This little devil is Frosty! I am so happy to have had the option of training him this year as a lead dog for our teams. He ran in lead on Nicole’s Junior Iditarod team the whole way then he went on the Iditarod with my friend Hugh! I am so grateful to come across such amazing canine athletes.
This picture says it all. I am so grateful for the time I get to spend with my kids, my daughter, Nicole in particular. This is her at the start of this year’s Junior Iditarod and I am probably the most proud that I have ever been. This photo shows 14 years of working together on the trails, with the teams and the thousands upon thousands of hours training. This Junior Iditarod is her last race before she heads off to school at UAA next fall.
I am grateful for my faithful friend Spencer and his ever-present smile. He arrived almost four years ago from my friend, Hugh Neff and he has been a steadfast teammate ever since. He has been on just about every training run and every race I have ran in Alaska. We have spent more than 12,000 miles together on the trails. He has such a heart and will give you kisses anytime. He has never quit on a run. He is one of the best sled dogs I have ever had.
My little girl is growing up too fast. The other day she took a major step in becoming an independent young woman when she passed her driver’s test to get her driver’s license. It is one of the most proud moments of my life and when I saw the picture of her holding her little card I started to cry.
It seems just like yesterday she was sitting in her car seat in our old Bronco and rocking out to White Zombie as he head-banged holding her sippy cup, yelling “cross breeze” as we would roll the window down.
It seems just like yesterday that she “took me to lunch” at 3 years old and got to ride shot gun in my Datsun 280z. I still have the dollar she gave me.
It seemed just like yesterday when she was running up to me with her banshee hair and her colorful knit sweater.
It seems just like yesterday that she was a little Brownie scout with her mom as the pack leader.
It seems just like yesterday that she was wearing her little dress on the first day of school.
It seems just like yesterday that she started playing softball and learned how to play catcher and throw off her helmet for a play at home.
It seems just like yesterday she was walking two big Rotties on her own and becoming a pretty good little dog trainer.
It seems just like yesterday that she was playing violin at a recital.
It seems just like yesterday that she was receiving awards at middle school for being a rockin’ student.
It seems just like yesterday she learned that she wanted to be a marine biologist!
It seems just like yesterday when she camped on her own with her sled dog team at 35 below zero!
It seems like yesterday that she ran the Junior Iditarod.
It seems like yesterday she applied to college!
It is today my little girl is becoming something that she has worked so hard to achieve. She has a plan. She has goals and she has dreams and I am doing what ever I can to make them a reality. It’s hard some times to be a dad. We want only what is best and sometimes we clash. That’s part of growing up.
But to me our life is our memories and I am glad to have been there to watch this little girl become a young woman and I am glad she shares the journey with me.