(May 14, 2021; Sun City, Arizona, USA) Dear friends, Lolo and I are absolutely gutted right now, having to officially postpone for the second time our Yukon 2020 expedition until May 24, 2022.
Karts and Lolo training in Death Valley. PC: Jeff Zausch
We remained optimistic as long as we could but circumstances far beyond our control forced this decision. Most prominent is the Yukon Territory’s recent direct refusal to let us enter their territory this year under any circumstances. Secondary, is the negative public appearance that we’re going off on a highly visible and dangerous adventure while so many people are suffering financially and the uncertainty of the world’s health status.
While we’re taking a huge financial loss by postponing such a complex expedition, the economic devastation occurring to our expedition business friends in the Yukon and Alaska is what deeply saddens us. We’ll keep the same expedition plan in place with our Canadian and Alaskan outfitters, and the many other logistical support folks if they can survive until then.
We are pleased to know most of our sponsors have pledged their continued support. We’ll keep our GoFundMe page active to garner funds for resupply on the river, but will honor any refund requests minus the cost of the t-shirt and postage.
(March 9, 2021; Sun City, Arizona, USA) Recently Art “Karts” Huseonica was joined by five fellow adventurers on a Death Valley National Park mini-adventure. Team members were selected for their abilities to deal with harsh weather and terrain conditions. Plus, they had to have huge personalities.
Five team members crossing the salt pans. PC: Jeff Zausch
The team spent a day on the salt and mud flats of Death Valley and a day hiking the ridge line of the Eureka Dunes. Karts was joined by his adventure and Yukon River expedition teammate Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood, TV reality star Jeff Zausch, author and Hollywood stunt woman Heather “Athena” Bond, desert adventurer Glenn “Snake” Mulloy, and alpinist Wilberto “Will” Sosa.
Lolo and Karts in the mud flats as seen through a salt crystal formation tainted by silica mud. PC: Jeff Zausch
Karts was humbled to have Jeff Zausch and Athena Bond join the adventure. He’d previsously adventured with Jeff on several occassions but this was the first time meeting Athena. All team members adhered to CDC guidelines relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included dispersed cowboy camping.
Jeff Zausch begins the ascent of Eureka Dunes, which are almost 700’/213m high in a very remote area of the park.
Athena Bond successfully traversed the dune ridge line. Karts and Athena are planning on future adventures together.
Karts teamed up with Snake Mulloy to complete an epic 15-mile/24km double-traverse of Death Valley, that included hiking three hours in the dark through treacherous terrain. They were prepared for this with powerful dual headlamps, plus they’d cached water for their return.
Water was cached half-way across Death Valley for their return leg after dark. Death Valley is 7-miles/11km across.
Death Valley is a desert valley in southeastern California, in the northern Mojave Desert, bordering the Great Basin Desert. It is one of the hottest and driest places on Earth and has an area of almost 3,000 sq mi/7,800 km2. For more information about Death Valley, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Valley.
Terrain features were ever changing, including rough salt pans, boot-sucking mud, and these areas of meter-high dried mud formations.
Support for Karts was provided by ArmaSkin AntiBlister socks, SoulCare skin products, Epic Wipes body wipes, Crucial Carry trauma kits, and SLYSTEEL Survival Kukris knives.
A resident of Sun City, Arizona, Karts is looking forward to the international borders opening so that he and Lolo can enter Canada’s Yukon Territory to begin their 2,021-mile Yukon River expedtion in early June. More Yukon expedition news is at http://www.yukon2020.com.
(September 3, 2020; Sun City, Arizona USA) On August 22, 2020 Art ” Karts” Huseonica summitted Mount Borah in Idaho USA.
At 12,667’/3,860m Mount Borah is the highest peak in Idaho and is one of the most prominent peaks in the contiguous states.
Karts joined his Yukon River expedition teammate Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood and TV reality star Jeff Zausch.
Mount Borah is a challenging climb because of the Class 3 scrambling required along a narrow and exposed ridgeline. Difficult route finding, tiredness, and the exposure convinces half the climbers to turn back. Not these three climbers.
Karts and Lolo are on schedule with their postponed Yukon River expedition that starts May 24, 2021. For more information, visit http://www.yukon2020.com.
