Thursday, September 16, 2010

the challenge.

- Am going to cross the Pacific on a wooden raft to support a theory that the South Sea Islands were peopled from Peru. Will you come?

This is the message that Thor Heyerdahl sent to three people. They all said yes. This in a time before Personal Locator Beacons, GPS, Drysuits, satellites phones, and Search and rescue. THEY ALL SAID YES. This to me is amazing. Many think the hardest part of expeditioning is the act itself, and that may be the case if your climbing Everest. But for the trip I am planning for Alaska the trip itself isn't that physically demanding. The route is very protected - that's why it's called inside - and there is relative safety in the form of the Alaskan Marine Highway system. We have many opportunities to bail out in a bad situation. The difficulties are this, not necessarily in this order. Cold, Wet, Rain, Wind, Getting time off from work, and getting there.

The paddle isn't that difficult, though long, and cold and wet, it is more a challenge of perseverance. The Challenge is getting the group together, and keeping them focused on the goal. And getting them to the put in. Seriously. I think the most difficult part of the trip is getting all the people, and the gear, and the kayaks, to the put in. It isn't even that expensive of a trip - unless you don't own a kayak, which two of our group don't, yet. Or at least a kayak suitable for a trip like this. - But the costs are pretty meager.

The group of people who responded to my Heyerdahl like message on a whiteboard started as 9 and now is 6. How many make the actual trip only time will tell. Many things have to come together to get this group to the other side of the continent in a position to paddle for 30 or so days.

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