inReach message from TA Loeffler

L6 view out over three valleys coming together. Evidence of earth folds being pushed up into mtns. Ganesh Mtn reveals its glory. More down now up, up, up!!!

View the location or send a reply to TA Loeffler: https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=73347ead-49df-48f2-a38a-b0f2d32f7646&adr=miyu735rowe%40post.wordpress.com

TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 28.159128 Lon 85.054801

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This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit http://explore.garmin.com/inreach.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Camp 5 in Lapagoan. Boys playing volleyball, aqueducts delivering water to wheat & potatoes newly growing small up, huge down

View the location or send a reply to TA Loeffler: https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=f0b199f9-2178-452a-bcd0-a30187cae72c&adr=miyu735rowe%40post.wordpress.com

TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 28.167304 Lon 85.021219

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L5 snow topped mtns pull our gaze up from hundreds of mica dressed stone steps that lead us down, down, down. Blooms beckon

View the location or send a reply to TA Loeffler: https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=5e1d4f56-c104-410a-891b-0641d70d4c5e&adr=miyu735rowe%40post.wordpress.com

TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 28.170404 Lon 84.985342

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Camp 5 In Kharka w/barking dog clouds creep in on tiny bovine feet Magnolia blossoms cling like doves 2 moss covered branches

View the location or send a reply to TA Loeffler: https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=a63e97e5-8369-4ec2-9c9a-a2b356791e87&adr=miyu735rowe%40post.wordpress.com

TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 28.162433 Lon 84.947834

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

View L4 long down winding stone stair w/ water buffalo. Micro hydro under const. Cicadas sing. Do their ft get sore like ours?

View the location or send a reply to TA Loeffler: https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=020a6b28-8bd5-4e97-896f-90c11565693c&adr=miyu735rowe%40post.wordpress.com

TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 28.17593 Lon 84.92687

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Camp 3 just sky of goal. Jack hammer mixes with shepherds watching goats. Huge day of up, down & distance. Feet yell. Legs cramp. Spirit soars. GHT again.

View the location or send a reply to TA Loeffler: https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=573d087a-1e2c-4472-8f2c-eeabc5fb40d4&adr=miyu735rowe%40post.wordpress.com

TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 28.19477 Lon 84.903052

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

View from lunch, terraced fields of wheat & corn. Kids curious while adults kind in helping us find our way. Goats passing by. Big up this morn. 1200 m.

View the location or send a reply to TA Loeffler: https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=6fa3759b-6fa5-4d79-bbcc-1921ba28cf9b&adr=miyu735rowe%40post.wordpress.com

TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 28.233833 Lon 84.898782

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Hi from Machakhola. Great hot walk on new road. Life is changing here fast w/ many new roads. Looking across 2 tomorrow’s big up. Today broke us in slowly.

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TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 28.229671 Lon 84.873784

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Hello from Soti Khola. Setting up camp. The drive had some super muddy parts. The driver was excellent. Ready for a Pretty Big Walk. Day One is in the books.

View the location or send a reply to TA Loeffler: https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=6f633ea4-bd7a-4b12-98d7-852a155fcb69&adr=miyu735rowe%40post.wordpress.com

TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 28.134238 Lon 84.854407

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Heading Off to a Pretty Big Wall

After a quick day of catching up with friends and errands, the expedition bags are packed and we head off in the morning. We tested our expedition comms this morning and all seem to be working well. As long as battery power holds out, we will send an audio message and location link daily. We likely won’t be able to send out many photos so you’ll have to depend on my verbal descriptions and use your imagination.

We visited a stupa and enjoyed both people and pigeon watching.

We are traversing the Ganesh Himal and Langtang regions and will be out on the trail for 30 days or so. Depending on weather and snow conditions, (so far there has been lots of both this spring here in the mountains) we may need to alter our route so stay tuned.

We spend much of tomorrow driving to the start of our trip at Soti Khola and then start walking (uphill) on Wednesday. So pleased to have you along!

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

Hello from Kathmandu. After a great night’s sleep, we are off to exchange money, find sims, buy laundry soap, & visit friends.

View the location or send a reply to TA Loeffler: https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=fad0a5b6-7daa-4f43-9a93-45b9b26f8c07&adr=miyu735rowe%40post.wordpress.com

TA Loeffler sent this message from: Lat 27.712476 Lon 85.309718

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Pretty Big Walk-You’re Invited!

Marian and I are taking a walk. A Pretty Big Walk. We want you to come along in any way you can…walking, rolling, slowly, quickly, running, jumping, singing…any which way that, gets you, or keeps you moving. We’ll be walking, hiking, trekking, and climbing our way across approximately 300 kilometres of the High Himalaya in Nepal.