(Sun City, Arizona, USA; June 27, 2020) Sun City resident and adventurer Art “Karts” Huseonica is excited to help announce that Eco-Challenge Fiji is coming to Prime Video.
Billed as the “World’s Toughest Race,” Eco-Challenge was created by British reality show producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice) and hosted by international survival expert Bear Grylls. Eco-Challenge Fiji is being produced by MGM Television and will debut on Amazon’s Prime Video on August 14, 2020. The delivery format enables a worldwide audience. Due to stringent confidentiality agreements, Mr. Huseonica is prohibited from sharing race details or race photos.
Mr. Burnett produced the original Eco-Challenge race that put him on the reality TV map and was a precursor to his CBS hit Survivor. Mr. Grylls is just coming off of a popular run of his new interactive show Man vs Wild. “Eco-Challenge is the ultimate survival adventure race, against the elements, against the clock, and against some of the greatest extreme athletes the world has ever seen,” said Mr. Grylls.
“I was very happy to be part of an incredible event in an exotic location,” said Mr. Huseonica. “I got to work closely with some of the world’s best producers such as Mark Burnett and Lisa Hennessy.” He added, “It was great seeing Bear Grylls again and catching up on our lives, including my grandson Carson’s recent injury.”
Mr. Huseonica’s responsibilities as part of the race’s staff of adventurers and subject area experts included meeting race teams at the airport, race bike inspections, checkpoint manager, and being part of the staff at two rest and medical camps along the arduous 417-mile/671 km race route. In addition, he helped to maintain a good working relationship with the village’s leadership.
Fiji is a rugged volcanic land with dense jungles. Mostly uninhabited and remote, the island villages maintain an ancient South Pacific tribal value system governed by local chiefs. Mr. Huseonica traveled to numerous locations on the island and three remote smaller islands as part of his work. This required daily interactions of village chiefs and their number two man referred to as the village headman.
Staying in his tent or village bures (thatched-roof homes), he was always warmly welcomed into villages for stays that lasted from one to three days. Children were especially excited to have Mr. Huseonica in their village, albeit mostly a curiosity factor of having a bearded, bald-headed white man in their village. The excitement level dramatically increased when the race teams came through the villages, followed closely by numerous camera crews and assist producers. Most Fijians speak at least a little English, so the normal language barriers were not present.
For this challenging race there are 66 four-person teams from around the world who competed non-stop mountain biking remote trails, paddling down white-water rivers, rappelling down cliff sides, climbing, sailing across open ocean, and pack rafting. Navigation is done with map and compass only. If one member of the team drops out for any reason during the eleven-day race, the team was disqualified.
Mr. Huseonica’s transportation between locations included wading across rivers, trekking, four-wheel drive vehicles, boats, and helicopters. Many villagers witnessed a helicopter landing for the first time in their lives. One village’s residents and all the school children came running down to the playground to see Mr. Huseonica land and disembark with his five gear bags. He had lots of help moving his gear to where the race course came through the village.
The “eco” in Eco-Challenge means that there will be a strong focus on leaving the race course pristine. Camps and checkpoints will also be set up and maintained with the idea of keeping the area clean at all times and properly disposing of waste. Mr. Huseonica helped local Fijian volunteers to ensure that remained true in his assigned areas during the race and afterwards.
Don’t forget the 10-episode series starts August 14, 2020 on Amazon’s Prime Video.
Dear friends, Lolo and I are absolutely gutted right now, having to officially postpone our Yukon 2020 expedition until May 24, 2022. We remained optimistic as long as we could but circumstances far beyond our control forced this decision. Most prominent is the Yukon Territory’s recent direct refusal to let us enter their territory this year under any circumstances. Secondary, is the negative public appearance that we’re going off on a highly visible and dangerous adventure while so many people are suffering financially and the uncertainty of the world’s health status. While we’re taking a huge financial loss by postponing such a complex expedition, the economic devastation occurring to our expedition business friends in the Yukon and Alaska is what deeply saddens us. We’ll keep the same expedition plan in place with our Canadian and Alaskan outfitters, and the many other logistical support folks if they can survive until then. We are pleased to know most of our sponsors have pledged their continued support. We’ll keep our GoFundMe page active to garner funds for resupply on the river, but will honor refund requests. We’re still referring to the expedition as Yukon 2020. For more information, please visit http://www.yukon2020.com.
