And so, armed with this trivia-winning tidbit and a newfound love of wombats, I hearby sent the camel on vacation and declared it Wombat Wednesday.
Ok, so where on earth is your Mad Blogger going with this?! Well, first, I wanted to see if I could work camels and wombats into an Iditarod blog post. Mission accomplished (Freddy P, that one’s for you). Second, it sets up a lovely segue about change.
Change is rarely easy. But it is frequently necessary and more often than not unavoidable. And sometimes you have no idea what the value of the change is until you actually try it. Changes in Iditarod race strategy, or weather; changes in race rules or route; changes to one’s sled design or canine nutrition program; obviously I could go on. But what prompts a person to change something that has been wildly successful for years?
That’s an excellent question for photographer and visual storyteller Jeff Schultz. Fans of the race no doubt recognize Jeff’s name and have had ample opportunities to appreciate his work. If you don’t, go to Iditarod.com and visit the Race Photos section. Jeff has been capturing teams on the trail for years and years, and doing it with amazing talent. But what do you do when all of a sudden you realize your work has become a 2-humped camel? The world loves your work, but you feel stuck between the same two humps, photographing teams in the same places with similar backdrops. When you just can’t shake the feeling that you’re recreating your own sequel time and again...
Well, talented artists like Jeff Schultz find a new way to do what they love and are clearly gifted at. I strongly encourage you to visit Jeff’s website and check out his Faces of Iditarod 2019 work. At a time when the Iditarod is having to work a bit to find its place in an ever-changing world, Jeff puts forth a lovely piece about the people - and dogs! - behind the spectacle. It’s a fascinating cast of characters, many of which you’ll recognize... the twins are featured from Kaltag, as are dog-mates Henry, Quintes, Mammoth, and Beaker; and you can also learn more about Seeing Double’s friends Jack Niggermeyer and Dean Osmar. But don’t stop there. Read about the other mushers, the volunteers, and the villagers that consider Iditarod to be the only March Madness game in town.
Whether you’re a camel or a wombat, a musher or photographer, change happens. Embrace it, customize it, explore it, define it. It’s what makes life interesting.
Visit Jeff Schultz’s piece: https://www.schultzphoto.com/faces-of-the-iditarod-2019/