Fairbanks-based Bruce L. "Buck" Nelson has done most things imaginable in the wild and not so wild areas all over the US. This, modern mountain man has completed the Triple Crown, paddled the Mississippi by canoe, and he is the first person to thru-hike the Desert Trail. These treks are just the beginning of his adventures. The former Alaska smokejumper has not only traveled alone across Alaska but has also paddled and hunted the magnificent state extensively. A couple of summers ago he spent 70 days surviving on an island in the southern part of the 49th state starting out with no food whatsoever.
If you are into hiking and interesting personalities, Buck Nelson will be a person well worth knowing about. This is how I first got to know about him and subsequently met him over some hash browns and over easy eggs.
Following Buck across AlaskaI was intently watching the TV screen when one of my teenage sons happened to pass by. He stopped and watched as a gray-bearded backpacker with glasses and a baseball cap trudged along a nameless valley in Alaska’s Brooks Range.
"He looks like you," my son said disinterestedly and moved on towards the fridge.
The DVD I had been watching for the umpteenth time was Alone Across Alaska, Buck Nelson’s inspiring film about him hiking and paddling across the state, from the Canada border to the Bering Strait in 2006. I was at that time planning my own, more modest, backpacking trip across the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That would mean doing about half of Buck's hike, from the border to the Haul Road, and I was studying how he, and Andrew Skurka a couple of years later, made their way through the eastern Brooks Range. Now, I knew that I did not look much like Andrew, but I had to agree with my son about Buck.
- Following Buck across Alaska
- Background on Buck
- The Inteview with Buck
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