BWCA BeaV's Alaskan video - Part 14- The Kvlchak River, Lake Illiamna to Cook Inlet and Anchorage Boundary Waters Group Forum: BeaV's Trip to Alaska
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      BeaV's Alaskan video - Part 14- The Kvlchak River, Lake Illiamna to Cook Inlet and Anchorage     

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OneMatch
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12/20/2014 10:28PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
This is the final episode!

35:30 in length

password:

Anchorage

case sensitive, all characters are letters.

It has been my honor and privilege to present these videos to you. I have really enjoyed your comments and questions (and I know BeaV has as well) and sharing so many of the same thoughts with you on this amazing adventure. Thanks again to CanoeKev for being the software workhorse behind all this and, of course, to BeaV for letting us do this.

Friendly reminder: these videos will be up until February 12 and then they will be gone and not retrievable.

Happy viewing,
Jerry

Paddle To, Through and Around Alaska - Part 14 - The Kvlchak River, Lake Illiamna, Cook Inlet to Anchorage
 
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bbrown6057
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12/21/2014 02:30AM  
Simply amazing Bob! What a joy it has been to be able to follow this journey. Thanks to everyone involved for letting us witness this miracle. Bob if you're ever in St. Louis give me a heads up. I would love to meet you and bow at your feet lol. I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve for your next adventure now. Thanks again and God Bless!
 
12/21/2014 05:55AM  
Hats off to you Bob.... what a incredible accomplishment!! The difficult Bob does right away, the impossible takes a little longer.
 
MagicPaddler
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12/21/2014 08:07AM  
Thanks to all who put the videos together and made them available. The phrase that summed up the trip for me went something like this. Whoa whoooooa I am alive.
 
12/21/2014 08:44AM  
All I can say is "Awesome" ... what a trip.

Thanks to those who took the time to put the video together.

Beav is one tough hombre. Wonder what will Beav's next undertaking be?

 
12/21/2014 09:37AM  
Great trip! Thanks for taking us on the adventure. Favorite was your Loon friend.
 
Laketrout58
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12/21/2014 12:00PM  
PBS worthy!
 
12/21/2014 12:38PM  
Thanks to BeaV, Jerry, and CanoeKev for making this available for us to experience vicariously. I have enjoyed watching them immensely and now have a better understanding, although it's still hard to comprehend the magnitude of it.
 
Dennisal
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12/21/2014 12:49PM  
I have never viewed an adventure like this. Priceless to say the least. Thanks BeaV for sharing and thanks to all that made this available to bwca.com. Now I am going to watch all episode's again.
 
DMT
Guest Paddler
 
12/21/2014 01:15PM  
Thank-you, BeaV, for sharing yourself and your incredible adventure. I feel privileged to have been able to see your videos. It was so good to see the smile back on your face in this last one.

You are a special person and the world is a better place for having you in it.

Merry Christmas!. May the new year bring you peace and the fulfillment of your dreams.

 
thinblueline
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12/21/2014 04:17PM  
Fantastic! To go along with the other two most asked questions of you, I have to ask, how the heck do you get six months off to do this kind of thing?
 
OldGuystilltripping
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12/21/2014 04:29PM  
Wow, what an adventure. As others have said thanks to BeaV for taking us along and One Match and others for making the viewing possible.
 
12/21/2014 06:37PM  
BeaV, thanks again for allowing your adventure to be viewed from this site. Jerry and CanoeKev, thanks to both of you as well. I watched all 14 parts in order. Better than any of the "reality" Alaska stuff on the tube over the last few years. This is as real as it gets.

Most of us dream of making such an adventure and BeaV you made it happen. Congrats on crossing the goal and living the dream!!!

 
Alan Gage
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12/21/2014 06:38PM  
Big thanks to Beav for making this available for all to see and to Onematch for going to the effort of getting it shared with all of us. Very enjoyable and inspiring.

Alan

 
paddlinjoe
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12/21/2014 08:12PM  
BeaV, Thanks for sharing your travels. It was a privilege to be able to see the video. Glad you made it back safe and with a smile on your face.

paddinjoe
 
drrick
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12/21/2014 09:03PM  
BeaV, Thanks for being a dreamer. The common operational principle with most people today is to avoid uncertainty, avoid risks and always seek safety and comfort. In spite of this we all have an innate yearning for adventure. It's in our DNA. It is there waiting to be expressed, unleashed, and experienced in it's fullness.

In many ways society has tamed this masculine trait. While most American men were daily going to mundane, unfulfilling jobs, and nightly sitting down for another dose of TV "programming" you were out there simply being a man.

Yes, you are an extra-ordinary man by any standard. We need strong men today. Strong in mind, body and spirit. Such a great need and so few examples.

I have five sons. Ages from 15 to 25. They will all be watching the video of your trip with me over Christmas. Thankyou for being the example you are. God be with you, and may all his blessings be upon you and those you love. Rick
 
12/22/2014 12:35AM  
Haven't watched this last one yet, but I know my comment about the whole trip already: inspirational. Certainly not for me to follow in your footsteps -- not even close -- but to make more of what I have been given and where I am at. Thank you, BeaV, for this reminder.
 
JimmyJustice
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12/22/2014 08:55AM  
+1 to all the comments.

Thank you to all for making these episodes available and to Bob for making them possible.

While each of us most likely will take away something different from viewing these episodes, I suspect we universally share in our gratitude for those who took the time and care to edit and present this series and our admiration of Bob (and dare I say jealousy) for his commitment to seeing his dream become reality.
 
phisherman
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12/22/2014 10:27AM  
Wow! Epic journey!

I proclaim that BeaV should forever be known on this board as Bad Ass! OR secondarily as The Loon Whisperer.

However, I think we can all agree BeaV = Bad Ass seems more fitting and appropriate!

