A taste of the Brooks Range . . . Anaktuvuk Pass to Wiseman
There is such a crazy story associated with this trip, but you'll have to read the whole deal here.
In summary, Chrissy May, Gretchen Roffler, and I did a trip from Anaktuvuk Pass ($170 flight from Fairbanks into the Brooks Range) to Wiseman on the Dalton Highway. It involved about 90 miles of travel, split almost evenly between floating and hiking. The scenery was amazing, and the options and opportunities for exploration endless!!
Welcome to Anaktuvuk Pass!
An interesting mix of time and cultures . . .
Heading toward the Anaktuvuk River . . . we walked up the right side of the river . . . I recently found out that this trail continues all the way up the left side of the river! Oh well, I guess we just got a better workout :-)
That must be Fan Mountain . . . I mean, it looks like a fan! Oh the ways you can delude yourself into thinking you've gone much further than you have!
Leaving camp, and heading down Ernie Creek
Gretchen, our wildlife biologist, taught us all a great deal about animals, and we loved it!
And then the sun started coming out - hooray!
Can't miss an opportunity for headstands in The Valley of the Precipices!
And then the world opened up a bit, and the Gates of the Arctic could be seen in the distance - Ernie Creek was starting to look pretty darn floatable, but the walking was really great, so we continued on foot!
For those challenged to discern letters from humans, this is a GOA . . . Gate of Arctic :-)
It was so nice, we decided to go peak-bagging/ridge walking for the afternoon up and around Two Prong Mountain
Heading toward the riverPart way down Ernie Creek - it was pretty fun paddling!
Leaving the shores of the Koyukukand heading overland . . .
A truly amazing moment of natural beauty and great friends!
I feel like this picture says it all . . . downtown Wiseman
Hitching north . . .
One thing that shouldn't go without discussion, especially on this blog, is the wonder of freezer bag cooking (http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/ and http://www.harmonyhouse.com/ are great references). Essentially, you put gourmet "just-add-water" foods into a freezerbag and dinner is prepared in the 3 minutes it takes the jetboil to create hot water. Dinner is super easy, tasty, light, and fast. Skipping dinner isn't really even a consideration! On this trip, we had: Organic real mashed potatoes with sun-dried tomaotes and pine nuts, Mexican night (rice, beans, veggies, burrito seasoning), curry rice & lentils with cranberries and peanuts, pesto cous cous with pine nuts and veggies, and Thai with powdered coconut milk, lemongrass, and peanut sauce. Chrissy made one freezer bag last the whole week for 2 meals/day, and Gretchen re-used the Mountain House bag from dessert on night one. We were so thrilled with this system that we intend to write Ziploc a thank-you note :-) We do wonder if we're all going to get cancer from leaching plastics into our system with the hot water, but maybe it's worth it for the joy and simplicity of freezerbagcooking . . .?!?