And just like that, our tour expeditions have wrapped up for the season! Wow, what a whirlwind. We’ve spent the past month bopping between home and the Denali Highway in the Alaska Range. It’s hard to believe that traveling down the Highway, camping with dogs, and spending time with fellow dog lovers and adventurists is now part of my job! If you had asked me 10 years ago what my “job” would be, I’d have never dreamed it would include all that it does now: 1000-mile dog sled races, expeditions, day and aurora tours, reindeer farm. And I’m sure in another 10 years, I’ll still be baffled by the direction that life has traveled.
I recently saw a quote about embracing uncertainty, and it really hit home. So much of mushing involves uncertainty, and the resulting anxiety (whether rational or irrational) can at times feel overwhelming. What will the weather do? How will the dogs behave? Should we rest three hours? Four hours? Five hours? Will the truck start? Will the truck break down? Will the sled hold up? Will the guests have fun? Did I remember everything? What should I pack? Yet- it seems that the most rewarding experiences come from the most uncertain of situations. So as the quote was saying, embrace that uncertainty. Have fun. Let it lead you on an adventure.
But wrangling back in my rambling mind, I brought up uncertainty because I believe it plays a big role in our expeditions. On our side, there is much uncertainty. What will Mother Nature throw at us? Snow? Wind? Cold? Heat? Will there be good snow? Will the truck and our gear make it to the trailhead? How much food should we pack? Will the guests have fun? Will they enjoy dog mushing? Will the sleds hold up? But chatting with some of the guests, this trip is equally uncertain. For most, they’ve never been dog mushing. And we toss them on a dog sled, give a 30 minute tutorial, and launch them down the Denali Highway behind a charging team of dogs. And all that uncertainty transforms into a thrilling, rewarding, trip of a lifetime for all of us. We met so many incredible people this spring. I won’t name names to respect their privacy, but I’m inspired by their lives. There are some amazing people in this world. And there are some amazing dogs. I feel lucky to have spent the past month with some of both.
And I should note, we have one more trip planned. Saeward, May, and myself are headed to the Brooks Range! Live on winter!