I spent 10 days on a river trip in Alaska’s arctic, beginning on the Nigu river, which means “rainbow” in Inupiaq. The Nigu flows north out of the Brooks Range, with its headwaters located in the Gates of the Arctic National Park. It then flows through the National Petroleum Reserve, where it joins the Etivluk river and eventually the Colville river.
River trips in the arctic are filled with adventure and epic wilderness vistas that are to my soul what a great breath of fresh air is to the lungs. Four of us, in two canoes began the trip on June 3, which is still early spring in the arctic. Green shoots and leaves were just beginning to emerge, and the river swelled with brown water from the melting mountainside drainages.
We flew to our destination with Coyote Air and used to two inflatable canoes to navigate the waters. Temperatures were cool, but not cold, and lots of sunshine warmed our happy faces. I’ll be posting a few images from that trip in the next few weeks.