Day 4, June 17, 2014, The Ribdon to Ivishak River. 14 miles hiking
Crossed two mountain summits
No packraft crossings
Arrived at the Ivishak River
A 7 day, 170 mile wilderness trip from the Ribdon to Ivishak River in Alaska’s Brooks Range from June 14-20.
Today we would move out of the Ribdon to the Ivishak river. The morning arrived in sunny cheerfulness, and we woke to a day poised with excitement, since we would soon rest our feet and legs, blow up our rafts, and embark on a new mode of travel in our packrafts. Plus, we cross the summit today, and start some downhill travel. While my body had held up well so far, my feet and shoulders would welcome a break from that backpack. After changing batteries in the GPS and downing some Mountain House breakfast, we were underway.
Law #4 in The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda is “Knowledge” because: “knowledge makes everything simpler”. Knowledge seems most easily acquired when there is a strong desire to attain it. And there is hardly a more perfect setting than Alaska’s wilderness to bring this into acuity. There is of course the value of research before hand, past experience, and the benefits of being well prepared. Knowledge of wildlife behavior, knowledge of map reading, route finding, terrain and weather, etc., can help immeasurably in making a journey go more smoothly. I must admit that I really enjoyed not specifically knowing the exact route we would take, as this delivers a little bit of puzzle solving every day. While most of the pictures you have seen so far are sunny with blue skies, that was about to change soon. Any veteran of Alaska mountain travel relishes in these fine moments, knowing, they don’t last forever.
Even though today was a little shorter in length, only 14 miles, it was a vigorous day of hiking with some challenging and very fun route finding. It was the favorite day of the hiking portion. We were pretty psyched to be at the threshold of the packrafting portion, which would begin in the morning after a welcomed night of sleep. We are now in the Arctic Refuge, or also known as the ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Finding a flat spot for the tent on the tundra was a mild challenge. Tomorrow comes the water on the river and water from the sky…