top of page

The Pilon Brothers' Drop New Documentary Film "Driven: Florida Driver to Alaskan Musher"

Chris and Nick Pilon Standing on Yentna River
Chris and Nick Pilon Standing on Yentna River

An Unforgettable Journey

Hey there, it's Chris Pilon and Nick Pilon from Digital Bros Creative Studios! The Pilon Brothers have Dropped their New Documentary Film and today, we are thrilled to share the incredible journey we embarked on with the amazing driver and musher, Lacy Kuehl, and her dad, Brent Kuehl. What began as a simple encounter online turned into an unforgettable adventure, from creating a charitable video to making a captivating documentary about Lacy's remarkable transformation from a Florida driver to an Alaskan musher.

It all started with a single connection - meeting Brent Kuehl online. He shared with us the heartwarming mission of Drive for Diabetes Awareness, Inc., aimed at raising awareness about diabetes and supporting those affected by this condition. We were deeply inspired by their cause and wanted to make a difference through our storytelling skills.

Working alongside the Kuehl family, we set out to create a heartfelt charitable video about the symptoms of diabetes. We hoped that by sharing this crucial information, we could educate and empower others to join the cause and make a positive impact. The collaboration was a meaningful beginning, but little did we know that it was just the start of something much bigger.

The Back of Lacy Kuehl's Fire Suite
The Back of Lacy Kuehl's Fire Suite

As our partnership strengthened, the Kuehl's extended their generosity by displaying the Digital Bros Creative Studios logo on the back of Lacy's racing fire suit. This emblem became a powerful symbol of unity and our shared commitment to making a difference in the world.

The story was unfolding before our eyes, and we knew that there was so much more to capture and share. Our vision expanded, and the idea of making a documentary about Lacy's incredible journey began to take shape. We were determined to chronicle every step of her transformation from a driver racing in Florida to an adventurous musher in the rugged Alaskan wilderness.

The journey to Alaska was no ordinary trip. We started by braving a statewide ice storm, driving through spinouts, and making it to Detroit Airport from our hometown of Owosso, Michigan, with only 30 minutes to spare. Our determination to capture Lacy's journey pushed us forward, and we set off for Seattle, Washington.

Filming Starts & Lacy Prepares For The Jr. Iditarod

Arriving in the breathtaking Alaskan wilderness, we were filled with anticipation as we set out to film Lacy's preparation for the epic Jr. Iditarod race. She had been training in Alaska for 36 days, adapting to the extreme conditions that were worlds apart from her native Florida.

Our first meeting with Lacy, Brent, and the team at "Ala-SKA 107.1 KHITZ" radio station was brimming with excitement and camaraderie. We were all eager to embark on this adventure together and capture every moment of Lacy's journey.

Sled Dog Standing Outside
One of Nick Petit's Dogs

At the Dog Stead, where Lacy and her team of dedicated dogs called home, we were awe-inspired by her resilience in the chilling Alaskan temperatures. Being a Florida native, Lacy adapted admirably, sporting her hoodie and snow pants as she went about her daily tasks with the dogs.

But with every adventure, challenges arise. The deep snow proved a hurdle for us to keep up with Lacy. Despite wearing snowshoes, we found it challenging to maintain pace and capture every vital moment. However, nothing could deter us from telling this remarkable story.

As we observed Lacy preparing for the Jr. Iditarod, we were captivated by her unwavering determination and the deep bond she shared with her canine companions. Their partnership was a testament to the incredible journey they were about to undertake together.

The Morning of Race Day: A Beautiful Start

Woman on dog sled waving
Lacy Arrives at Eagle Quest

Race day finally arrived, and the morning started beautifully, with no hiccups in sight. The excitement in the air was palpable as Lacy received her send-off at the start-finish line, surrounded by a cheering crowd and fellow mushers.

With the cameras rolling, we captured the powerful moment as Lacy glided under a massive culvert. Later we learned a mix-up had occurred a few miles back, slowing her and other mushers down. But Lacy's spirit remained unyielding, and she faced the challenge with a smile and unshakable determination.

After packing up, we headed to Eagle Quest, eagerly awaiting Lacy's arrival at the checkpoint. As hours passed, we anxiously watched for her sled approaching the checkpoint. Her dogs were in good spirits, and she continued her race deeper into the wilderness.

Two men stuck in the snow with a snow machine
Mike Dillard Helping Tyren Torkelson

From that point onward, we couldn't get ahead of her via car anymore. The vast Alaskan landscape could only be traversed by snow machines. With Brent, his wife Heather, Tyren Torkelson, Louis Schrader, and Mike Dillard, we ventured into the evening, determined to keep up with Lacy.