We’ll start our Pretty Big Walk in Chautara on April 10 and head for Tilman Pass Camp and the Langtang Valley using the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT). The Great Himalaya Trail is a series of trails, routes, and primitive paths that allow adventurous folks to walk/climb/trek the entire length of the Himalayas in Nepal.

We’ll finish our walk at the beginning of the Manaslu Trek-thus connecting the two walks we’ve done on the GHT (Great Big Walk in 2014 and Manaslu in 2017). When we finish in mid May, this will mean we have completed five of seven sections of the GHT crossing Nepal You’re invited to follow along.

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Happy Adventurous and Active New Year

Marian and I celebrated the New Year by hiking down to one of our favourite East Coast Trail destinations: Freshwater Bay. The photo above was taken from the new bridge that crosses Leamy’s Brook and enables hikers to avoid the barachois or make a lovely lollipop shaped hike if they don’t want to continue onto Black Head. The afternoon light was gorgeous and the sky to the Northeast gave some hints that a storm was on the way. It’s been a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of outdoor time on walks, snowshoes, and skis. As I’m set to teach my winter outdoor activities course on Monday, I’m cheering (silently) for this influx of the white stuff though I know many are cursing it. The mission of my winter course is to equip students with skills and knowledge to help them spread “winter love” or at least less winter hate. With some skills and a good clothing system, winter becomes a time of fun and exciting outdoor adventure. If you need any winter inspiration, please see this intro to our newish book: Get-Outside Guide to Winter Activities.

Marian and I spent an evening watching all of the video I shot while on our Paddling North adventure last summer, canoeing 3080 km between Jasper, Alberta and Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. It was fun to relive part of the adventure and some of the clips had us bent over in laughter. We recently put up a few canvas prints on the wall opposite where we do dishes so we could be flooded with memories and be inspired towards new expeditionary goals. As usual, spending 90 days on that expedition has transformed my relationship to that part of the world and to every Canadian map I look at. It does seem a bit like a dream that this time last year we were still working on the plan to make that trip possible.

Several expedition thoughts and potentialities are in the mix right now and we’ll let folks know our adventure plans as soon as we nail them down enough to buy tickets. Looking at some time back in the Himalayas and Labrador as serious possibilities. I hope you have some adventures planned for 2019, whether they be near or far! Wishing you all the best for an adventurous and active New Year.

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Paddling North: 2.5 Million Paddle Strokes

Two weeks ago, in the middle of the night, we pulled into Tuktoyaktuk, NWT having done somewhere in the vicinity of 2.5 million paddle strokes. In the picture above, we are enjoying a toast to finishing our expedition.

One week ago, we arrived back home having only adopted one additional adventure pig-Amelia is our new addition-she considers herself to be an explorer pig.

A few hour ago, we shared our first Moo Moo’s ice cream in a year signalling that we were home from all of our grand adventures of the last year.

It’s been a good week of settling back in, wanting for the river, seeing loved ones, telling stories, and unpacking from our last four trips and unpacking the house. Not to mention reclaiming our vegetable garden from the weeds and a bit of blueberry picking. Now, just as I felt like I was finally home,
Delilah and I are off to the Royal Geographic Society International Conference to present some of the work I did while on my sabbatical.

We will both admit that we’ve resisted a wee bit, the process of settling back into regular life. We speak often of the river, sharing spontaneous memories, and wishing we were back there where the only things we really needed to do was sleep, eat, paddle, eat, paddle, eat, sleep, and repeat. But as I often say, you can’t stay on the summit forever.

What a grand adventure and so glad to share it with my dear co-adventurer Marian. I’ll be missing her sometime fierce this week as we’ve only been apart one eight hour period in the past year. Only six sleeps until we adventure together again, albeit the adventure of settling back into our everyday.

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Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 69.41199
Longitude: -133.03539
GPS location Date/Time: 08/13/2018 21:36:29 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/-0WHf/69.41199N/133.03539W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

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Paddling North: Summit!

After an epic day, we achieved our summit and paddled to the pingos just outside Tuktoyaktuk. More details soon.