What will Art “Karts” and Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood eat on their 2,020-mile/3,250-km Yukon River expedition?
A better question might be how will they get their food? The team’s Yukon 2020™ logistics planning consists of several resupply activities that include in-town resupply, mail forwarding, fishing, and purchases from village residents. These are further broken down into logistical activity in the Canada and Alaska. Next to training, logistics planning is the most time consuming activity in this expedition’s preparation.
In the Yukon Territory of Canada, the team will make their initial outfitting in the territorial capital city of Whitehorse. Although a small city, Whitehorse is crucial to the team getting a good start to their epic expedition. The team chose Up North Adventuresas their outfitter of choice and for their canoe (see photo) fabrication with NovaCraft Canoe, bulk expedition supplies such as paddles, cooking supplies, cooler, and water-tight container systems.
Fresh groceries and dry goods will be purchased in the Whitehorse grocery store. This is the beginning of the very expensive river resupply process. The team is not bringing bulk food into Canada due to restrictions upon entry and because of baggage limitations. The exceptions are the meals and energy bars.
To get Mr. Huseonica and Ms. Sherwood to their very remote put-in location, Alkan Air in Whitehorse will fly them and their 500 pounds of gear in a DeHallivand Turbo Otter float plane. Insertion will be deep into the west arm of Bennett Lake. The team’s 18′ NovaCraft canoe will be securely strapped to one of the plane’s pontoons.
In Alaska, the team is relying on Horst Expediting to forward along United States Postal Service resupply boxes to three remote locations along the Yukon River. Mr. Huseonica and Ms. Sherwood will then have to pull out and search for the resupply boxes. This is in keeping with the self-supported guidelines for expeditions. No one is permitted to be waiting for them along the river with supplies or to assist them in any other way. This includes portages.
A major part of their planning process was determining what items to select for their 18 resupply boxes. Each of the three resupply drops require a slightly different selection of replacement gear and foods. All this will be sorted, boxed, and mailed in early May 2020. They have to get this right because opportunities to resupply in the remote fishing villages is problematic and very expensive.
On the river the team will use a mountain stove each morning to boil water for coffee, tea, and breakfast foods such as oatmeal or a freeze-dried breakfast meal. Each evening, a campfire will be built if a suitable area is found. Dinner will include fresh meats and vegetables. Fishing is an option throughout their journey, but being successful at catching fish is certainly key. When fresh foods run out, they will resort to freeze-dried options provided by Wild Zora Foods. During the day, they will have a variety of snacks to chose from. Options include vegetable and meat bars, jerky, nuts, air-dried fruit, and honey and nut bars.
For more information or to donate to the expedition’s resupply costs, please visit the official Website.
(April 27, 2020, Arizona USA) The Yukon 2020™ team will be most likely interacting with First Nation residents in the Yukon Territory of Canada. In Alaska, the team will be visiting select Alaska Natives’ fishing villages along the Yukon River.
Art “Karts” Huseonica of Sun City and Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood of Prescott are expected to be good representatives of a professional expedition. Besides being the right thing to do, it is in their character to be accepting of and learning about all peoples’ beliefs and way of life. They are also sensitive to being respectful to a village leader’s decision whether or not to permit the team access to their village.
Mr. Huseonica and Ms. Sherwood have already met with members of the Alaska Natives peoples and received helpful information and advice. The team will also coordinate visits with the village leaders far in advance of their anticipated arrival. Before starting their expedition on June 14, the team will meet with First Nation representatives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory at the Council of Yukon First Nations headquarters.
They will seek from the First Nations representatives guidance about which villages to visit for the purposes of resting and making minimal resupply food purchases. Working in the other direction, Mr. Huseonica and Ms. Sherwood will make inquires into what items, within cost and bulk limitations they can bring with them that the villages might need.
In Alaska, the team will be working with the Alaskan state government and the Alaska Federation of Natives. As the team moves down the river they will be in satellite contact with community leaders. Contact will be determined through the prodigious use of the State of Alaska’s community database at the Community Online Database. Similar to the Yukon Territory villages, the team will make inquires into what items to bring that the villages are in desperate need of.
