Though I have had some exciting adventures in the past, swimming with beluga whales, a 70 km canoe trip down the Zambezi River filled with crocs and hippos and camping along the banks at night, a "polar plunge" in Antarctic waters, this may be my most daunting trip.
Right now I am on the Noatak River in Alaska. Entirely above the Arctic Circle, this river begins in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and ends at the ocean near Kotzebue. Our 6-"man" team (3 women, 3 men) will canoe the river's length of 425 miles over 30 days. This wilderness does not have any support stations so we will be carrying all our food, tents, fuel and supplies with us. My second WREAF trip (Wilderness River Expedition Art Foundation), this will be twice as long as the trip to Labrador.
According to the Noatak River National Preserve, the Noatak River "supports an intact, unaltered ecosystem." We expect to see grizzly bear, migrating caribou, wolves, raptors, musk ox, and there is a good chance of seeing one the most northern herds of Dall sheep in the world. We expect to be the only humans for many many miles.
We will have a satellite link-up to show our location. If it has been set-up properly (keeping in mind we are artists not technicians) you can follow us along on google map. The link is below. Once you access the site, a message screen may appear.
This expedition is the first half of "an artistic circumnavigation of the western Brooks Range on the Noatak and Kobuk Rivers." The second half will be completed next summer.
My husband will be home manning "the fort" and watching our progress on the river. Without him, I would never have been ready for the trip. Check in to my blog in a few days and you'll see what I mean.