Monday, August 16, 2010

Haul Road to Anaktuvuk

Walking with Skurka and crew the last four days was a gas. Dan Koepel is hilarious, a New Yorker who moved into adventure through road biking then mountain biking with great stories and wit. Even as he suffered with bad knees and hard climbs, stumble f-ing through the tussocks and chilled by the rain and rivers he maintained a great sense of humor.

For Mike Brown, Skurka and me our reunion exhilerates and energizes us -- in Andy -- who's seen not a soul until he hit the Haul Road on the 1oth -- I see a transformation. From determined and hard-nosed to easy going and flexible.

Unfortunately Mike's over-use injuries are sending him ahead by plane. Fortunately, Skurka and I will share a tent and I will carry a camera in hopes of shooting him packrafting the John and other rivers between here and the Arrigetch Peaks where Mike rejoins us.

Travel across the Gates of the Arctic Park by foot and packraft with great companions again reminds me how the Brooks Range offers up the best wilderness in the world.

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