Meet Duke. He is one of the most unusual dogs I've ever known. I'll tell you about his people in a minute. One of the really important things about his people, to Duke, is the fact that they live on Lake Superior.
We've all known dogs that love the water; that alone would not make Duke unique. Have you known a dog that would completely entertain himself as long as he had a beach? Duke first runs up and down the sand for at least a tenth of a mile in each direction. Then he heads out into the water for a long solo swim. I mean a LONG solo swim. He heads straight out for Canada until he is almost out of sight. Then he turns and swims parallel to the shore till he's well beyond his own beach, when he will finally head back into land.
I swam out pretty far myself, and I wasn't even half as far as Duke. One of the three times we went out together he swam over to me and we touched noses. I think that was a real honor! He's a four-year-old chocolate lab and Vizsla mix. Did he know that Maggie was his "cousin?"
Here are Duke's people, Ron Thorley and Frida Waara. I got to spend the last day and a half with them. They are a remarkable, generous couple. Their son, Ian, is a professional snowboarder, and their daughter, Erika, leads expeditions to summit Mt. Rainier.
I've known Frida for a couple of years. She is an outdoor writer and videographer. She's also a polar adventurer, part of the WomanQuest team that went to the North Pole in 2001. She's headed to the South Pole in November! She was the keynote speaker at the NCTA Conference, so we got to renew our budding friendship.
|If I had known about WomanQuest before they went I would have applied. I'm serious. It's an amazing story of the persistence of a group of woman with a goal. Currently the only book about it is Ordinary Women, by Sue Carter. Frida is in process of writing one too.|
She set about getting publicity for my trail finish, and I did do an interview with TV 6 Marquette. Amazingly, she got me into the September issue of Silent Sports magazine. That is really remarkable.
Perhaps most importantly, and I'm going to tell you more about this tomorrow, she is helping me with this redefinition of what I'm going to be... how I'm going to earn enough to support my addiction to being outside.
|See Frida's Web Site |
Read Lawyer Leads North Pole Trek, a document about the trek, written just before they left for Russia