Carrie came to Alaska for the first time in 1999 for a summer job. She had a wonderful summer full of adventure, and traveled back to her home state, Michigan, once the season was over, where she continued working as an accountant. Carrie found herself returning to Alaska for several summers thereafter, working for a photography company, and later Husky Homestead. Carrie made the move to Alaska permanent in 2006 and has been at Husky Homestead ever since. She, her partner, Dave, and their four dogs live in Denali year-round and are both heavily involved in the community. In addition to working for Husky Homestead, Carrie is the Treasurer and Government Relations Chair for the Denali Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is the Treasurer for the McKinley Volunteer Fire Department. Carrie enjoys the bright, sunny days of Alaska’s spring beauty and spending time with family, friends, and four-legged’s alike!
Administrative Assistant / Lead Reservations
Sadie joined the Husky Homestead team in 2016. She grew up in Kansas and attended college in Arkansas. Once she graduated, she found herself applying for jobs all over, including Alaska. Sadie is currently two years into a three-month contract. She originally came to Alaska for a summer job at Husky Homestead, but loved it so much that she decided to stay! Sadie is part of our office staff and loves spending time with the dogs any chance she gets. She loves to travel and spend time with her friends and family.
Tour Operations Manager
Ellen is the youngest daughter of Husky Homestead’s Owner, Operator, and Long Distance Competitive Musher, Jeff King. Ellen was born and raised right here in Denali. She and her two older sisters grew up in a dry cabin—meaning no indoor plumbing or running water—that also had no electricity until the girls were well into their teens. Ellen has been on a dog sled since she could stand up! She completed the Junior Iditarod in 2006, where she obtained 3rd place and earned Rookie of the Year, as well as running again in 2007. Ellen has also completed several other long distance races, including the 2017 Kobuk 440 and 2018 Knik 200. In addition to growing up mushing, Ellen also took dance lessons for over six years and spent her last two years of high school studying dance at Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. This took her on some epic adventures all around the world traveling with a dance group called Young Americans. In 2017, Ellen decided to come back to Denali and resume working at Husky Homestead. She still dances any opportunity she gets and loves mushing during the winter!
Johnna grew up in Nebraska. She has visited Alaska a few times and decided to spend a summer in the great state after she graduated college. Johnna graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. She worked as a librarian for three years and when she isn’t reading or working with books, you can find her bowling or riding her motorcycle. Johnna brings a cheery attitude and great customer service. As she likes to say “Customer service goes the extra mile with a smile.” Johnna is passionate about working to reduce human impact on the earth and loving all dogs equally. Her own dog, Amber, travelled to Alaska with her and both are very excited about a summer in Denali.
Long Distance Musher, Dog Yard Manager, and Maintenance Technician
Alex was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was born into a mushing family and is no stranger to the back of a sled. His parents met through dogs and ran races for years. His father is a veteran of both the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and the 1,000-mile International Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race. Alex is certainly following in his father’s footsteps as he completed the famed Iditarod Sled Dog Race in 2014 and is gearing up to run his Rookie Yukon Quest Race this year. After high school, Alex spent a number of years studying Environmental Sciences at Montana State University and spent his summers in Minnesota working as a Camp Counselor. Alex grew up with the knowledge and familiarity of dogs and returned to working with dogs in 2012. Several dog teams and a few good breaks later, Alex has found a way to work with dogs year-round here at Husky Homestead. Alex is a year-round Dog Yard Manager and also works as a Driver/Guide during the summer. He spends his winters continuing to train dogs and get them ready for racing season. Alex enjoys hiking, canoeing, camping, hunting, and searching for antler sheds in the spring.
Lucia is originally from El Salvador and moved to Texas a number of years ago. She is now in Alaska working her first summer season at Husky Homestead. Alaska is not unfamiliar to her, though. Lucia is a Licensed Veterinary Technician and has volunteered for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race during the veterinarian checks for several different years, which is what first brought her to Alaska. She’s worked with all kinds of animals as a vet tech and is very excited to spend her summer with sled dogs. Lucia is part our yard staff this year and brings a positive attitude and organizational skills to the table. Her hairless cat, Duchess, travelled to Alaska with her, and both are very much enjoying their new home. Lucia likes to be with her pets, read, draw, or find somewhere new to eat or hike in her free time. A goal she has set for herself is to live everyday to the fullest and to enjoy every moment for what it is, without wishing for it to be more or different.
May has a contagious enthusiasm for life and is a believer in the power of positivity. May grew up at the base of the Windriver Mountains, near Pinedale, Wyoming. She attended the University of Montana, where she earned a degree in Communications and Non-Profit Administration. May thrives in a community of vision and purpose, so naturally she gravitated to student groups and work places with a mission of service. She has worked with Bike & Build several different times, which allowed her to bike across the United States while working to make a difference in various communities throughout each trek. May was first introduced to sled dogs and the sport of mushing through working for Alaska Icefield Expeditions on the Mendenhall Glacier, near Juneau, Alaska. She spent three seasons working on the Mendenhall and has also mushed dogs near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. May spent this past winter working as a dog handler for another Alaskan musher. This allowed her the opportunity to run the Knik 200, a mid-distance sled dog race, and to follow along the entire Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race route, handling for a musher. She is a Yoga instructor and enjoys teaching and sharing her passion with others.