Congrats and THANK YOU for sharing your experience with all of us. I am in awe.

Phish

 
paddlefamily
distinguished member(1590)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/22/2014 10:53AM  
Thanks again BeaV for sharing these personal videos with us! I can relate to your sentiment of wonder and curiosity about what is around the next bend. It's probably my favorite part of being outdoors when I'm either running or hiking down a trail, and especially canoeing up north.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T S Eliot
....Yep, I think so. :)
 
12/22/2014 12:41PM  
I just finished the last one ... AMAZING feat to say the least.

THANK YOU for taking the time to make a video journal and again for sharing it.

One question: How did you get from the lake to Cook Inlet...I missed the road part?
 
12/22/2014 12:50PM  
I have a lot of little, weird questions but will only post one:

Where did you park your truck while you were paddling? Did it start right up when you returned to it?

oops...two questions....
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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12/22/2014 09:08PM  
Beav
Your remarkable trip is like the country you paddled through, words fail to describe it. In the end, it was nice to see a smile on your face and enjoying yourself as you did in the beginning.

This was an amazing set of 14 videos. Thank you
 
DougD
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12/23/2014 10:51PM  
Wow, Thank you for sharing such a personal adventure with strangers like myself. I think what resonates with myself is the unassuming, open, frank, manner in which you show your adventure. You show us the good, the bad, the anger, the frustration, the battles with the elements, the kindness of strangers, the exhaustion, the pure simple joy of surviving danger, your not so amazing singing, and even the mistakes that you make that cause you more discomfort. Always in a laid back, take it or leave it style.
awesome.


Merry Christmas BeaV.
 
12/24/2014 09:08PM  
BeaV, I will add my thanks for sharing the video with us! Also to Jerry and Canoe Kev... it sounds like the video production was a team effort.
The magnitude of the trip is off the charts for those of us who consider our yearly week in the Boundary Waters an adventure :-)
Thanks again for the inspiration to see what is around the next bend!
 
mjmkjun
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12/26/2014 09:57AM  

Sheer determination is a most striking attribute throughout this epic venture.
quote, "exploring new country by canoe." Ha! What utter craziness and joys!
Thanks much for sharing.

kudos! to editing of this finale
 
Savage Voyageur
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12/26/2014 10:21AM  
I just finished watching all the videos, and all I can say is Wow. BeaV, Thank you for the gift of letting us view these. Thanks to Jerry and others who helped, music, tech help. It was like a good book I could not put down. Each chapter bringing new adventure. I might not ever go there but I think I now have a better understanding of the area.
 
lostndazed
 
12/26/2014 03:08PM  
I've never enjoyed an adventure as much as I enjoyed watching these 14 videos. Let me add my thanks to all who had a part in making these available.

Beav: Just an unbelievable journey, an incredible undertaking and you were victorious! Each video left me in wonder of your determination and ability to ignore advice from people who seemed to know what they were talking about. I thought many times... Is this guy nuts? My only question....what the hell are you going to do now? Is there anything that could top this?
 
MacCamper
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12/27/2014 05:28PM  
Prior to watching this, the last chapter of your saga, I didn't want it to end as your trek has brought me such fulfillment. However, after hearing your summary, I now "get it". Congratulations on your achievement and thank you to all who made the production possible.
 
RSki
member (11)member
 
12/30/2014 02:13PM  
BeaV,
Several times in the footage of the last part of your trip I noted you were still carrying the snowshoes. I also recall reading a comment you made about planning to use them on the mud flats as an aid to walking in the muck. I'm curious if you actually tried that and if it worked??
 
gsfisher13
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12/31/2014 03:02AM  
BeaV, thank you for sharing your adventure with us. Even watching the videos from start to finish, I cannot imagine the amount of planning, the physical effort, the emotional toll, the highs of completing goals, the lows of setbacks you experienced. I kept thinking after each video it looked liked you aged a couple years every couple weeks (maybe it was the beard :) The one piece I am very curious about was your solar panel, battery pack, and then improvised battery pack gear. I am amazed you were able to collect enough with that panel to film the entire way. can you share with us the brand/model of the gear, how did you decide on that solar panel? did it work as well as it seemed (before getting wet and fried) or did it take 2-3 days of collecting juice to charge up enough for a small video? I am a techie btw :) how many storage cards/storage capacity did you take along to record the videos?

To OneMatch and CanoeKev, thank you for everything you both did to make these available to us.
 
01/01/2015 07:44PM  
quote thinblueline: "I have to ask, how the heck do you get six months off to do this kind of thing?"
Before I committed to doing this trip, I first had to prepare to walk away, temporarily, from my job, family, and home. Not easy to do but it's the next step after dreaming up such an Adventure.
 
01/01/2015 08:31PM  
quote Doughboy12: "One question: How did you get from the lake to Cook Inlet...I missed the road part?"
When I was paddling across Lake Illiamna, I met an otter pilot who told me there was a portage operator for that road. I decided to hire out a mechanical portage across to Cook Inlet.
 
01/01/2015 08:45PM  
quote nojobro: "Where did you park your truck while you were paddling? Did it start right up when you returned to it?"
Some good folks in Washington State agreed to store it and drive it occasionally. Ran good when I returned.
 
01/01/2015 09:01PM  
quote lostndazed: "My only question....what the hell are you going to do now? Is there anything that could top this? "
I get these questions all too often but never by family. Figure they're afraid of what the answer may be:) My standard answer is "nothing planned". The more thoughtful answer I gave a couple months ago on this site- I copied that post reply below.


"...The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things --...
But can't you hear the Wild? -- it’s calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There’s a whisper on the night-wind,
there’s a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling. . .let us go."
by Robert Service

The above excerpts from Robert Service's poem have me thinking. The Calling seems to be growing louder and louder in me again. I went to the St. Croix River yesterday to see what my response is.

