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Yukon 2020™ First Nations Interactions

Updated January 6, 2022 (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 is expected to be a good representative of a professional expedition. Besides being the right thing to do, it is in his character to be accepting of and learning about all peoples’ beliefs and way of life. He’s also sensitive to being respectful to a village leader’s decision whether or not to permit the team access to their village.

First Nations logo and flag v1

Mr. Huseonica will 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 May 27, weather permitting, 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 will make inquires into what items, within cost and bulk limitations they can bring with them that the villages might need.

Archive dug-out canoe v2

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.

Alaska Natives flag v1

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 will avoid interactions if he’s feeling ill or suspect others are sick. When he visits 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.

Yukon River Miles Canyon v1

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. The team is also in communication with the Yukon Territory’s COVID-19 Enforement Information Team and the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association.

For more information about the Yukon 2020™ expedition or to donate or sponsor, obtain naming rights to the expedition’s custom canoe, please visit www.yukon2020.com.

Yukon 2020™ – Update December 2021

The Yukon 2020™ expedition is still on schedule for summer of 2022. Art “Karts” Huseonica is planning to keep the Yukon 2020™ branding name unless he is greatly influenced otherwise. Maybe he can add a trailer name to it such as Yukon 2020™-Finally or something like Yukon 2020™-Lastly.

Meanwhile, Karts is busy collaborating with a documentary film maker to formulate a plan to create a quality film of the expedition. In addition, consideration is being given to having Yukon First Nations (see branding logo below) people join him on the expediton through the Yukon Territory. It’s also feasible that Alaska Native peoples could accompany Karts through the Alaska portion of the mighty Yukon River.

For more information, to donate, or to sponsor the expediton, please visit www.yukon2020.com. This includes an opportunity to receive naming rights to the expedition’s custom crafted canoe.

Yukon 2020™ – Update November 2021

The Yukon 2020™ expedition is still on schedule for summer of 2022. Art “Karts” Huseonica is planning to keep the Yukon 2020™ branding name unless he is greatly influenced otherwise.

Sadly, Renee has left the team. Karts is talking to someone else to take her place. If he doesn’t reach an agreement, Karts will solo the expedition. Outfitters in the Yukon Territory and in Alaska are standing by to support the expedition in numerous ways, as are individual friends of Karts along the route.

The plan is to start on one of the source lakes near the border with British Columbia then paddle north to the named river. This puts the expediton at 2,022 miles/3,254km. There will be publically accessible GPS track using a SPOT X device. One of the more dangerous parts of the expedition is the requirement to ensure a GPS ping is verified from the Bering Sea to help validate the expediton. It’s part of the trilogy of proof required for a record-attempt; Karts will write more about this in future Blog posts.

For more information and to learn how to help support the expedition, please visit www.yukon2020.com.

Yukon 2020™ Is On for 2022

New to the team is Adrienne Renee Troxell, also known as “A.T. Renee,” 37, a Cincinnati, Ohio native. Renee was selected for the expedition after a worldwide search for someone experienced in the outdoors, was willing to go outside their comfort zone and available to be part of an epic adventure.

Karts’ former teammate Lolo dropped out to move on with her career.

Renee hopes to be one of the select few women to successfully complete the documented expedition in an open Canadian-style canoe. You can read the entire Sun City INDEPENDENT newspaper article here.

For more information please visit http://www.yukon2020.com

Yukon 2020™ Postponed Again

(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.

Adventure Death Valley 2021

(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.

Mount Borah 2020

(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.

Eco-Challenge Fiji Coming Soon

(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.

Here’s a link to the exciting teaser trailer for Eco-Challenge Fiji.

“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.”

Eco Challenge Karts v1
Art “Karts” Huseonica ready for the jungle.

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.

Bear Grylls visiting a medallion checkpoint.

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.

Eco Challenge Karts v2
Art “Karts” Huseonica ready to move to his next assignment.

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.

Eco Challenge Karts with villagers v1
Art “Karts” Huseonica saying farewell to a group of village hosts.

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.

Yukon 2020™ Postponed

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.

Yukon 2020™ Expedition Logistics

Yukon 2020 branding logo v1 copy

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.

Karts and Lauren Boulder honey bunchies

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 Adventures as 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.

Alkan Air de Havilland DHC-3T Turbo Otter authorized

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.

Yukon 2020 spot v1

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.

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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.