The future home of Iditarod dreams: What is a dream worth?

Michele in Alaska

It is less than 24 hours since Michele left and I am seriously having the blues. I wont see her for at least four months and I am questioning if it is all worth it.

I know what many of you will say: time will pass quickly enough and you just miss her…

I can remember to the day when Michele and I spoke first over email, then text, and then later that night in the bedroom in a mini family meeting. We discussed a lot of things that evening, one being can our 18 year old son handle the daily operation of our business, Denver Dog Works, if we move to Alaska.

This was well before the 100s of email with realtors, title companies, banks, insurance agents and U-haul, buying a house sight unseen–contingent on a visual inspection in July, and a trip of a lifetime with my 13 year old daughter, Nicole to Alaska.

Nicole and I “inspected” the house in the middle of a rainstorm on a cold early July day and she texted her mom: “Lets move here!”

You see, it was really up to Nicole….

Here we are almost five months later to the day and we are not together in Alaska. We decided at the family meeting that I would come alone and work on the house and begin to train for the Iditarod dream that has burned inside of me for more than a decade.

Things started off great with the house and then we quickly realized that running two households on one income was tougher than we thought and the cost of getting settled in Alaska was to the tune of 1000s of dollars when you add up winter clothing, heating oil, propane, and 80 dollar fill-ups at the gas station.

The home repairs have dwindled to a trickle but I am running dogs and learning how to harness the power of a team of Alaskan Huskies that will take me on my first qualifier in a month from today.

I have met a lot of great people and made new friends. But I barely talk to people and spend most of my conversations with the dogs. I relish the time I spend with my new friends over dinner and conversation that is always about dogs and mushing but hey, thats what I love.

I know things will work out. They alway do. But when you are separated from your family with a distance of 3200 miles between you it makes for some hard, cold nights and longer days.

In the next few months I am going to work harder than I ever have in my life and put so many miles on the back of a dog sled that it will teach me how to to run this race and chase a dream that has been so much a part of me for all of these years.

In the summer Michele, the kids and I will be together and with that we can live out our dreams as a family as they should be done.

Until then I am:

Workin’ on a mystery, goin’ wherever it leads

Runnin’ down a dream

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works


Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

View all posts by robertforto

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2 Comments on “The future home of Iditarod dreams: What is a dream worth?”

  1. Michele Forto Says:

    Keep the dream alive…..
    I am just a phone call, text, or email away – which if you think about it is much closer than the pioneers that settled Alaska not too long ago.


  2. Edris Majica Says:

    I was “Goggle-ing” and came across your blog site. I had already add your RSS feed to my MSN information reader after reading some of your earlier posts. I’m looking forward to more posts from you.


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