Paddled up to the Taylors Falls rapids and eased into an eddy behind a boulder. I sat there and admired the ruggedness of the basalt cliffs and the untamed flow of the river in this single spot. I sat there while the adrenalin flowed as I pondered should I and could I paddle up against the wild force in front of me. It was daring me but I suppressed the cry in me to Paddle Harder and stuck my bow into the current and let it take me downriver to quieter flows.

But four more times as I exited the canyon into calm waters, I turned back, and paddled back up into the whitewater. Over and over I'd leave the safety of the eddy and test my bow against the current. Oh man! the urge was strong to try it but there were people watching, waiting. This urge to test myself, though, is between me and the river and the onlookers suppressed the moment. I turned and paddled away. Before leaving the canyon area, an "idiot" from up above near the highway screams loudly to test the acoustical quality of the opposite basalt cliff. It is not that I'm against hearing a good echo, it's just that he didn't earn the right- he just took ten steps out of his car and let loose with a loud yell (shattering the peace of many and startling the concentration of the nearby rock climbers). I was glad that the rock face agreed and refused his repeated attempts for satisfaction. I realize that I could never be "that guy", satisfaction to me IS found in the experience not the hoped for echo.

Yup, I can hear the whisper of the night-wind, I'll be watching for that star, and I know I have no choice but to respond to the Call.

BeaV
 
01/01/2015 09:31PM  
quote RSki: "BeaV,
Several times in the footage of the last part of your trip I noted you were still carrying the snowshoes. I also recall reading a comment you made about planning to use them on the mud flats as an aid to walking in the muck. I'm curious if you actually tried that and if it worked??"

Yes the snowshoes worked well as quicksand shoes. I tried them out at a camp on the lower Yukon River. The silty sand beach at this site was such that I could walk on a path 2 or 3 times before it started becoming "quick". Put on the shoes and walked right over the quick area many times. It's good practice to try out ideas before you're life depends on it.
 
Hanz
senior member (60)senior membersenior member
 
01/02/2015 06:24PM  
Wowee! Some expedition for sure.

I'll have to go back and listen for clanking when BeaV is walking past the camera. I'm glad you made it and are safe. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. I have a few questions for you.

How did that Sea Wind hold up? Any damage beyond cosmetic?

If you were to do it again would you chose the same canoe or another design?

Just curious, I have some canoe envy going on.

Thanks again. That was some trip!
 
01/02/2015 11:33PM  
Man, I'm just in awe of this whole trip. Thanks so much to all involved in putting this together.

What strikes me about this is the way it was handled. It is so unconventional these days to do an expedition of sorts that isn't sponsored with logos and high tech gear. This was DIY all the way as far as I can tell.

I think it's cool as heck that Beav bought a cheap pair of wool army/navy surplus pants for part of this trip. Even the cook kit, mess kit, and the little backpacker's grill is just run of the mill stuff. And the old duluth pack! How perfect is that?

I know it would take some time but is making a gear list possible? And what will/has become of the Sea Wind? I almost feel like it should be displayed in some bar along with the Bowie Knife and Bear barrel and duluth pack. And in the jukebox have the soundtrack songs. That would be sweet.

This trip is truly epic and I hope you accept a nice contract someday for PBS to show it as a series. You deserve that Beav and you have my respect big time. Here's to all the dreamers!



 
OneMatch
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01/03/2015 07:38AM  
quote TomT: "And what will/has become of the Sea Wind? I almost feel like it should be displayed in some bar along with the Bowie Knife and Bear barrel and duluth pack?"

Had the same thoughts! BeaV, do you still have the canoe?
 
01/03/2015 07:40AM  
I will also suggest that a small empty bottle of Fireball whiskey be placed among the gear. That toast on the mountaintop was a highlight for me.

About the Bible you brought - were you able to finish it? Did it survive the capsize and all the wet weather?

I finished the series last night and not sure if I dreamt about your trip but when I woke up this morning it's all I could think about. That's some inpiring Stuff right there. I fully imagine that someday people will want to copy your route. I would love to do the Inside Passage but the Chilcoot Trail? The Chandalar River? The Tundra portage? The Bering Sea? Not THIS time.

And here's why you ARE a Superman. All the junkfood you feed yourself. That truly is mindblowing to me. There's a spot in the video where you list what you ate and it's something like "6 donuts and 8 cinnamon rolls" etc. What?? I would be in a sugar coma let alone able to paddle 12 hour days.

Also, Vicci Martinez has a new fan. I downloaded her album. Great soundtrack. I wasn't too keen on the metal stuff at first but got used to it and in a couple spots in the film it was perfect. I really enjoyed Jerry's music though.





 
01/03/2015 11:59AM  
Awesome trip and videos. I've watched one each day of my Christmas break.

Whatever happened to the loon that hitched a ride? How long did it stay? Did it just fly off or did you have to encourage it to leave?

 
520eek
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01/03/2015 12:01PM  
Thanks for sharing the adventure! It put a smile on my face and dreams in my mind.

I may not be able to do such a trip....but now I know someone who did!
 
01/03/2015 08:10PM  
quote gsfisher13: "The one piece I am very curious about was your solar panel, battery pack, and then improvised battery pack gear. I am amazed you were able to collect enough with that panel to film the entire way. can you share with us the brand/model of the gear, how did you decide on that solar panel? did it work as well as it seemed (before getting wet and fried) or did it take 2-3 days of collecting juice to charge up enough for a small video? I am a techie btw :) how many storage cards/storage capacity did you take along to record the videos?"
Solar Panel: PowerFilm Solar R14
Power Pack: Goal Zero Sherpa 50 w/Inverter
Small Power Pack: Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus (for AA and AAA)
Converter cable to connect PowerFilm to Sherpa

How did I chose these? Hours and hours of research and multiple product purchases until I found the best for my needs. Only weak point was inadequate waterproofing for Sherpa. The PowerFilm panel is bombproof durability wise and can gather some power during lower light conditions. On sunny days, I could capture about 2 AA batteries worth of juice. There were long periods of rain where I couldn't generate enough power. Cameras were not important so I wouldn't recharge these or I'd forgo any videoing to conserve. By the time I made the Bering Sea, my cable terminals were destroyed from sea water. Water, especially sea water is very hard on anything electronic. These products worked as expected and failed, eventually, as expected.

