Hey there! I’m Sam!
Ever since I was a little girl, my parents encouraged me to explore, discover, and create. This basic principle has led me on a lifetime journey of exploring new places, pushing myself to new limits, and chasing my dreams. I am driven by unexplored places, dog-powered adventures, two tires racing down dirt trails, and a good belly laugh.
I spent my childhood romping through the woods in my parents backyard in Metro Detroit, Michigan. I grew up camping, biking, and loving on any dog I set my eyes on… With my family by my side as we sat around the fire, I quickly developed an immense love for the outdoors. As I grew older, I only wanted to immerse myself more and more in what my family loved together – the outdoors… and well, dogs.
When college rolled around, I attended Northern Michigan University in Marquette – Placed right along the shores of Lake Superior with water so clear you can see each grain of sand. Those very shores luckily became the place I got to call home – A place that has the power to pull you back, time and time again. Marquette has the perfect backyard to start pushing yourself in the outdoors so while I was earning my degree, I had access to biking, climbing, kayaking, and backpacking which gave me the ultimate playground to develop new skills and become a well-versed female in the outdoors. I later graduated NMU with a Bachelors of Science in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management which gave me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and begin chasing adventure.
In 2019, I moved to a small dog camp tucked away on the Mendenhall Glacier, in Juneau, AK. I became a dog handler for two teams where I helped care for the dogs and in exchange, I received endless lessons and experience on working with sled-dogs. That camp, and the dogs we lived with is what locked me in. I was in love. I fell for the early morning and late night howls, I fell for the excitement and energy that radiated as we hooked up a team to take out a tour. I took the lessons learned from the glacier and became a musher/guide in Big Sky, Montana that following winter.
In the Fall of 2020 when the world was put on pause, I had the opportunity to hop on a flight and move to Two Rivers, AK to work with ATAO kennel – A small race team with 24 of the most precious dogs. ATAO is owned by Will Troshysnki who graciously took me under his wing and has been teaching me everything I need to know about his team and the world of racing. Everyday spent at the kennel brings on new challenges and lessons and there’s nothing that makes me happier!
Together with the 24 ATAO dogs, I plan on competing in two more Iditarod qualifiers with high hopes of shooting for Iditarod 2024! Stay tuned!