Six years ago, clad in duct tape and a few tattered fragments of raingear, my husband Hig and I paddled leaking Sevylor rafts through a maze of nets and fishing boats to land in the remote village of Chignik. We were desperately thin, despite having subsisted for the past week on jars of Betty Crocker frosting. We had been trekking along the Alaska Peninsula, through a remote wilderness of tundra and volcanoes, for two months and over eight hundred miles. Outside of the few towns we passed through, we'd seen zero people and eighty-five grizzly bears. But I was happier than I ever had been. And what was originally planned to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience would eventually become a way of life.

Since then we've walked and rafted over three thousand miles in the Alaskan wilderness, traveling through thickets of alder and devil's club, down roiling rivers and past angry bears to some of the most amazing places I've ever seen.

On June 9, 2007, we will hand our keys to the landlord, shoulder our backpacks, step off our Seattle front porch, and head for the mountains. Our plan is to walk, packraft and ski four thousand miles from the heart of urban Seattle to the first Aleutian Island. We estimate the journey will take nine months, finishing in March 2008.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Environmental mission
    • Salmon
    • Forests
    • Resource Extraction
    • Global Climate Change
  • Logistics
  • Route
    • Cities, suburbs, and the Cascade Mountains - June 2007
    • Vancouver Island Coast - July 2007
    • Great Bear Rainforest - July-August 2007
    • Tongass National Forest - October 2007
    • Gulf of Alaska - November 2007
    • Prince William Sound to Cook Inlet - December 2007
    • Bristol Bay Uplands - January 2008
    • Alaska Peninsula - February 2008
    • Unimak Island - March 2008
  • Conclusion

# WORDS: 4240
# PHOTOS: 20

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