SD card memory: somewhere between 250-350 GB I think.
 
01/03/2015 09:10PM  
quote Hanz: "How did that Sea Wind hold up? Any damage beyond cosmetic?
If you were to do it again would you chose the same canoe or another design?"

The Sea Wind held up well. Of course, some of the white gel coat was left behind on the Chandalar River rocks but not much wear. A few spots were worn through the first layer of Kevlar fabric. Rudder was bent many times but straightened on the fly. The most serious damage was to the rudder cables near the rudder. I McGyvered these quite often but it made me nervous when on big crossings or angry seas. Without a rudder, this boat is hard to control.

This is the only boat I would consider if I were to do it again. I have nothing but praise for the Kruger, it may have saved my life a number of times!
 
01/03/2015 09:25PM  
quote OneMatch: "quote TomT: "And what will/has become of the Sea Wind? I almost feel like it should be displayed in some bar along with the Bowie Knife and Bear barrel and duluth pack?"
Had the same thoughts! BeaV, do you still have the canoe?"

The only thing that I retired is my single blade paddle. The Sea Wind is being used very gently- ya right! Check out what I was doing today with it:)

Sea Wind on Display

 
01/03/2015 09:40PM  
quote TomT: "About the Bible you brought - were you able to finish it? Did it survive the capsize and all the wet weather?

All the junkfood you feed yourself. That truly is mindblowing to me. There's a spot in the video where you list what you ate and it's something like "6 donuts and 8 cinnamon rolls" etc. What?? "

Bible: The Bible made it home in great shape. I paddled a little too fast and still had a little reading to do once I got home:)

Junkfood: Just for the record, I didn't have much junkfood with me. Only the few opportunities in villages did I have the chance to get some "junk" food. And I think that for my calorie craving body, this really wasn't junk it was high energy fuel. You wouldn't believe how much fuel I needed to keep the paddle going! Every cell in my body craved more.
 
01/03/2015 09:54PM  
quote rertel: "Whatever happened to the loon that hitched a ride? How long did it stay? Did it just fly off or did you have to encourage it to leave?"
The artic loon was on my lap for about 45 minutes total. I got a kick out of him just sitting there on my leg as I paddled into the night:) Not sure why he stayed on my lap- maybe he was exhausted from fighting the net or he liked the warmth of my leg? When he decided it was time to depart he hopped into the water and flew off.
 
01/06/2015 02:57PM  
Couple of things. I really liked the soundtrack and wondered what you listened to on the trip. At one point you're singing along with the soundtrack and I wondered how you did this but saw you had headphones on. I thought it very clever of you to sync up your singing. Another very creative thing was you making the letter "C" with your hand then overlaying the word Chandalar (minus the C) on the video.

The Big Country song was so perfect the way it was used. I wish there were other songs used in that manner. Kinda reminded me of the Stacy Peralta documentaries "Dog Town and Z Boys" and the great "Riding Giants" the way the music made your footage come alive.

All in all the production was really good and the only complaint I have is when the wind was too loud to hear you talk. Could use subtitles in those situations.

I know you've said countless times that you don't want this to be a commercial venture but with all your footage and you reading from your blog/journal, I think in the right hands this could be turned into one heck of a fine movie.

I've seen the blu ray of the 9 hour version and the quality of those little cameras is so impressive in HD on a big screen. Seeing it on Vimeo is so inferior to what you could have people see.

IMO there's absolutely nothing wrong with you profitting off your story. Who knows, you might be able to quit your day job and be a full time adventurer/explorer. Might be pretty darn fun. I know one thing for sure - there are LOTS of people all over the world who would be inspired to live their dreams after watching what you accomplished. That's a pretty good legacy to leave the world isn't it?



 
OneMatch
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01/06/2015 03:37PM  
quote TomT: "

IMO there's absolutely nothing wrong with you profitting off your story. Who knows, you might be able to quit your day job and be a full time adventurer/explorer. Might be pretty darn fun. I know one thing for sure - there are LOTS of people all over the world who would be inspired to live their dreams after watching what you accomplished. That's a pretty good legacy to leave the world isn't it? "


Well said, Tom. On a related note, I just saw the movie "Wild" and I've read that Cheryl Strayed's story has inspired many women to hike the PCT as a result.
 
01/07/2015 05:17AM  
quote OneMatch: "quote TomT: "


IMO there's absolutely nothing wrong with you profitting off your story. Who knows, you might be able to quit your day job and be a full time adventurer/explorer. Might be pretty darn fun. I know one thing for sure - there are LOTS of people all over the world who would be inspired to live their dreams after watching what you accomplished. That's a pretty good legacy to leave the world isn't it? "



Well said, Tom. On a related note, I just saw the movie "Wild" and I've read that Cheryl Strayed's story has inspired many women to hike the PCT as a result."


Thanks Jerry. We have plans to see that movie tomorrow.

BeaV's trip is about a lot more than adventure for me. It's about commitment and extreme perseverance in the face of adversity. It's about going for something regardless of what others think.

If only more people had the faith and belief in themselves like BeaV did. No, BeaV ain't crazy, he's just Living with a capital L. Most people just Wait. BeaV gave us an example of what it's like to truly Live.

