Sunday, January 30, 2011

Maybe not what you'd expect.

Our non-traditional and very enjoyable way to spend the 24th and 25th of December. Bonus that Fang got to join us for parts of it.

Nothing necessarily wrong with traditional holiday celebrations, we just needed a little change from what we've always done. And yeah, the change was kinda nice.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The IditaTour: Part three.

The last ~7 days of my 2010 self-supported Iditarod trip.

I feel a need to reiterate: My energies were largely devoted to forward motion, leaving the camera a distant afterthought. Especially, and oh so critically, on this leg of the trip where my daily caloric deficit caught up to and passed me by, asleep trailside.

I did the best I could rendering these stills and clips into a story. And it is important to dwell on the fact that it is "a" story, but far from the complete story. I have no idea how to objectively film myself falling to pieces over and over the way I did on the way up to Shaktoolik and then Koyuk. I wish someone had--it would have been hilarious, right up until it became too pathetic to watch. Increasing calories (by eating 'ahead' into my rations) made all the difference--bringing me back from the brink and into a coherent, forward moving human in just a few hours. Had I been a day later getting to where I was, that wouldn't have been an option, and my predicament would have gotten interestinger and interestinger.

Completing the trip that I did, in the style that I chose, is probably the most rewarding thing I've yet done. The difficulties went beyond the mental and physical relatively early on, and took me to lows and highs that I didn't expect and could never have prepared for.

That said, I'd encourage anyone considering duplicating this trip to think twice, thrice if necessary. It's about the worst way to experience The Trail and bush Alaska. At least from my perspective.

It is almost unbelievable the amount of time that goes into putting a video like this together. Darn near a full-time job. Hope that it provides entertainment, inspiration, and maybe even a bit of education to someone, somewhere.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

The IditaTour: Part two.

Another seven days of travel encapsulated in the montage below--from just before Takotna to just past Kaltag.

I tried (when editing the video) to give some idea of morning, day, and night, but the reality (when shooting the clips) was that all effort was devoted to forward progress, and I just couldn't focus tightly enough on the vid. Thus, the bulk of the shots are daytime when it was warmer and more doable. Another way to look at it is that (in the video) things all blur together into one endless day--and that's *very* accurate to how it was out there. Even thinking back I have a hard time calling up where certain campsites were, or which memorable events happened on which days. One big blur.

The entirety of this segment was shot below zero--the high temp in this 7 day stretch was about -5, with 4 nights of roughly minus 55. Yes, those were difficult nights. Average daytime temps were closer to minus 20, which turned out to be nicer than you'd guess because the sun was shining and there was no wind.

Enough details--much more important sensory data to be gathered right here:

Part three HERE.