• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 23s

Episode 47: Alaska adventures, chasing lights and racing dogs

By KTVA Alaska 12:02 PM March 21, 2016

From dazzling northern lights displays to the early days of the Iditarod, our theme this week is adventure, Alaska style.

Here are some of the highlights of this week’s show:

  • Chasing the Northern Lights in Bettles with photojournalist John Thain and veteran reporter Lauren Maxwell.
  • Interview with Todd Salat, known among Alaska photographers as the “Aurora Hunter.”
  • Profile of Joe May, who won the Iditarod in 1980

Following the Iditarod Sled Dog Race — or catching a glimpse of a green curtain of shimmering lights in the sky — are a part of the shared experiences, which bring us together as Alaskans.

KTVA’s Lauren Maxwell and John Thain take us to a lodge in the Brooks Range to show us how tourists also want to share in the adventure. They bring us the splendor of a starry night in Bettles and the grand silence of the wilderness, interrupted only by the “oohs and ahs” of aurora watchers.

Our guest this week, Todd Salat, brings the sizzling energy of the aurora to our program. Todd has spent more than 20 years, photographing the northern lights professionally. In his dogged pursuit of what he calls the “hero” shot, it’s hard to draw the line between passion and obsession.

Todd defines a “hero” shot as a photo, which draws so much admiration and delight from those who see it, you feel like a hero. On Frontiers, Todd shows us his five, all-time favorite “hero” shots and gives us the back-story on how he captured these images. Todd gives more details on his strategy for aurora hunting in a web extra.

[RELATED: Tips for aurora hunting in Alaska]

As the Iditarod comes to a close, we thought it would be interesting to look back to the early days of the race, through the eyes of Joe May, now 80 years old. He was a major contributor to a new book called, “Iditarod: The First Ten Years,” a hefty volume you can find at the Anchorage Museum.

Joe tells the story of how he became an “accidental dog racer” – how he went from using his dog team to work a trap line, to entering into the Iditarod in 1976. Joe recalls a very different race than today’s Iditarod – where the dogs were bigger and slower, but says the 1,000 mile run to Nome was still a life-changing experience.

I really enjoyed sitting down at Joe’s kitchen table, where there’s a view of Denali in the distance. He’s got a great collection of old photographs of the race and of his homestead experience in Trapper Creek with his wife Sandra. There’s quite a love story there, to be saved for another day.

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    Native Youth Olympics highlight culture, camaraderie for competitors

    by Heather Hintze on Apr 27, 20:21

    For athletes at the 2017 Native Youth Olympics (NYO), the games are all about culture and community. “My favorite part about NYO is the camaraderie between everyone,” said Allie Ivanoff, a sophomore in Unalakleet. “You can go up to a person and they’ll coach you if you need it. Everything is about sportsmanship in this […]

  • Politics

    Wasilla representative casts lone no vote on bill honoring Alaska’s Hmong veterans

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 20:07

    A state lawmaker known for going against the grain on votes with racial undercurrents sparked controversy Thursday. Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) was the lone vote against a bill in the Alaska House to honor Hmong veterans who supported the United States in the Vietnam War. Eastman also voted against a bill honoring black soldiers earlier […]

  • Politics

    Eastman calls for reprimand after LeDoux blocks committee debate

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 19:38

    There are more signs of friction in Juneau this week. The latest example came between two fellow Republicans in the House, when a seemingly non-controversial committee meeting became anything but. It ended with one lawmaker calling for a reprimand of the House Rules Committee chair, Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage). Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) is calling […]

  • News

    State fire investigator takes stand on Day 5 of Sockeye Fire trial

    by Shannon Ballard on Apr 27, 19:15

    Memories of the 2015 Sockeye Fire were reignited Thursday, five days into the state’s case against the Anchorage couple accused of starting the destructive blaze — Greg Imig and Amy DeWitt. In recorded interviews, Imig repeatedly told fire investigators there was no way the more than 7,000 acre wildfire could have started on his property, but state […]

  • News

    Trump to sign order aimed at expanding offshore drilling

    by Associated Press on Apr 27, 17:11

    President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Friday that could lead to the future expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The order will direct his interior secretary to review a plan that dictates which locations are open to offshore drilling. It’s Trump’s latest effort to dismantle his predecessor’s environmental legacy and […]

  • On-Air

    Reality check w/ John Tracy: Grading Trump’s first 100 days in office

    by John Tracy on Apr 27, 16:57

    The press is fixated this week on grading Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. The grade depends on exactly what you’re grading the president on. First, by objective standards, the president has signed 28 bills into law — far more than his two predecessors, and more than Bill Clinton. He’s also signed more executive […]

  • Anchorage police make 2 DUI arrests at same location

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 27, 16:35

    Police arrested two separate motorists on DUI charges at an Anchorage gas station early Sunday morning. The first driver, 33-year-old Duane Nash, was pulled over for speeding on Minnesota Drive shortly before 4 a.m., according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department. After he pulled into a gas station parking lot on Spenard Road, police noticed […]

  • News

    Latest: Tillerson says China asked North Korea to stop nuke tests

    by Associated Press on Apr 27, 16:06

    The Latest on tensions on the Korean Peninsula (all times local): 6:35 p.m. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says China has asked North Korea to conduct no further nuclear tests. Tillerson says China also told the U.S. that it had informed North Korea “that if they did conduct further nuclear tests, China would be […]