 
01/08/2015 09:49AM  
quote TomT: "At one point you're singing along with the soundtrack and I wondered how you did this but saw you had headphones on.

I've seen the blu ray of the 9 hour version and the quality of those little cameras is so impressive in HD on a big screen. Seeing it on Vimeo is so inferior to what you could have people see. "

Music headphones- Nope, I didn't have any music or headphones with me on the trip. You may have seen the leather strap of my hat or the floating strap for my sunglasses. Funny thing about music on such a long solo trip is old songs that I haven't heard for decades would pop up in my head and sometimes couldn't get'em out.

Vimeo picture quality- Yes the video quality is much less than what it is on bluray such that much of the "wow" factor of the scenery is lost. Unfortunately, as OneMatch said, it isn't possible to place 9 hours worth of HD quality video online.
 
01/08/2015 10:53AM  
Huh.... I thought I saw earbuds at one point later in the movie. I really really like the acoustic version of the Come Along song. Gotta find me that on itunes.





 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2872)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/11/2015 06:18PM  

Last night while watching Les Stroud's Sri Lanka episode was reminiscent of your own hi-adventured spirit, BeaV.
some folks have a mighty, centered sense of adventure and wanderlust.
 
01/11/2015 10:07PM  
Way to go BeaV! Just finished watching the last episode and I am humbled by what you accomplished. Thank you BeaV for sharing your journey and all the others who helped get it here for us to see. I doubt any of us will ever take on the journey that you did but I would bet that we all have a trip that we dream about but feel would be out of reach or too difficult. Thanks for reminding all of us that to accomplish something great you have to reach down deep and push the comforts of daily living.
 
01/12/2015 11:09PM  
Epic Beav, truly epic!! Following you almost daily a few years ago, and now seeing video of those areas i followed along with Gmaps....

Thank you for sharing this with us. It's humbling to watch.


 
SquirrellyTurtle
 
01/14/2015 04:20PM  
I'm sad that these "living life" videos are only temporary but I understand. I've had a few similar experiences of "living life" and yes sometimes it's better to savor the feeling alone or in my case a very close friend who was along on the journey.

A very humble thank you for sharing this look into your life during what I'm sure was a peak into heaven for you.

Sincerely,
Randy
 
BWPaddler
distinguished member(9210)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/21/2015 09:34AM  
quote TomT: "Huh.... I thought I saw earbuds at one point later in the movie. I really really like the acoustic version of the Come Along song. Gotta find me that on itunes.

"

That song was stuck playing in my head for WEEKS after I finished the discs (on 12/26). It STILL pops in there from time to time and cannot be vanquished. It was a perfect song for the adventure.
 
BWPaddler
distinguished member(9210)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/21/2015 09:37AM  
I can honestly say that we didn't want the adventure to end. My father and sister and brother and I watched the full 9 hours in about 2 sittings, with nary a break on Christmas Day and the day after. We were spellbound. I'd get up a change discs and ask if anyone wanted to do something else? Cribbage? Puzzle? Card games? No takers, we were all along for the ride through the end.

I liked that you included a nice long stretch a few times of "same old same old" so we kinda felt what it was like hour after hour. I wish there had been a magic camera in the sky to capture the parts of the journey where you were focused on remaining upright. All in all though, just a fascinating peek at your adventure.

I see a Questions thread, I'll move my qs over there.
 
01/21/2015 03:57PM  
quote BWPaddler:
I liked that you included a nice long stretch a few times of "same old same old" so we kinda felt what it was like hour after hour.


There was that stretch on the upper Yukon where suddenly the wind comes up very strong right in BeaV's face. Brought back memories for me on Basswood in the Q. Gotta dig in and don't dare stop.

 
Nomadmusky
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
09/09/2016 09:21PM  
I just ran across these by following several other threads and was captivated.

I was active on the canoe boards for many years and then kind of drifted away with the kids heavily active in high school and sports. Now that that has passed my fire couldn't have been lit any brighter than what it was by BeaV's journey, it encompasses determination, planning, improvising, prayer, hope, fear, joy, a sense of accomplishment and so much more.

BeaV, thanks for letting me right along, it's the Fall of 2016, almost two years since you finished and I'm glad the journey was there for me to see.

If you are still out there reading these, my hat's off to you.

Many things that I wonder are the simpler things:
What was on your cowboy hat?
What hat do you prefer when you paddle and why?
How did your tent and sleeping bag hold up?
What type of paddle did you use and would you use the same one again?
What kind of dry suit and how comfortable was it?
What type of shoes or boots did you wear and did you have more than one pair?
Now that some time has passed have you updated your electronic and camera gear?
How did you choose your life vest and what was all in and on it?

I hope this thread is still active and you are out there BeaV. Thanks again!

Nomad
 
09/11/2016 01:06PM  
Nomad,
BEAV is paddling the Voyageurs Challenge canoe route right now. You can follow his progress on the Listening Point threads.
 
09/20/2016 01:48PM  
quote Nomadmusky: "If you are still out there reading these, my hat's off to you.
Many things that I wonder are the simpler things:
What was on your cowboy hat?
What hat do you prefer when you paddle and why?
How did your tent and sleeping bag hold up?
What type of paddle did you use and would you use the same one again?
What kind of dry suit and how comfortable was it?
What type of shoes or boots did you wear and did you have more than one pair?
Now that some time has passed have you updated your electronic and camera gear?
How did you choose your life vest and what was all in and on it?

I hope this thread is still active and you are out there BeaV. Thanks again!
Nomad"


Hi Nomad, thanks for your understanding of what this trip was about and I'm glad it reignited your paddling fire. The thread is still active, at least I do monitor it even though things have quieted down. To your questions:

-My leather hat that I wore needed to be waterproof for the Inside Passage as this is a temperate rainforest. I tried waterproofing it with wax but couldn't get seams completing waterproof- so I just stretched a swim cap over the the top area that leaked.

