Way back in January 2008, when I was preparing for my first Iditarod 350, I wrote this paragraph to sum up my feelings about a winter camping experience. I was referring to endurance racing, but it fits just as well with an expedition-style tour of backcountry Alaska in December:
"This multiday winter endurance racing thing is completely crazy. On the surface, it looks hard. Then you peel back its rigid veneer only to find an inner layer of hard. And even as you chip away at its core, you continue to find layer upon layer upon layer of hard. Every part is hard.
And I love it."
I still do. I may never be able to adequately describe exactly why, but I do. And I continue to try.