OKEMOS, Mich. (WLNS) — One young Michigander is taking on a chilly trek lasting nearly a thousand miles. Luckily, he’ll have some furry friends to keep him company.

According to his father, Hunter Keefe spent most of his life exploring.

A young Hunter Keefe dressed as a professional musher, complete with a stuffed Siberian husky.

“Hunter grew up like any other kid. He loved dogs and he loved winter,” Aaron Keefe said. “Those were two things that were very apparent very early on, and we encouraged him just to explore.”

After graduating from Okemos High School, Hunter Keefe moved to Alaska to follow his dream of being a musher.

Merriam-Webster defines a musher as “one who drives a dog-sled over snow.”

Keefe’s family knew of the now 23-year-old’s hopes to compete in the Iditarod race. Luckily, Keefe’s uncle was traveling to Alaska and attending a mushing tourist camp when an opportunity presented itself.

When Keefe’s uncle mentioned his nephew’s interest in racing to a musher, the dog-sledder said he could have a job for Hunter.

Through his move to Alaska, Hunter Keefe got connected with the Redington family, who started the Iditarod race. Keefe has been staying with the Redington family ever since he made the move to Alaska.

Keefe, 23, during the 2023 Iditarod race.

“It’s an absolute honor for Hunter to be working with this family, sharing those genetics with the same dogs over 50 years, honestly,” Aaron Keefe continued.

While the young musher is making the trek across Alaska, his family keeps tabs on him, thanks to GPS tracking on his sled.

If you want to support Keefe on his expedition or want to keep up with him, his Venmo and Instagram are @mushingdogs.