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Colville River and Brooks Range, Alaska by Debbie Miller
Ralph Teller

Darrell Gardner Reaches Artic Ocean Under Human Power!

by Ralph Teller

Solo Journey from Mexico to the Artic Ocean Completed by Hiking, Kayak, Canoe, Snowshoe and Cross Country Ski

August 29, 2012

Keeping the flame of adventure alive, Darrell Garnder of Santa Fe, New Mexico reached the Artic Ocean today in a canoe on the Colville River Alaska.

Darrell's incredible solo journey began hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail beginning at the Mexican border to the Canadian border through California, Oregon and Washington state. The Pacific Crest Trail is 2,663 mi (4,286 km) long through the Cascade Mountains and Sierra Mountains and reaches an elevation of 13,153 feet (4,009 m) in the Sierra Nevada. Darrell estimated he took over 5 million steps completing this 1st leg of his trip.

The 2nd leg of Darrell's journey was by kayak on the Skaget River in Washington State from the Northern Cascade Mountains to Puget Sound.

Darrell faced some of the more serious challenges of his solo trip on the 3rd leg of his adventure kayaking 1400 miles in the Inland Passage traveling from Seattle, Washington to Skagway, Alaska. During this segment, he needed to become very sensitive to weather conditions and knowledgeable of currents, some treacherous, and wind conditions. Sitting in a kayak over that distance also had it's challenges.

After this demanding kayak challenge, Darrell traced the old Gold Rush path. He hiked the Chilkoot Trail to the head waters of the Yukon River. He thenl travel by canoe on the Yukon River as the Yukon flows NW through northern British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and back into Alaska to it's most northern point at Fort Yukon.

The final two stage of his trip may have been the most interesting. In Spring, he traveled by snowshoe and cross country ski to the top the Brooks Range near Atigun Pass in the Gates of the Artic National Park, Alaska. In Summer, Darrell connected with a tributary of the Colville River at the village of Anaktuvuk Pass. This tributary is part of the Colville River drainage and flows down the north slope of the Brooks Range to Alaska's Arctic coast. The Colville river meets the Arctic Ocean near Oliktok Point about 40 miles west of Prudhoe Bay.

Darrell's adventure was driven by his "life-long dream . . . a single expedition that would challenge me to use all my outdoor experiences. Being in nature will allow me to reach that innermost point of balance by becoming part of its rhythm. Traveling Under Human Power will rejuvenate my soul and give me a perspective like no other".

During his journey, Darrell carried a GPS device to track his exact movements. I'm excited to hear the details of Darrell's adventure and see the images taken along the way!

See Darrell's Under Human Power and Under Human Power Blog

More about Ralph Teller. See Ralph's 1Vigor Log Calendar.

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