-That leather hat was my preferred hat to paddle in. Partly because it belonged there but also because the brim protected my face, ears, and neck from sunburn and from rain. Downside is it catches more wind if you paddle into a headwind.

-Tent and sleeping bag held up well. Take a look at my blog to see what gear I used and held up to the challenge. Blog All the gear listed here I am still using to this day.

-The main paddle used was a Bending Branches Black Pearl. It worked great, but are no longer made. Since the Adventure, I have found an even better paddle for long distance paddling in the ZRE. I now use the ZRE for longer adventure challenges and races that I do. Biggest reason being the weight of the paddle. On a long day, I will easily paddle 30,000 strokes and if my paddle is 4 oz lighter, I lift 7,500 pounds less. Add 7000 times I switch sides and that's another 1,750 pounds saved.

-The drysuit takes a little getting used to as the neoprene gasket around your neck and wrists squeezes tightly. They can also be warm as you are wrapped up in a goretex baggie. Most comfortable with air temps below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a dry suit is used based on water temp not air temp (dress for immersion). If I paddle on Lake Superior in the summer, I put it on.

-shoes/boots: when wearing the dry suit I would wear a lightweight water shoe(Teva Churn), when wearing my Chota Hippies I would wear water boots(Korkers), when wearing what I would call my BWCA style paddling clothes (same as in camp) I wear ankle high waterproof leather boots made by Asolo. In the videos, you will see me wearing these during different legs of the Adventure.

-electronics: still have and use the same cameras. haven't had a need to replace or update solar stuff as I normally have no need for it on short trips. I did receive a newer version of the Inreach satellite communicator from delorme as a warranty replacement after their terrible customer service while I while on the trip.

-PFD was selected at a paddle show called Canoecopia held in Madison WI. I chose mostly based on comfort and only way to determine this is to try a bunch of brands and models on. On it I carried my PLB, emergency whistle, knife, compass, fire starting kit, flashing beacon light, and a few snacks.

If I missed something, just ask.
Still Paddling,
BeaV
 
HighPlainsDrifter
distinguished member(2361)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/11/2017 10:20PM  

You just completed another Voyageur challenge (congratulations) and watching your progress had me coming back to your Alaska trip. Thank you for keeping the links to your videos open for reruns.

I have watched this series a number of times, and each time I am struck by the enormity of this trip. Each time I have also found something new. You did an admirable job of documenting your emotional highs and lows, of extending thanks to those who helped you, and of sharing the beauty of the land and waters you passed through (Never before and never again?). Your portage through the bush had me wondering if you ever feared losing your gear to the bush. So, the question is how did you accurately retrace your steps especially after the first pass. I guess I would not trust electronics alone.
 
DrBobDg
distinguished member(850)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/12/2017 09:18PM  
I for one am curious how you kept your hands and feet from getting all beat up during that trip. Someone doing a presentation either at Canoecopia or Minneapolis showed what their hands looked like during the trip and it wasn't good.

dr bob
 
09/13/2017 01:57PM  
quote HighPlainsDrifter: " Your portage through the bush had me wondering if you ever feared losing your gear to the bush. So, the question is how did you accurately retrace your steps especially after the first pass. I guess I would not trust electronics alone. "
Good question. Not only did I not trust my gear to a gps, I had to limit my use of it due to limited amount of battery power. In the tundra portage, I leapfrogged my gear 3 times. So three loaded trips forward and 2 empty back and I did this in segments. So in a given day, I might leap frog everything 3 times. First distance was the longest since I felt strongest in the morning say maybe 3/4 mile. Get everything there, then go another 1/2 mile. Then one more 1/2 mile to where I'd setup camp for the night.

At each stockpile location, I'd set a waypoint in my gps and then turn it off. Get to the next stockpile location and waypoint that. Then in between those points, I'd use compass and terrain features (if any) to get back to stockpiles. If I felt I was getting close and could not find stockpile, I'd turn on gps and get new bearing.

I tried just retracing my steps but this was a slow process to track myself as some of that muskeg just bounces back like a sponge after you step on it. The compass-get-close method was the fastest.

I feared gps failure too so split what little food I had between 2 different loads just in case.

2/3's of the way across that one, I started considering what I'd leave behind if progress slowed anymore. I had to be ready to take canoe and not much more to make a run for it. I was some relieved when my chosen path didn't hit any insurmountable obstacles and I found the Koyukuk River.
 
09/13/2017 02:13PM  
quote DrBobDg: "I for one am curious how you kept your hands and feet from getting all beat up during that trip. Someone doing a presentation either at Canoecopia or Minneapolis showed what their hands looked like during the trip and it wasn't good.
dr bob"

Hands- of course it took awhile to toughen them up. Usually bare hand the paddle but sometimes alternated with gloves. Sometimes gloves were necessary to stave off the cold as I paddled north into Alaska and remaining winter. Once callused, my hands were pretty good until I got to the Bering Sea and had some tough times fighting to get back to shore. The fact that I was able to abuse my hands enough to get blisters under 100+ days of paddling toughened hands shows how hard I had to paddle to survive at times on the Bering Sea (I have no video footage of these tough times, I was too busy trying to get somewhere). Salt water adds another level of abuse to human skin over fresh.

Feet- feet were not tough due to sitting in the boat for such long periods. Then I expected them to perform on big portages. Tried my best to keep socks dry on these portages but did get a few blisters.
 
DrBobDerrig
distinguished member(688)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2017 09:56AM  
thanks..stay safe
dr bob
 
09/15/2017 08:55PM  
Beav, was it hard locating water to drink on the tundra portage? That fear would be huge. How much did you have with at the start of the portage? Did you ever get dehydrated with headaches and nausea? This happens to me very easily.

