About the BOok
Alaska is known as a place where people disappear—at least a couple thousand go missing each year. But the same vast and rugged landscape that contributed to so many people being lost is precisely what has gotten me found.
Known for attracting “crackpots” from the Lower 48 who “come north to live out ill-considered Jack London fantasies,” as Jon Krakauer wrote in Into the Wild, Alaska has “long been a magnet for dreamers and misfits, people who think the unsullied enormity of the Last Frontier will patch all the holes in their lives.”
A cross between Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Krakauer’s Into the Wild, this is the story of how I found my way, both despite, and because of, the difficulties of living—and racing—in the remote wilderness. It’s the story of how I learned to put one foot in front of the other, over and over again, while recovering from trauma.
Long-distance dog sledding later opened a door to a new existence. Dog racing across the state of Alaska offered the best of all worlds by combining raw wilderness with solitude and athleticism. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the “Last Great Race on Earth,” remains a true test of character and offers the opportunity to intimately explore the frontier that I have come to love. The intensity and constant fluctuation of trail conditions provide a dynamic new environment to learn from each year.
With every 1,000 miles of winter trail traversed in total solitude, I’ve confronted challenges that wakened my internal demons, summoning all the inner grief and rage that usually lay dormant and stewing. When the demons appeared—growling and flailing about—demanding an audience, as they usually do, they found none, and so dissipated in the vastness of the wilderness.
Katherine is co-owner and energy engineer with Remote Solutions; a certified Bulletproof and Integrative Nutrition health coach; and a wellness advocate. She is committed to supporting Alaskans to build capacity through responsible, sustainable development in communities large and small. An endurance sled dog racer, budding alpinist, and Ironman triathlete, she works to help others establish, reach, and exceed their goals. Katherine pursues her advocacy interests through the non-profit Be Epic. Katherine is a private pilot, fishes commercially for salmon above the Arctic Circle, while also operating the dog kennel. Katherine currently lives in Kotzebue, Alaska, with her 15-year-old daughter Amelia..