I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

A year ago on Father’s Day, the day after the annual Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay, we were at Harborview trauma center in Seattle and a team of doctors were figuring out how to put Chip’s pelvis, ribs, and lung back together after a horrible crash in stage 1 of the race. Yesterday, we rode in the 23rd annual relay (we rode in the first too, and just about every one in between) as a Lende family team of 4– with Eliza and her husband Justin. Not only are we not in an emergency room today, but we all have ribbons– second place in the mixed 4s. I know you may think it’s crazy for both of us– repaired pelvises and all– to keep riding any bikes, much less racing on them– and I sometimes do too. But one look at Chip’s face yesterday afternoon while we waited for Eliza to finish the race explains everything– doesn’t it?

Happiness has its risks– all joy does– and when you really know what the risk is in your bones, and weigh the loss with the gain, and prepare yourself as best as you are able– and then take it anyway, the reward is that much sweeter.