Shooting the Yukon Quest 2011: Dawson City

Dawson City was our first real break on the Quest. The mushers were spreading out, which meant I had a little downtime between each shooting excursion. This usually meant I got to do some quick editing and uploading, but I also got a chance to sample some of the amazing food local volunteers had cooked up. Mmm….

I also got a hotel for a night, but proceeded to sleep on the floor of the visitors center for the rest of my time in Dawson. In fact there was a lot of sleeping on floors during the Quest! But I was close to the action – that’s the main thing.

The streets were busy – quest crew were setting up the checkpoint, volunteers and handlers getting food and beds ready, and locals coming by to check out the excitement. The cold certainly didn’t stop people from venturing out.

Handlers preparing food and beds.

Handlers preparing food and beds.

Before too long, the tracker showed us Hugh Neff was fast approaching Dawson City. I drove a ways out of town, took a nap in my idling car, and waited to hear the patter of dog feet. And that’s exactly what woke me up!

I followed Hugh back to the checkpoint, but from a distance, so I didn’t disturb the team.

Hugh Neff approaches Dawson City

Hugh Neff approaches Dawson City

Hugh Neff approaches the Dawson City checkpoint

Hugh Neff approaches the Dawson City checkpoint

It was cold. But beautiful. Hugh Neff was the first in to Dawson.

Hugh Neff Arrives in Dawson City

Hugh Neff Arrives in Dawson City

In time, other mushers arrived, and created lots of excitement in the cold little town of Dawson.

Clint Warnke arrives in Dawson City

Clint Warnke arrives in Dawson City

Johannes Rygh arrives in Dawson City

Johannes Rygh arrives in Dawson City

Dave Dalton arrives in Dawson City

Dave Dalton arrives in Dawson City

Michelle Phillips arrives in Dawson City

Michelle Phillips arrives in Dawson City

Brent Sass arrives in Dawson City

Brent Sass arrives in Dawson City

Ken Anderson arrives in Dawson City

Ken Anderson arrives in Dawson City

Dawson was certainly one of the highlights of the Quest. The night time shots required a fair bit of planning and setting up of lights, but was well worth it when it all came together. Lots of batteries (in my flash units) got exhausted while waiting for a team to show up. But lots of spares on hand meant I usually got a couple of shots out of each setup.

If I go again, I think I’ll rent a snowmobile to get access to some new locations.

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