Under Human Power

Sparked by my buddy Darrell's near completion of human-powered travel from Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, I just sold my car, as I'm going to be gone for the majority of the summer. I'm down to two single-speed bikes and there's no reason I can't bike to and from work and get groceries. I have yet to figure out how I'll transport a 40 lb bag of dog food, however. Good thing I just got one.

Darrell hiked the PCT, sea-kayaked the BC coast, hiked the Chilkoot Trail, and paddled the Yukon River. I met him in Fairbanks in the summer of 2010 after he was done paddling. He most recently came through Fairbanks and skied & snowshoed (sp?) from the Yukon River to Wiseman in winter conditions. Hats off to him. I'm happy I was able to help him out as his local contact & base station of sorts.

He's returning late this summer to hike from Wiseman to Anaktuvuk Pass, where he'll packraft out to the coast and get picked up via bush plane on the Arctic Ocean, unless I can convince him to have an inflatable sea kayak flown in to Umiat on the Colville River (Alaska's longest clear-running river) and turn west after reaching the coast and continue to Barrow. I think this would be more fitting of a finish, being the northernmost point in the U.S. and it would save him a $1200 pick up flight back to Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay. Who wants to go there, anyway? Human-powered travel from Mexico to the Arctic Ocean and end at oil fields? Two thumbs down.

Anyway, I'm car-less. It feels liberating, but I'm sure my legs will argue my decision to sell the car.

Here's my schedule of adventures this summer... it's pretty packed.
May 5-13: Packrafting Russell Fjord (near Yakutat) to East Nunatak Glacier & Hubbard Gap with Luc Mehl, et al.
May 14-21: Moving into a new cabin closer to town, so I don't have to bike so far... more incentive to not buy another car :)
May 22-June 6: Surveying peregrine falcons on 200 miles of the Yukon River (I created that webpage btw)
June 8-16: Orienting a co-worker to 150 mi of the Yukon & installing a webcam in a peregrine falcon nest
June 18-19: Fatbiking the Coal Wood Glitter route... or at least trying it
July 6-13: Bikenrafting from Chitina to Cordova on the Copper River with support to the racers of the AK Mtn Wilderness Classic
July 21-25: Fatbiking from the Richardson Hwy to Nabesna, through the eastern Alaska Range
August 8-15: Fatbiking from Nabesna to McCarthy (great trip report!), through Wrangell-St Elias National Park
August 17-25: Canoeing & photographing the Yukon River for work while orienting another co-worker to the river

If I survive, you should have worth-while things to look at and read on this blog by the end of summer.
There's over 500 miles of off-trail wilderness fatbiking planned, alone.
This is easily my most epic season of adventure of my life. A lot of it is really big stuff...
I hope I can pull it off and tell the stories well on here.

Thanks for tuning in and come back soon. The best this blog has ever put out is on its way.


  1. That's ironic, Josh. You know I sold my car and yet to buy one. Actually been riding my Kona around town, and considering the same thing. You're right; it's liberating and no insurance fees.

    I bet you'll have epic stories to share this summer! THE BEST IS YET TO COME--I'm thinking for both of us.

    1. My wife and I were car light in America but then we sold the car and moved to central Europe for 3 years. We are actually moving back to the US and will be buying a car again. Something very small and fuel efficient.

      During our 3 years without a car we have developed different strategies for "shopping" and you will too. We have a dog too that we buy several types of food for. You have several options for the 40 pound bag of dog food. Invest in a bike trailer which will come in handy for many other uses. Find suitable containers for the food and re-distribute the load among panniers on your bike and possibly a pack. Finally, you might want to just start buying smaller amounts and shop more often. That is what we have done. You end up paying a little more but your back and knees might be grateful. Plus it's another excuse to just get some more exercise.


    2. Thanks, Stosh! I've been loving the bike-only life. Those are great recommendations that I've implemented and enjoy. Keep lovin' life.

  2. It is quite difficult to transport a large bag of dog food with the use of a bike. You should try other methods of delivering the food to your dog.


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