During stage 1 we will kayak 1,400 miles from Seattle, Washington to Skagway, Alaska. The Pacific Northwest is home to a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial animals. We will be studying whales and other marine mammals, kelp forests, salmon, and many other species.
The Pacific Northwest is home to a variety of large land mammals including Grizzly Bears, and Black Bears. Above and below the surface we are sure to find plenty of things to learn about. Many of these large mammals need large undeveloped spaces to thrive and the roadless sections of British Columbia and Alaska provide the perfect habitat.
From Skagway, Alaska we will hike over the Chilkoot Pass in the footsteps of thousands of gold seekers who struggled across the pass to reach the Klondike. Many of artifacts remain from those early days, and we will follow their path all the way to Dawson City along the mighty Yukon River.
From Bennet Lake on the eastern side of the Chilkoot Pass we will canoe through a chain of lakes that form the headwaters of the Yukon River past White Horse and down the swift flowing Yukon River to Dawson City.
From Dawson we will hike 100 miles through the mountains to the headwaters of the Blackstone River. The Blackstone flows into the Peel River, which flows in the McKenzie River, which will lead us to the Arctic Ocean. The rivers flowing through these rugged mountains as some of the most pristine wild rivers in North America, with hundreds of miles of flowing waterways between towns or roads.
After over 2,600 miles of paddling and hiking we hope to reach the Arctic Ocean before freeze up. We will spend the month of October,2010 training our dogs, and learning about native life in the Arctic. In November we will head south along the McKenzie River by dog team, crossing 1,800 miles of frozen wilderness. There are many remote native communities along our way and we are sure to learn a lot from the people we encounter.
When the ice melts in the Spring of 2011 we will transition from dogsled to canoe and paddle 2,300 miles along the historic travel and trade route pioneered by Alexander McKenzie, Samuel Hearne, and other Canadian Explorers in the 1700's. We will finish this stage of our journey in the fall of 2011 by completing the 8 1/2 mile Grand Portage which will lead us to the rock shore of Lake Superior.
After spending the winter giving presentations and making final preparations we will begin 4,800 mile kayak journey from Grand Portage, Minnesota to Key West, Florida. The first 2,200 miles will take us through the Great Lakes and out the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Great Lakes contain 6 quadrillion gallons of fresh water, which is one-fifth of
the world's fresh surface water. We plan to demonstrate the importance of properly managing and protecting this amazing resource.
During the final stage of our journey we will kayak the length of the Atlantic Coast from the Saint Lawrence Seaway to Key West, Florida. We will be following the seasonal whale migration from the Bay of Fundy in Maine to the warm clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way we will visit cities large and small, and study a variety of ecosystems and environmental topics. We also plan to take side trips into the cyprus swamps and Everglades National Park looking for Alligators, birds, and other critters.