 
09/16/2017 11:11AM  
quote TomT: "Beav, was it hard locating water to drink on the tundra portage? That fear would be huge. How much did you have with at the start of the portage? Did you ever get dehydrated with headaches and nausea? This happens to me very easily.
"

Water was a very real concern. This portage took 8 days to complete so every day I would start with only 2 pints of water and would end each day with none. If I wanted to eat breakfast and supper, I needed to have water at camp that night. Heck, I needed water for drinking the next day. Drought conditions didn't help. Sure I was living dehydrated with some of the side effects but I was fine. Now if I didn't find that water everyday, well I wouldn't have been so good.

So you see, when I found the Koyukuk River on July 4th, my relief was real.
 
Mocha
distinguished member(7638)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/16/2017 12:06PM  
quote BeaV: "quote lostndazed: "My only question....what the hell are you going to do now? Is there anything that could top this? "
I get these questions all too often but never by family. Figure they're afraid of what the answer may be:) My standard answer is "nothing planned". The more thoughtful answer I gave a couple months ago on this site- I copied that post reply below.



"...The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things --...
But can't you hear the Wild? -- it’s calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There’s a whisper on the night-wind,
there’s a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling. . .let us go."
by Robert Service


The above excerpts from Robert Service's poem have me thinking. The Calling seems to be growing louder and louder in me again. I went to the St. Croix River yesterday to see what my response is.


Paddled up to the Taylors Falls rapids and eased into an eddy behind a boulder. I sat there and admired the ruggedness of the basalt cliffs and the untamed flow of the river in this single spot. I sat there while the adrenalin flowed as I pondered should I and could I paddle up against the wild force in front of me. It was daring me but I suppressed the cry in me to Paddle Harder and stuck my bow into the current and let it take me downriver to quieter flows.


But four more times as I exited the canyon into calm waters, I turned back, and paddled back up into the whitewater. Over and over I'd leave the safety of the eddy and test my bow against the current. Oh man! the urge was strong to try it but there were people watching, waiting. This urge to test myself, though, is between me and the river and the onlookers suppressed the moment. I turned and paddled away. Before leaving the canyon area, an "idiot" from up above near the highway screams loudly to test the acoustical quality of the opposite basalt cliff. It is not that I'm against hearing a good echo, it's just that he didn't earn the right- he just took ten steps out of his car and let loose with a loud yell (shattering the peace of many and startling the concentration of the nearby rock climbers). I was glad that the rock face agreed and refused his repeated attempts for satisfaction. I realize that I could never be "that guy", satisfaction to me IS found in the experience not the hoped for echo.

Yup, I can hear the whisper of the night-wind, I'll be watching for that star, and I know I have no choice but to respond to the Call.
BeaV"


i was pretty sure you'd get this question a lot. this reply and the Robert Service quote is perfect. maybe i'll give that to my family so can try to understand my "call" better. i enjoyed meeting you at gunflint after one of the spring paddle expos, not enough time to really chat.

you are awe inspiring for those that have never experienced the need for adventure. vicarious living is good for many people!
 
09/17/2017 08:21AM  
Thanks Mocha.
Yes, I liked my reply too, still do. It was a reply not only to the Poster but to myself. I was asking that same question to myself. Wondering if I ever could push myself again or would I be content with the easy road for now on? When I wrote that reply I really was trying to find the answer from within. I was pondering doing my first adventure race down in Florida and needed to find a spark within or accept that there would be no more fire.

I was relieved that I could not "be that guy". I confirmed that I don't fear uncertainty and relish the chance to overcome it- if that makes sense. I also came to understand and accept, about this time, where I was at with reintigrating back into "normal" life. That is when I put together my "After the Aventure" YouTube writing/post.
 
DrBobDg
distinguished member(850)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/19/2017 09:36PM  
That cabin in Alaska that was burnt when you reached it..... How long did you live in it while you were there in the past? Why did you decide to live there and why did you finally leave?
thanks
dr bob
 
09/20/2017 08:41AM  
quote DrBobDg: "That cabin in Alaska that was burnt when you reached it..... How long did you live in it while you were there in the past? Why did you decide to live there and why did you finally leave?
thanks
dr bob"

Tough questions without writing a couple of chapters in a book.

The easy question "how long did I live in the cabin?"- I was there for 3 1/2 months and it took me a month to build my cabin. That doesn't sound like much time but for a college-aged kid, the isolation of it made time go real slow- seemed like a year at the time.

The other 2 why questions....short answers are : 1) I was living out a childhood dream and 2) I wanted to keep on living. "Living a dream and dreaming to live"

Here's a couple of pics of my cabin and me that shows the why- the first I would call living the dream and the second is dreaming to live.



 
DrBobDerrig
distinguished member(688)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/20/2017 01:46PM  
hey...really neat...must have been a bummer to find it burnt... I've seen Dick Pereneke's videos and just got a newer copy of his journals...will take a long time to read it this winter....
thanks for answering nosey questions.
dr bob
 
davionics
member (13)member
 
11/05/2017 09:07PM  
Can someone let me know when the 14th episode can be viewed? There's not password. Although the 1-13 have been truly inspiring it would be great to see the ending.
Thanks,
Dave
 
11/06/2017 06:40AM  
Dave,

The password is there - it's Anchorage (case sensitive) - just copy and paste. And enjoy.
 
PatrickE
distinguished member (147)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/01/2019 12:56PM  
I was asking around for good solo trip reports, and someone mentioned this one would be hard to top.

After finishing the series, the one thought I can't seem to overcome is waking up in several inches of water on the mud flats. This wasn't in the videos, but I read one of your accounts where you couldn't go any higher, set up camp, and woke up with the tide. This is a fear I haven't been able to shake since reading it. The thought of anything that isn't bolted down floating away gives me the chills. This and being marooned a mile from shore with the outgoing tide.