Except in villages, meeting people on the river will be relatively rare. When the opportunity does presents itself, interactions with others will be a unique opportunity to learn about the people and to share with them stories and information about the team’s expedition.
Mr. Huseonica and Ms. Sherwood will avoid interactions if either one is feeling ill, or if they suspect others are sick. When they visit isolated towns or fishing villages, it will be impossible to avoid people so social distancing will be practiced if conditions at that time warrant it. The team will carry an amble supply of face masks, latex gloves, sanitary wipes, and hand sanitizer with them at all times.
At remote villages, the team will be an interesting distraction to residents, and most likely bring attention to themselves since they are strangers. The team has provided this Blog link to the Canadian government to help explain plans for interactions with First Nations peoples in the Yukon Territory. The link was also provided to the Council of Yukon First Nations. And also to the US State Department to demonstrate the team’s good-faith intentions regarding interactions with Alaska Natives.
For more information about the Yukon 2020™ expedition, please visit www.yukon2020.com.
(April 24, 2020; Arizona USA) The Yukon 2020™ team is excited to have outlined their plan to Leave No Trace on their expedition. They are expected to have a plan in place to demonstrate their commitment to conducting a comprehensive and professional expedition with regards to the environment. In these times of COVID-19, this is more important than ever.
Leave No Trace means that participants leave only their foot prints; in other words, minimal impact. This international program consists of seven principles: plan ahead and prepare; camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly; take nothing; minimize campfire impact; respect wildlife; and be considerate of others. Art “Karts” Huseonica and Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood will remind each other to stay focused on the principles throughout their entire expedition.
This outline of Leave No Trace principles is part of the team’s planning and preparation process. Due to the length of the expedition in terms of time and distance, preparation is an all-consuming process. Leave No Trace is an important part of that process.
Considerable time will be allotted to finding suitable campsites each night that are durable for tents, cooking, and general camp life that will not leave a permanent reminder that they were there. This includes their fire pit areas. If they’re fortunate enough to find an old fire pit area, they will build their camp around that so as to avoid creating another fire pit area. Only drift wood will be burned; no trees will be cut down. If driftwood is not available, they will revert to using their small mountain stove.
Trash will be burned when feasible. Otherwise, it be packed up for proper disposal in villages if residents are agreeable to doing that. Having trash containers and room in their canoe is part of the planning and preparation step. Prior to the expedition’s start on June 4, Mr. Huseonica and Ms. Sherwood will eliminate as much plastic from their supplies as possible. They will never use any single-use plastics. The team expects to find trash along their 2,020-mile/3,250km journey and will pick up as much as they can manage and properly dispose of, especially near their camp sites.
Human waste will be disposed of in cat holes, at least six inches deep and located 200 feet/60 meters from camp or water sources. Toilet paper will be burned in the cat hole. When this is not feasible, the team will be carrying a supply of blue bags to store solid waste in and properly dispose of where appropriate.
Mr. Huseonica and Ms. Sherwood will take nothing from the environment such as archaeological or historical remains, rocks, or vegetation. They will not build cairns (small piles of rocks) as a reminder they’d passed through an area. Only their foot prints will be left behind.
Being respectful of wildlife means not feeding animals, killing them except for food as permitted and licensed, or harassing them in any way. The team will have to fish throughout their expedition in order to have sufficient food and get the protein necessary to keep them healthy and strong.
Meeting people on the river will be rare. When the opportunity presents itself, interacting with others will be a unique opportunity to learn about local residents and to share with them stories and information about the team’s expedition. Mr. Huseonica and Ms. Sherwood will avoid interactions if either one is feeling ill, or if they suspect others are sick. When they visit isolated river towns it will be impossible to avoid people. The team will carry a supply of face masks with them at all times.
At small, remote villages, the team will be an interesting distraction to residents, and most likely bring attention to themselves. The team will provide to the Canadian government their plan for interacting with First Nations peoples in the Yukon Territory. A similar plan will be provided to the US State Department for interactions with Alaska Natives. This plan will include how and when the team will contact village leaders prior to their arrival to discuss visitation and health protocols.
For more Yukon 2020™ expedition information, sponsorship opportunities, or to donate to the resupply costs, please visit the official Website.