Chris first came to Alaska to attend a 24-day outdoor leadership program in Haines, Alaska. Here, he learned about mountaineering, sea kayaking, and wilderness medicine. After completing this outdoor school, he was not ready to leave Alaska so he found his first winter dog handler job in Healy, Alaska in 2014. Chris later found different ways to travel and work as a seasonal employee in Colorado and Wyoming. It took nearly two years to finally travel back to Alaska, but has now been here for two calendar years. This summer marks Chris’ third summer season at Husky Homestead. Chris graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta (AiA) with a video production degree. From there, he was a production assistant at The Weather Channel and later a city photographer for the city of College Park, Georgia. Chris says, “As a previous suburbanite of 30-years living in Georgia and Florida I now feel more confident driving a team of sled dogs in negative temperatures than driving a car in Atlanta’s rush hour.” Chris is passionate about conservation for the environment and wildlife. He strives to share what will soon be forgotten – whether it is through personal interactions, photos, videos, or all three. Chris can be found outside a majority of the time. His German Shorthair Pointer, Yeska, is never far behind!
Catherine is from Kentucky and fell in love with Jack London’s White Fang when she was in third grade. She read it so many times that her hometown librarian bought her a copy. From that moment on Catherine was fascinated by sled dogs. She came on a cruise to Alaska a few years ago and was mesmerized with the state. Catherine decided to find a job where she could work with sled dogs all summer. Catherine has many goals for herself this year such as wanting to learn how to use a bow, attend a survival course, and go camping in the Smoky Mountains. Catherine’s dream home would be to live in or build a tiny home or hobbit hole. Catherine is happiest doing yoga, puzzles, rock climbing, hiking, and reading.
Maren grew up in Utah and used to train basic obedience skills to puppies, but wanted to learn more about working and sport dogs. Maren decided to start with sled dogs. She did some research and found a job working on a glacier leading sled dog tours out of Juneau. Maren has also spent part of a winter here a Husky Homestead training our dogs and puppies. Since moving to Alaska and learning about sled dogs, she has been very involved in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race – specifically volunteering for various positions in the Iditarod race. Most recently, she was the coordinator/manager/supervisor for the dropped dog program. Maren is also a Licensed Veterinary Technician and loves working with animals. One goal Maren wants to accomplish soon is to finish a sled dog race. Maren enjoys playing soccer, exploring, and spending time with her family and friends. Her personal motto is “It’ll all work out in the end. Mush On!”
Junior Lead Reservations Agent
Nicole’s family moved to Alaska when she was seven years old. It had been her parents dream to live in Alaska and she fell in love with the Denali area thanks to them. This is Nicole’s second summer at Husky Homestead. She is a part of the office staff and brings great knowledge of Denali, communication skills and a passion of dogs. Nicole spends her free time with her family, reading, or watching a movie. She loves traveling and spent three months in Spain after high school working as an Au Pair. Nicole is preparing for and is very excited about her next adventure, which is visiting Uganda this year.
Maureen has been working with Husky Homestead for over 12 summer seasons now. She brings an extensive knowledge of the Denali area, sled dogs, and Alaska in general to the crew. She is always ready to lend a hand to any coworker, guest, or animal in need. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is passionate about working with others.
Jonathan was born and raised right here in Alaska. He grew up in Anchorage and spent time attending college photography courses in Colorado and in Juneau, Alaska. He has siblings that live across the country, from Alaska to Florida, as well as a sister in Canada. He enjoys visiting them! This is Jonathan’s third summer in Denali with us. He brings great photography skills as well as wonderful hand-eye coordination. Jonathan’s friends would describe him as a relatively quite guy who occasionally chimes in with a zinger. He also has great puns and witty one-liners. He loves to travel and before he dies he wants to see the world and all its wonders. In his free time, you’ll find Jonathan with a camera in hand capturing Denali’s beautiful scenery or our own sled dogs. Many of his photos are used for our social media.
Winter Handler, Musher and summer Driver / Guide
Sean was born and raised just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Sean attended Georgia Southern, where he obtained a Business Degree in Economics and a minor in Spanish. He graduated in 2014 and his adventures started soon thereafter. Sean traveled around Central and South America for 8 months, where he worked in Costa Rica at an International Language School and then spent time in Chile visiting family. He returned to Atlanta for a short time and then decided to visit Alaska. Sean’s aunt and uncle own and operate a Skiff off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska. He spent two summers set net fishing for sockeye salmon on Kodiak. As the summer closed, Sean was intrigued at the idea of staying in Alaska. He was introduced to Jeff King and his career at Husky Homestead began. Sean has spent two winter seasons and one summer season with us and is currently gearing up for his second summer at Husky Homestead. He’s completed two sled dog races and is hoping to qualify for the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Sean likes to play tennis, hike, and spend time with his dog, Jack. He can often be found with Alex and Cody at the local open-mic night.
Winter Handler and Summer Photographer / Yard Staff
Cody came to Alaska in April 2017, seeking a change of pace and the adventure of a lifetime. He certainly found what he was looking for! Cody grew up in warm, sunny Florida and has done a great job adapting to the frigid Arctic temperatures of an Alaskan winter. He has been with Husky Homestead for nearly a year now. From greeting and taking pictures of guests in the summer to cutting meat and training dogs in the winter, Cody finds himself enjoying every minute. Before coming to Alaska, Cody worked at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida where he specialized in working with big cats—lions, tigers, cougars, cheetahs, and panthers. He’s currently taking online courses, majoring in Animal Sciences and is passionate about working with animals. When Cody isn’t working, he enjoys reading, hiking, and doing yoga.
Driver Trainer; Driver/Guide
Trenton is a long-time Alaskan and is joining us for his eighth summer season here at Husky Homestead. He has worked as a professional driver for over twenty years. Trenton has attended the start of nearly every Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race for the last twenty years and has knows a thing or two about sled dogs—he used to mush dogs, too! Trenton spends his winters in the southern portion of the state, near the coast. In his free time, he can be found seeking out and attending live music shows. He enjoys spending time with friends and family whenever he can.