There are a few key moments in our lives, turning points, or crossroads, that change the course of events that will follow. For Larry Daugherty this life changing moment was Fjällräven Polar.
Before Polar, Larry was a doctor specialising in cancer treatment and living in very warm and not-at-all-snowy Florida with his family. Since he was a child he had dreamed of coursing across the frozen tundra on the Iditarod race with a dogsled. But despite warning his wife-to-be on their first date that at some point he would live in Alaska and complete an Iditarod, this vision remained a dream.
A chance reading of an article in an in-flight magazine was the first sign for Larry that a crossroads was approaching.
“The only thing I could talk about when I got home was that article. The same evening I rigged up a camera and recorded my Polar application. It was pretty basic, just me and my dream, nothing more.”
But that was enough. Larry was the selection panel’s American choice that year. Just a few months later he was driving a dogsled from Norway to Sweden and turning that lifelong dream into a reality. The experience taught him a lot, not least how to drive a dogsled. But also valuable survival lessons from expert Johan Skullman. And it forged a strong companionship with his fellow adventurers.
“The most fantastic thing for me was being above the Arctic Circle and driving the sled. And being able to experience that together with easy, enjoyable people from all over the world.”
This experience changed him. It rekindled that childhood longing for life in Alaska and Iditarod.
“I was happy in many ways. But there was something missing in Florida. I wanted to have true wilderness around me. And I wanted my children to experience it too.”
And so Larry and his family took the plunge. He accepted a job in Alaska and moved to Eagle River, just outside Anchorage. And through some pretty handy contacts he was able to borrow some dogs from a qualified breeder and so set about training right away.
Last winter the moment came. Iditarod. 1600km of wilderness. Just Larry and his dogs. No human company and no assistance. The fulfilment of a dream. But what now? What can top Iditarod?
“Now I’ve done it, I have to put it behind me. I have done what I’ve dreamed about all my life. But I do look forward to borrowing dogs and going on a trip, just occasionally. I can’t leave it alone completely.”
Who knows what the next crossroads, curved right hander or sharp left turn will be for Larry. But you could change the course of events in your life by entering Fjällräven Polar. Find out more here.