get to know matt austin

Matt was born in Southern California and raised in Northwest New jersey.  He grew up in the outdoors and spent much of his time hiking, skiing, fishing, and paddling around the east coast.  He studied Political Science and History at the University of Vermont and continued his love for the outdoors and winter sports there.  After graduating Matt worked as an arborist and then moved on to working at a ski resort.  Enjoying the freedom and carefree life as a ski bum and travel junkee Matt arrived in Alaska in the spring of 2008.  Initially intending on staying only for the summer, Matt fell in love with Alaska, Mandy, and his first dog Solo and decided to stay.  More than eight years later Matt has built a homestead with Mandy and their 25 dogs outside of Fairbanks, AK.  He has also worked more than four years as brewer and another year in the beer industry, which is his true passion.
Matt got into dog mushing not really by choice, but ​when he first met Mandy she had five dogs, with a litter on the way.  He knew that if he stayed that dogs and mushing would be a part of his life.  He is now fully entrenched in the dog mushing life style and has really taken to it well both as a musher and a handler.  Handlers get little to no credit at all. They are the people that drive thousands of miles to meet their musher at the next checkpoint with a smile on thier face.....never complaining about being cold and tired, or any other woes from the road.  Without handlers mushers wouldn't be able to do anything.
An example of one of the many sacrifices that Matt has made is that instead of going to a major beer festival, Where one of the best and most reputable brewers in the world told Matt's boss and co-workers that Matt's beer was the best beer there.  He was chasing Mandy around on the Copper Basin 300.  Matt has put so much of his life and dreams aside to help Mandy chase her dreams.  Cheers to Matt and all his patience.   

"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together......there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than think, but the most important thing is,even if we're apart.....I'll always be with you."
                                   ~ Winnie The Pooh