Riding with Mike and Louis on the snow machines, we arrived at Yentna Station Roadhouse after a challenging ride on the river. The extreme -20 degrees tested not only us but also our equipment, which endured some damage due to the rough terrain.

We were fortunate to stay at the welcoming Iditarod Trailside Lodging. Our hosts provided us with a warm refuge amidst the harsh Alaskan conditions, offering us hearty meals and a comfortable place to rest.

The Next Morning: A Sudden Turn of Events

Musher with headlight at night
Lacy With Officials At Yentna Station

As the sun rose on the next morning, the air was freezing, but the skies were clear, promising a new day filled with possibilities. I hopped on a snow machine with Mike, determined to get an interview with Lacy and swap out her frozen GoPro for a working one.

However, we soon discovered that the extreme cold had taken its toll on the GoPro, leaving it frozen and unresponsive. But, being resourceful, we had another battery stashed in Lacy's sled, and it had plenty of juice left. Though we tried our best to warm up the GoPro, time wasn't on our side.

With the GoPro situation unresolved, we had to be quick on our feet. We raced back to our hosts, where Lacy was set to drive her sled below on the river. Armed with a drone in the air, we eagerly awaited her arrival to capture some breathtaking footage.

But, unexpectedly, Lacy didn't show up at the expected time. Concerned, we checked the tracker and saw that she was heading back to Yentna Station. We hurriedly made our way back to see what had happened.

Lacy had suddenly passed out on her sled while heading in our direction. Her lead dogs, Shooby and Bansaw, displayed incredible loyalty and obedience, responding to her command to turn around.

It was their swift actions that saved Lacy's life, as she was dehydrated and fatigued. These remarkable lead dogs earned the Blue Harness, a prestigious award, for their courage and devotion.

Legendary Honors: Dick Mackey's Touching Speech

During the Jr. Iditarod Dinner the mushing community came together to honor legendary musher Lance Mackey, who had recently passed away. Dick Mackey, Lance's father, received the Honorary Musher Award, delivering an inspiring speech to the mushers and audience.

The Power of Unity and Teamwork

Our journey filming "Driven: Florida Driver to Alaskan Musher" has been nothing short of extraordinary. As we reflect on our time in Alaska, we can't help but feel immense gratitude for the unforgettable experiences and invaluable lessons we've learned.

Filming in the Alaskan wilderness taught us to embrace the unpredictability of nature and to adapt quickly to ever-changing conditions. From braving extreme temperatures to dealing with equipment challenges, we discovered the importance of being resourceful and resilient in the face of adversity.

Throughout our time with Lacy, we witnessed the indomitable spirit of a young woman pursuing her dreams against all odds. Her determination, courage, and love for her canine companions have left an indelible mark on our hearts, inspiring us to share her incredible story with the world.

Our collaboration with the Kuehl family, the Tork Memorial Foundation, and the supportive Alaskan community showcased the power of unity and teamwork. Together, we worked towards a common goal - raising awareness for Drive for Diabetes Awareness, Inc., and sharing Lacy's inspiring journey.

Being part of Lacy's journey from the preparation to the race day taught us the importance of cherishing every moment. From the serene Alaskan landscapes to the heart-pounding action on the sled, every experience was a testament to the beauty and unpredictability of life's adventures.

An Exciting Future Ahead: 2024 Jr. Iditarod

As we continue on this filmmaking journey, we are thrilled about what the future holds. We are deeply grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from our audience, sponsors, and partners. Your encouragement has driven us to create impactful films that touch hearts and inspire change.

With "Driven: Florida Driver to Alaskan Musher" capturing hearts worldwide, we are eagerly looking forward to the 2024 Jr. Iditarod. Lacy has pledged to race again and redeem herself, and we will be there to document every step of her journey. Stay tuned as we embark on this exhilarating adventure once more!

Thank You for Your Support

Black T-Shirt With Musher on it
Supporters Who Donate $25 or More Get This Limited T-Shirt

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to every individual, sponsor, and organization who supported us on this incredible journey. Your generosity has been instrumental in making this documentary a reality and driving positive change for Drive for Diabetes Awareness, Inc. and the Tork Memorial Foundation.

As we continue to pursue our passion for storytelling, we invite you to join us on our future adventures. Stay connected with Digital Bros Creative Studios as we strive to create impactful films that share inspiring stories and celebrate the resilience of the human spirit.

Our journey filming "Driven: Florida Driver to Alaskan Musher" has been an unforgettable experience filled with challenges, triumphs, and heartwarming moments. We are incredibly proud to share Lacy's incredible transformation and her journey to becoming an Alaskan musher. Thank you for being part of this incredible adventure, and we can't wait to share more stories that inspire and unite us all.

Thank you for reading!

Watch The Film Here or Stream At Home On Your TV:

113 views0 comments
bottom of page