glacial Alaska

Nestled against the Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound is home to some of Alaska's stunning scenery. Neither powerful earthquakes nor a devastating oil spill affected its natural splendor.
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Safari
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 12th: Thorong Phedi to high camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Architecture & Design
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Adventure
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
Luderitz, Namibia
Cities
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Meal
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Native Americans Parade, Pow Pow, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Culture
Albuquerque, USA

When the Drums Sound, the Indians Resist

With more than 500 tribes present, the pow wow "Gathering of the Nations" celebrates the sacred remnants of Native American cultures. But it also reveals the damage inflicted by colonizing civilization.
Sport
Competitions

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
forms of payment when traveling, shopping abroad
Traveling
Travel does not cost

On the next trip, don't let your money fly

Not only the time of year and in advance with which we book flights, stays, etc. influence the cost of a trip. The payment methods we use at destinations can make a big difference.
Dunes of Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
Ethnic
bazaruto, Mozambique

The Inverted Mirage of Mozambique

Just 30km off the East African coast, an unlikely but imposing erg rises out of the translucent sea. Bazaruto it houses landscapes and people who have lived apart for a long time. Whoever lands on this lush, sandy island soon finds himself in a storm of awe.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Terraces of Sistelo, Serra do Soajo, Arcos de Valdevez, Minho, Portugal
History
Sistelo, Peneda-Gerês, Portugal

From the “Little Portuguese Tibet” to the Corn Fortresses

We leave the cliffs of Srª da Peneda, heading for Arcos de ValdeVez and the villages that an erroneous imaginary dubbed Little Portuguese Tibet. From these terraced villages, we pass by others famous for guarding, as golden and sacred treasures, the ears they harvest. Whimsical, the route reveals the resplendent nature and green fertility of these lands in Peneda-Gerês.
Montserrat island, Plymouth, Soufriere volcano, path to volcano
Islands
Montserrat, Lesser Antilles

The Island of the Volcano that Refuses to Sleep

In the Antilles, volcanoes called Soufrière abound. That of Montserrat, re-awakened in 1995, and remains one of the most active. Upon discovery of the island, we re-enter the exclusion area and explore the areas still untouched by the eruptions.  
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Kukenam reward
Literature
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

Persist on top of Mte. Roraima extraterrestrial scenarios that have withstood millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never set foot on it.
Magnificent Atlantic Days
Nature
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Agua Grande Platform, Iguacu Falls, Brazil, Argentina
Natural Parks
Iguazu/Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Great Water Thunder

After a long tropical journey, the Iguaçu River gives a dip for diving. There, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, form the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the face of the Earth.
Traveler above Jökursarlón icy lagoon, Iceland
UNESCO World Heritage
Jökursarlón Lagoon, Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

The Faltering of Europe's King Glacier

Only in Greenland and Antarctica are glaciers comparable to Vatnajökull, the supreme glacier of the old continent. And yet, even this colossus that gives more meaning to the term ice land is surrendering to the relentless siege of global warming.
Correspondence verification
Characters
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Beaches
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Religion
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Pisang to Ngawal, Nepal,

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Society
Cemeteries

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Wildlife
Valdez, Alaska

On the Black Gold Route

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker caused a massive environmental disaster. The vessel stopped plying the seas, but the victim city that gave it its name continues on the path of crude oil from the Arctic Ocean.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.
PT EN ES FR DE IT