Mike, who is originally from Massachusetts, has been involved with dogs his whole life. His grandfather and godfather raised beagles and he always loved being around the dogs. As a kid, the only this his parents could convince him to read were accounts of polar explorers getting stranded on the ice, watching their ships get crushed by the ice and making a heroic dash for land with their sled dogs.
"It's not easy living for forty years with the lingering, almost nagging feeling that I was born in the wrong century."
He always thought the days of polar heroics were long gone. But then Will Steger reenacted Robert Perry's historic trek to the North Pole. Mike watched as it was chronicled on the National Geographic program, Explorer. That was it. Mike decided he would become a polar explorer. He quickly purchased his first sled dogs, though he didn't know about the Iditarod at that point. He was about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Since then, he has been pursuing his dream ofa lifelong bond to his team of dogs.
Caitlin teaches math and science to 3rd through 12th graders at Cantwell School, the local, 3-room schoolhouse. She and Mike met through their shared love for dogs and the sport of mushing. They were married in 2005, shortly after their move to Alaska. Caitlin has helped to make every mile of Mike's journey possible. Beyond training puppies and prepping harnesses and jackets for the dogs, she inspires Mike about the importance of following dreams.
Mike and Caitlin moved to Alaska with the goal of building a team for the Iditarod, America's Last Great Race. Mike finished his first Iditarod in 2012. The following year, Mike and Caitlin welcomed their son, Maxwell, in a special winter litter. They wonder if he will grow up thinking he is one of the puppies. He already knows how to howl like one! He was there to see his father start the Iditarod in 2015 and cheered him on, virtually, all the way to the burled arch.