Little white crosses dot the Dalton Highway in arctic Alaska. Each cross is a name, a story, a reminder that this road is the most dangerous highway in America. Yet for 13 years, Joy “Mothertrucker” Wiebe climbed into her eighteen-wheeler two or three times a week and braved the blizzards and ice, washouts and isolation, to haul supplies 414 miles from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. Joy did it for the adventure, for the freedom that comes in supporting oneself, and for the chance to marvel at what she considered God’s heaven on earth.
In April 2018, writer Amy Butcher, inspired by Joy’s beautiful and tender photos of the Alaskan arctic, flew from Ohio to join Joy on one of her treks to Prudhoe Bay. Embarrassed and ashamed at her inability to leave an abusive relationship, Amy hoped her journey through the Alaskan wilderness would be transformative. It would be a rebirth of sorts, a renewal of her strength and self-worth. The tundra and treacherous permafrost, sun dogs and mountains were indeed awe-inspiring. However, as the miles went by Amy realized it wasn’t the landscape that would transform her, it was Joy.
At 50-years-old, Joy was no stranger to hardship and heartache, but she had a firm belief her life was in God’s hands and it was her duty to help as many people as she could. Through Joy’s wise and loving words and actions, Amy came to realize she did have the strength and courage to leave her boyfriend and live a different kind of life. Mothertrucker is as much Amy’s story as Joy’s. Readers will find this journey on a remote Alaskan highway is a journey through what it means to be a woman and what it means to love.