Kate René MacKenzie spent her childhood overseas, the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she volunteered at the local humane shelter, eventually becoming director. While earning a BA in Art and then an MBA, Kate worked at various jobs including go-go girl, bartender, and teaching assistant. At 26, she sold her 280Z and packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Kate provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes horses Quinn and Alice, cat Noelle, squirrel Louie, rattlesnake Reggie, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the gray whale, Kate returns to Alaska.