Expedition Training

When I was six, I used to run beside my brother on a bicycle. I remember thinking “why ride a bike when I can run instead”. The weird stuff we thought and did when we were kids!

Actually, I just loved to run… and I’ve never quite running. Little did I know that over a half century later, I’d still be running.

Life is strange, but the fact is: if I wasn’t a runner there’s no way in heck I’d ever be capable of conducting expeditions in Arctic Alaska to the extent I have. Our creator has a plan for each of us.

Aside from traveling on sea ice, which is the easiest sledding/traveling in the world, plus a few wind-blown valleys in the Brooks Range, running, skiing and snowshoeing is the only means of travel on multi month expeditions.

The dogs have enough weight to haul and they don’t need me for extra baggage. Besides, the idea of sitting on my posterior or standing on the tuners while my dogs are working their butts off doesn’t fit me well.

The Alaskan malamute dog-breed has been pulling sleds across the frozen tundra for thousands of years. Pulling is what they love and live for. I’ve never had a malamute that didn’t pull with everything they got from the first time harnessed to the last time when they’re too old. These guys and gals love to pull, climb steep terrain and break-trail.

However, we humans haven’t been pulling sleds across the Arctic for millennia like our malamute comrades have. So, for us to keep-up with our naturally athletic canine friends we gotta train.

Running, bicycling, skiing and weight training is my ritual for expedition training.

By the time we’re ready to hit the trail for another expedition, I had better be capable of running a marathon everyday.

If I’m not, my 22 canine teammates will literally run me over and leave me face-planted in the snow while their wagging tails disappear over the horizon.

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