Arctic Refuge 2020

Luc and I had lots of ideas about potential summer trips for 2020, but when COVID hit and rural villages across Alaska shut down-- with rightful concerns about limited medical infrastructure and intergenerational trauma from the Spanish Flu-- we knew we needed to adapt our recreation plans to keep us self-supported, out of villages & on the road system.

Luc put his trip-planning skills to work and came up with a ~350 mile loop that started & ended on the Haul Road, got us out to the Sadlerochit Mountains (which we'd wanted to explore since we floated past them in our 2017 Arctic Refuge Traverse) and incorporated a food drop that some friends of ours already had planned. We pulled in Will Koeppen (the pics in this post are Will's, & I'd encourage reading the daily journal entries he posted on his Instagram, starting here) and hit the road.

My biggest take-away from this trip was how well the nervous system and mind/body...

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We know how to hunker down

What a world we find ourselves in! At the moment of writing this (March 29, 2020) people around the globe are social distancing, taking shelter in place, and hunkering down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We're isolated, out of our normal routines, and in a time of huge uncertainty in our world.

[Also a huge shout out to those in critical operations who can not work from home and are on the front lines of the pandemic. Thank you for your work.] 

It's a global experience that those of us in the north know a lot about. We know about isolation, spending lots of time inside, not knowing how long the storm will last, and the impact that leaves us with. We know about cabin fever. We just came off a long, dark winter, and survived pretty much intact.

   

Of course it's also true that while similarities exist, this is also very different from a typical winter isolation. For many of us, winter hunkering down involves potlucks, tea with friends, game...

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