(March 1, 2020) Danger will be ever-present during the Yukon 2020™ record-attempt expedition. This 2,020-mile (3,250 km) journey includes a myriad of situations that Art “Karts” Huseonica and Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood must be acutely aware of, including hypothermia, bears, mosquitoes, and people. The team is not afraid of any of these, but hold a respect for all and plan to manage their risks to successfully complete the adventure.
Except for a 1.2-mile portage, when the team puts in on June 4, they will be paddling the distance on lakes and a river that is fed by glacial melt and snow melt water. The cold water is their foremost danger. If they tip over, they have only a few minutes before their body’s temperature begins to drop below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). Once this happens, their bodies and minds will begin to slow down to the point of not being able to save themselves. After getting to shore, hopefully with their canoe and gear, they must immediately remove all their clothes, put on dry clothing, and then quickly start a fire to warm up their bodies.
Each will be carrying a water-proof emergency fire-starter kit, good for starting a fire even in inclement weather. Karts and Lolo are trained in CPR and wilderness first aid. Preparation and self-reliance will be key in such austere environments. There will be surprises, but it wouldn’t be an adventure without them.
Bears are certainly a possible problem. When making camp, the team must survey the area for recent bear signs such as paw prints and scat. After deciding on a camp site the team will secure all their food in air tight containers and avoid leaving any food scraps laying around camp. Black bears are the most common bear that the team will encounter. Grizzlies (brown bears) also frequent the team’s route.
Other preventive measures include good camp protocols, bear spray, and a gun (as a bear banger). The team will use these in that order of precedence. Supporting the team are the assets provided by a Globalstar systems satellite telephone and their SPOT X GPS tracking and SOS device (pictured). A link will be published so that everyone can track the team. Their SPOT device allows for text and email communications, and has an SOS feature.
Mosquitoes, also known as midges will certainly give Karts and Lolo discomfort during their expedition. They will be prepared with body mosquito netting, tent netting, and bug spray. Dangers include dengue virus from mosquitoes and Lyme disease from ticks. Also an unavoidable irritant on portions of their expedition will be black flies and biting midges, also known as no-see-ums. Black flies can cause black fly fever and blindness if left untreated.
Although people are Karts and Lolo’s least dangerous entity, the team is still aware of issues related to people along the river and in the fishing villages. Occasionally, adventurers are seen as easy targets of theft and other misdeeds. To provide extra measures of safety and security, the team will be ever-aware of their surroundings, be respectful of village residents and people on the river, and use personal security code words and signals. They recently met with an indigenous resident who briefed them on how to conduct themselves in remote villages.
Karts and Lolo are adventurous people up for the challenges, and not afraid of the known or the unknown. They know how to manage risks, assess situations, and have a plan in place to respond accordingly. This includes comprehensive expedition insurance. Of course, flexibility is an essential component of such a dangerous endeavor focused on a record-attempt.
To help cover the enormous costs of such a complex expedition, interested folks can donate monies through the Yukon 2020™ team’s Fund Me page. A free t-shirt is given to those donating $30 or more. Or you can contact Karts through the Contact page on this Blog or via eMail at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone USA 443-254-5730.
Those wishing to become tiered sponsors can check out the team’s Support page to see what matches the amount that you can give.
(February 18, 2020) It’s so exciting to have the Yukon 2020™ Website published. Here’s the link: http://www.yukon2020.com.
Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood coordinated the site’s design, development, and publication with her good friend and expedition supporter Jonathan Pierson.
The team wanted to have a platform for the expedition sponsors and folks who are interested in donating monies to support the expedition’s high resupply costs. In addition, the media is more apt to pick up information from a credible and official Web site via a Blog, and search engines produce better results for Web sites.
What’s really unique about the Web site is that it outlines three sponsorship categories for companies or individuals to donate significant supporting funds. Categories include Silver Stream, Yukon Gold, and Platinum Oar.
Interested folks can also donate monies through the team’s Go Fund Me page. Or contact Karts through the Contact page on this Blog or via eMail at email@example.com, phone USA 443-254-5730.
Karts and Lolo are very grateful for the support they’ve received thus far. Watch for videos, vlogs, pod casts, and more coming soon about this and other topics.