Our flag expedition; Ancient Trails, Fresh Voices got underway Monday morning, March 9th along the Tanana River in sub-arctic Alaska with two snow machines, three dog sleds and 28 dogs. Our crew of five then made way over 200 miles of river and wooded trails, including one morning where we awoke in our tent to minus 50 Fahrenheit and got underway as the sun warmed things around us to a balmy -35.
We arrived in the village of Tanana after six days of seclusion, got our dogs secured, and then received the news from the villagers about how Covid-19 was impacting lives; schools closed in Alaska and elsewhere, travel to Europe suspended, global panic buying of toilet paper, and the like. It was a wow moment, truly stunning in nature.
It soon became apparent that gathering the young people together would be against state orders, and our expedition as planned had stalled. However, the villagers remain very supportive of our expedition research objectives, they want to see it continue, and have asked us to come back after the virus runs its course. So for now, flag 174 awaits it’s reentry into the world of exploration.
Flag #174 in Tanana, AK with teachers Albert, Mary and school principal Amy next to Jillian and her father, Explorers Club member Rodney Moll.