Pretty unbelievable that you accomplished this. I surprised myself with a bit of anger at seeing the burned down cabin. Who know what the circumstances were...may've even been an accident, but I imagine you also felt a range of emotions.

My other thought was what may or may have not been a difficult transition back into "normal" life. I think my tolerance for different personalities would be really low after having so much time to yourself.

Thanks for keeping these videos up for so long. I definitely enjoyed following along the journey.
 
01/02/2019 04:24PM  
PatrickE: "After finishing the series, the one thought I can't seem to overcome is waking up in several inches of water on the mud flats. This wasn't in the videos, but I read one of your accounts where you couldn't go any higher, set up camp, and woke up with the tide. This is a fear I haven't been able to shake since reading it. The thought of anything that isn't bolted down floating away gives me the chills. This and being marooned a mile from shore with the outgoing tide. "
I've been thinking thru how to explain the affects of tides in regards to canoeing and realize I could write a book just on the dynamics of it!

Living within the "tidal zone" where shore becomes water and water becomes land, the ocean becomes a downstream river run, and 6 hours later the ocean becomes an upriver battle is complicated.

If a person stayed at one spot long enough to observe the conditions over two tidal periods (usually 12 hours) you might have a chance to understand that one spot. But being a traveler, there is no such thing as one spot. Instead, it is a constant movement into the unknown. Throw in the affects of wind, waves, ocean bottom features, and sometimes river currents, darkness, and no shoreline horizon....and it can be a guessing game or as I have described it elsewhere "a chess game".

I don't know if it was luck or being good that I only got stranded on mud flats twice, tent floating in seawater twice, capsized three times, and delayed on shore longer than planned a few times...

I appreciate the simplicity of paddling on lakes and rivers. The tidal zone is best left to those few creatures like clams and starfish that have adapted to constant change by not needing to move with the tides.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
04/18/2020 03:51PM  
BeaV... I just finished watching all fourteen videos of your journey for the 2nd or 3rd time. There is very little I can ask (right now, at least) that hasn't been asked already, but I just want to say thanks for taking us along with you on this amazing and incredible journey. It's one that I cannot fathom doing myself, but it's certainly an example of what someone with ambition, passion, self-confidence, inner drive, skills, physical strength and common sense can accomplish when they set their mind to it.

I'd love to sit around a campfire with you and a few canoeing friends and listen to stories about your trip over a few beverages.
 
04/18/2020 04:13PM  
I'm waiting for the book and/or mini series on Netflix. :) It's a good time for homebound people to view this. Hey Jackfish, maybe bump it into the Listening Point Forum. I bet there's many people who don't know this exists.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
04/18/2020 07:29PM  
TomT: "Hey Jackfish, maybe bump it into the Listening Point Forum. I bet there's many people who don't know this exists."
Great idea. Done.
 
05/07/2020 02:47PM  
Jackfish: "
I'd love to sit around a campfire with you and a few canoeing friends and listen to stories about your trip over a few beverages. "


I have been known to do just such a thing but I mostly listen to other peoples' stories. Looks like, based on your profile, you live a ways away from my turf (campfire pit).
 
05/08/2020 06:31AM  
Hey BeaV, I know after the trip you mentioned maybe in the future you would do a book about it. Do you have any plans for that? You write very well and I think your story would captivate a lot of people.
 
05/08/2020 07:56AM  
TomT: "Hey BeaV, I know after the trip you mentioned maybe in the future you would do a book about it. Do you have any plans for that?"
TomT- Thanks for asking, but no, I'm not working on that.
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1457)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/08/2020 09:04AM  
Sure I'd read it., but the problem with a book for those of us who have watched all the video is that a picture says a thousand words. A video a million.
I could literally feel the loneliness and desolation and the no room for error, particularly on the Koyokuk portage and the Bearing Sea , I am not sure how you could capture that in a book to get across what an enormous challenge it must have been.
Reading the book Waters Beneath My Feet, although a good read it came across more as a lark, although yeah, I could appreciate the fact it was also a huge challenge, but I'm not sure the general public could beyond this guy must be crazy or have a death wish or both
 
05/10/2020 08:11AM  
BeaV: "TomT: "Hey BeaV, I know after the trip you mentioned maybe in the future you would do a book about it. Do you have any plans for that?"
TomT- Thanks for asking, but no, I'm not working on that. "


I kinda get it BeaV. But think of this - we all live one life. IMO your trip will never, ever be duplicated. At least not solo. There are plenty of capable adventurers out there (Ash Dykes comes to mind) but I doubt anyone would seriously want to risk their life to do it and they wouldn't have the same motivation (your old cabin) as you had.

What I'm getting at is that what you did was a unique, one of a kind adventure. Think of a well documented book as your legacy. Think also, as a way to fund not only your retirement but also any new adventures rattling around in your head. Sure you might get asked to do press. Turn it all down if you wish, tell them the book speaks for you. And think of this too - fellow adventurers will be buying and reading this book 50, 100, who knows how many years in the future. It's an accomplishment like no other and deserves a proper documentation. It's what can be done when you put your will and mind toward a singular goal. Inspiring future generations is a helluva legacy to leave, BeaV.

I also will add how much enjoyment and inspiration I got from Jerry Pushcar's book "Waters Beneath My Feet". The experience from reading that has me believing more that I can do things that I previously thought I couldn't because of fear or self doubt.

 
12/28/2021 05:53PM  
I just finished watching for the third or maybe the fourth time. I never get tired of watching! I've said it before and I'll say it again... well done BeaV!
 
12/29/2021 04:41PM  
ghamer: "I just finished watching for the third or maybe the fourth time. I never get tired of watching! I've said it before and I'll say it again... well done BeaV!"

I’m surprised no one has tried to duplicate the route. I could see the Baird brothers having a go at it.
 
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