Iditarod Adventures: Tales from Mushers Along the Trail, by Lew Freedman, illustrations by Jon Van Zyle (Alaska Northwest Books, 2015).
In this splendid collection of profiles and ‘tales of the trail,’ written by the mushers themselves, twenty-three top Iditarod and Yukon Quest mushers explain why they have chosen this rugged lifestyle, sharing stories and experiences they have endured along the trails.
Through bone-chilling cold, across countless frozen rivers and lakes, over mountain ranges and across the icy Bering Sea, their most exciting – and sometimes frightening – moments are shared with clarity and honesty in this book. Also featured are profiles of several key race officials, administrators, volunteers, and a few classic Iditarod characters.
“From Unalakleet it normally takes like six hours to Koyuk. I think it took me nine and a half and I already had a long run into Shaktoolik before. It was a monster long run. When I got to Koyuk Lance was already there. The only other thing moving behind me was John Baker. Nobody else wanted to start out. I’m in second place and that was pretty cool. But that’s when my racing instinct wasn’t there enough. I thought I could win it because Lance was still there. Actually, Lance came out and talked to me. With the experience he had he probably knew I wasn’t trying hard to catch him. Lance stayed another three and a half hours, I think, but I ended up staying there for twelve hours.” ~Sebastian Schnuelle