This picture of Louis Nelson, Sr. in Unalakleet in 2008 is one of my favorites. He is an elder, born and raised in Kotzebue, living a largely subsistence lifestyle. The Iditarod was started to preserve the sled dog culture and Alaskan huskies. The use of dogs was an integral part of Alaskan native lives. For me, interacting with folks in villages and seeing rural Alaska was one of the biggest treasures of my time on the trail.