RAF Wisconsin Director Jeff Russell tells of his epic winter flight to Alaska to watch the legendary Iditarod sled dog race in this new RAF podcast #12. Hosted by RAF President Bill McGlynn, it may just inspire you to plan a similar journey – or then again, you may prefer to enjoy this amazing story by your fireplace and just hit “Replay.”

In spite of a first-day blizzard delay and winter’s short daylight, Jeff packed his SuperCub on skis and headed north. Crossing into Canada from International Falls – often our nation’s coldest place – his crossing was “painless,” then he arrived in Yorktown, Saskatchewan at negative 35º. “There was a cold front, and I found it,” Jeff said, adding, “That’s where two-inch blue painters’ tape comes in. I’d take off and tape myself in to seal any place where cold air came in.” Of course, that didn’t keep the drinks in his back seat from freezing solid. 

Connecting through his long-time membership in SuperCub.org and RAF friends, Jeff found very helpful folks that hosted and coached him throughout his trip. Dreading the possibility of hand-propping his plane, he’d call ahead to be sure there was fuel, a place to plug in his engine heater each night, and often  an available hangar.

Mornings brought magical mountain sunrises. “I was giddy. The beauty was overwhelming,” he said. His partner Rhonda flew commercially to join him in Anchorage to experience the race. On their return flight early season forest fires threatened their safety.

To learn the other challenges and how Jeff overcame them, and an intimate glimpse into race life and the mushers’ dedication to their dogs, listen to this fascinating 55-minute story!

Find the podcast here, or anyplace you find yours.

Submitted January 30, 2024
By Carmine Mowbray


  1. Ted Waltman on February 1, 2024 at 9:36 am

    Outstanding, thoroughly engaging, trip summary Jeff! Thank you yet again for also highlighting my website resource too!

    Ted Waltman

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