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Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Beginning - Part 1

The Beginning
For who has despised the day of small things (beginnings)? Zechariah 4:10

On the surface, it would appear that My Great Alaskan Adventure began in July 2004. After all, that is when my wife and I traveled to Alaska with our entire family as well as my two sisters, my father, and my oldest daughter’s boyfriend. This was supposed to be our second honeymoon cruise to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Once everybody found out what we were doing the number of passengers on the cruise expanded exponentially. This trip with all these people was made possible by a generous contribution from my father.* Once ashore in Seward we continued inland for a tour of mainland Alaska. It was this tour that forever changed my life. One of the stops was at Jeff King’s Huskey Homestead. It was here that I first heard about the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. During the stop one of his handlers gave a 20 minute presentation of the race. After it was over, I stayed inside to look at all the equipment and think about the race. My wife, meanwhile was outside talking to Jeff’s wife, Donna. When I came outside, my wife turned to me and said, “You know, I think you could do this.” Not wanting to tip my hand I asked her why she said that and she replied, “You like to be outside. You love snow. You don’t mind getting cold. You go on little or no sleep; and you love solving problems.” I, then, told her that I had come to the same conclusion 20 minutes ago, inside. And so the idea was born. It would take several years to materialize.

*You can read more about how my father was able to do this after working as a truck driver and what it was like for him and my mother growing up during the Depression in “My Great Alaskan Adventure”.