Saturday, July 23rd, 2011
Yukon River Reflections

This summer marks the closing of a decade-long chapter of giving talks to tourists on climbing Mount McKinley at Denali Park. Freed from this commitment gives me more time to embark on new projects and also allows me to enjoy such a journey with friends and Florian, our first father-son trip. The energy on the river ranged from very quiet and peaceful (above) to the occasional ruckus (below). Overall, it was a privilege to be part of this float, and I want to thank all of my traveling companions for making it such a memorable trip.

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Thursday, July 21st, 2011
Going With The Flow

At 2,200 miles, the Yukon River is the fourth-longest in North America, and the most popular and fabled canoe route in the north. It’s a great river to take kids on, as the river doesn’t have any whitewater to speak of. Above, 9-year-old Zack Lawhorne paddles the scenic 30 Mile River section of the Yukon River. This section is part of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. Below, the three rafts in our party are dwarfed against the giant basalt bluffs that line the river. What’s really neat about being on the river is how with each day that passed we gradually found the timeless rhythm of the river. Spending time in the Yukon’s wilderness also served as a reminder what is important in life, and with no effort we let go of some of the things like the internet that consume our daily lives. To some of us, the journey wasn’t long enough, and we wished we could have continued floating downriver to Dawson City and beyond. Maybe next year.

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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Yukon River Journey

There have been a series of serendipitous events in my life this summer, the most recent being an invitation to float down the Yukon River from Lake Laberge to Carmacks in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Having paddled almost the entire length of the Yukon River in the late 80’s, I was eager to reconnect with that early section of the river. The fact that I made this trip with Florian made it very special, as it was our first long father-son journey. Paddling in a sea kayak, we joined a group of Juneauites, who floated the river in rafts. Here, our friend Noah Jenkins drives his raft, powered by a small outboard motor, across Lake Laberge under the midnight sun on the first day of our trip. Noah’s wife Jennifer was actually the one that planted the seed a week before this trip actually happened. I will post more images this week of a journey that was memorable at many different levels. Stay tuned!

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