HUMAN

Name: COLLEEN DYE
Age: 56
Residence: WASILLA, ALASKA
Occupation: WELL, MY HUSBAND AND I ARE RETIRED FROM GOVERNMENT WORK ON THE EAST COAST. BUT NOW I AM A BASECAMP COOK FOR THE COASTAL BROWN BEAR OUTFITTER DOWN ON THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS.
Years involved with Iditarod: 4
Iditarod Role: I WORK AS A LOAD COORDINATOR FOR LOGISTICS FOR THE IDITAROD AIRFORCE.
Current Location: WILLOW ALASKA
Date of Photo: FEBRUARY 16, 2019
Temperature: 10F / OUTDOORS

What is your Why?.. Why are you here today and involved in Iditarod?:  

WELL, I HAVE– I’VE BEEN ENAMORED BY ALL THINGS IDITAROD SINCE ABOUT 2007 WHEN ON THE EAST COAST I WORKED IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND GOT INTERESTED IN FOLLOWING IT WITH KIDS AND WATCHING THEIR ENTHUSIASM FOR LEARNING WHEN THEY FOUND OUT ABOUT ALL THESE DIFFERENT THINGS IN A DIFFERENT PART OF THE UNITED STATES. AND IT JUST GREW FROM THERE EXPONENTIALLY.

Tell me about your most rewarding experience on Iditarod?:

WELL, IN MY ROOKIE YEAR, I WAS RACE COMMUNICATIONS. AND I WAS VERY FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO GET SENT OUT TO UNALAKLEET, BUT THEN, ONLY AFTER I WAS ON THE GROUND FOR TWO HOURS, I GOT THE CALL AND I GOT SENT TO THE SAFETY ROADHOUSE, AND SPENT A WEEK AND A HALF AT THE SAFETY ROADHOUSE WITH VERY, VERY MINIMAL COMMUNICATIONS AND LITERALLY WATCHING OUT A WINDOW WITH BINOCULARS FOR EVERY MUSHER AS THEY CAME ACROSS. AND AS I WAITED FOR THE LEAD MUSHER THAT YEAR, WHICH WAS DALLAS SEAVEY – IT WAS ABOUT 2 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING AT THE SAFETY ROADHOUSE. I COULD SEE HIS HEADLAMP COMING FROM 5 MILES AWAY. IT’S 25 BELOW ZERO. AND I’VE GOT EVERY BIT OF CLOTHING ON AND I’M OUTSIDE. AND I’M WATCHING A MUSHER THAT I HAVE LONG FOLLOWED COMING AT ME IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. AND I’M WATCHING GREEN AND PURPLE NORTHERN LIGHTS DANCING OVERHEAD. IT WAS THE MOST SURREAL EXPERIENCE. AND I THOUGHT, I HAVE DONE IT ALL – THIS IS AMAZING! SO THAT IS REALLY PROBABLY THE MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE THAT I’VE HAD ON THE TRAIL SO FAR.

What do you know for sure?

WELL, IF I HAD TO TELL YOU WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE, IT WOULD BE THAT YOU ARE NOT GUARANTEED ANYTHING; AND THAT IF YOU DON’T TAKE A CHANCE AND GO OUT ON A LIMB AND TRY TO LIVE YOUR DREAM, UM, YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF THE LAST DAY THIS SIDE OF THE HERE AFTER REGRETTING. MY HUSBAND AND I TOOK A HUGE CHANCE; PACKED UP EVERYTHING THAT WE COULD IN A SMALL TRUCK AND DROVE CROSS-COUNTRY TO ALASKA AND HAVE BEEN LIVING THE DREAM FOR 4 YEARS NOW. AND WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO REGRETS; AND CONTINUE TO DO IT FOR AS LONG AS WE’RE ABLE TO. AND THAT IS WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE: THAT YOU HAVE TO LIVE EVERY DAY LIKE, UH, YOU KNOW, THIS IS IT.

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