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Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 69.40640
Longitude: -133.08691
GPS location Date/Time: 08/13/2018 05:50:35 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/z-JvL/69.40640N/133.08691W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

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Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 69.23782
Longitude: -134.19055
GPS location Date/Time: 08/12/2018 03:04:26 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/zxbOJ/69.23782N/134.19055W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

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Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 69.10308
Longitude: -134.40788
GPS location Date/Time: 08/11/2018 00:59:06 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/zuWtS/69.10308N/134.40788W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

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Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 68.85241
Longitude: -134.46161
GPS location Date/Time: 08/09/2018 22:44:58 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/zqWA9/68.85241N/134.46161W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

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Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 68.68961
Longitude: -134.13568
GPS location Date/Time: 08/08/2018 21:43:07 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/znKoV/68.68961N/134.13568W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

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Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 68.68950
Longitude: -134.13531
GPS location Date/Time: 08/07/2018 22:09:45 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/zkEan/68.68950N/134.13531W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

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Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 68.63325
Longitude: -134.06879
GPS location Date/Time: 08/07/2018 03:55:41 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/zhfKj/68.63325N/134.06879W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

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How #PaddlingNorth is Like Climbing Everest Part Two: The Summit Push

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the similarities between this expedition and climbing Everest. You can find that post here: How #PaddlingNorth is Like Climbing Everest https://taloeffler.com/2018/07/13/how-paddlingnorth-is-like-climbing-everest/ This is part two.

Marian and I reached Inuvik last night about 1:30 am after two days of long paddles with little current to assist us. We decided to push into Inuvik because we knew we would likely be winded off today and we wanted to use it for planning and decision making. We were winded off and we did use the day to make our plans.

Some may remember that Marian and I were up here in March doing a dog sledding program (as well as scouting for this expedition). We had a fabulous learning time and even paid a visit to Tuktoyaktuk because the all weather road had opened to the community. We also went to Tuk in case we didn’t get to paddle there on this expedition because we were stopped by weather, injury, or fatigue.

Marian and I had totally been putting off the decision about whether or not we would paddle to Tuk until we reached Inuvik. We’d originally thought it would take us four days to get here but, because we pushed, it only took two and thus today was our decision day. Today reminded me of summit bids on Everest (and all mountains really.). Thus the part two…how this “summit push” to Tuktoyaktuk is similar to one on Everest.

1. Both require specialized clothing to protect you from the cold (and in this case, the bugs. )

2. It’s hardest to push to the end/summit/goal through the haze of acquired fatigue. This fatigue can be intensely demotivating.

3. Just when you are most tired and wore out, the biggest, longest, hardest, most technical, and most committing challenges come.

4. Many folks around you, some of whom you’ve climbed or paddled with, will opt not to climb higher or paddle further and will head home. This can also weigh heavily on your mind and be demotivating.

5. You will often face the most wind, most cold, and challenging weather nearest the top/ocean. (Most bugs too).

6. As you climb, the altitude gets higher and hypoxia (low oxygen) makes you slower. As you paddle a river delta, the current dissipates and you much work harder for each kilometre.

7. As your summit bid draws near, doubt builds as well. You question your ability to pull it off and if you even still want to pull it off. Then you remember why you took on this mountain/river in the first place and make the decision to go for it, forsaking comfort, ease, and slacking off for one last big push to the top/end.

8. It’s much easier to go down that to keep climbing up but the views from the summit are life-changing.

9. The summit is obtained by taking one step after another step for hour and days or by taking paddle stroke by paddle stroke. Even when you think you don’t have another step or paddle stroke left in you.

10. The summit is only halfway. It’s important to continue to have the big picture, keep an eye to risk management, and never let the goal be worth more than returning safely to climb and paddle again.

We are off on the final phase of Paddling North, our summit push, tomorrow. We are not sure how long it will take-that will depend on weather and paddling conditions…likely in the vicinity of a week or so. We’ll continue to share audio posts and SPOT posts so you can hear witness to our daily progress making our way past the 3000 km mark, past 69 degrees North, and our arrival in Tuktoyaktuk. As always, we appreciate you cheering us on. We plan to continue our conservative paddling decision making and risk management style that has brought us 2880 kilometres safely thus far!

To the summit and safe return!

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Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 68.35173
Longitude: -133.72433
GPS location Date/Time: 08/06/2018 01:21:57 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/zeUoN/68.35173N/133.72433W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

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Paddling North: Km 2880 and Back in Inuvik

We didn’t start the day thinking we’d finish it in Inuvik but we did. We put a second big day in the books to try to sit out some weather here where we can do some planning. Our evening paddles have been some of our favourites and this one was no exception. As you can see from the picture above, it was a calm and still night (the mosquitoes in Inuvik are wicked).

It’s day 80 and it truly is hard to believe that we are back in Inuvik, five months later, having paddled almost 3000 km. What a trip it has been!

We spotted several beavers yesterday and today. It’s great to be back in a smaller channel where we can see more birds and critters. Falling asleep at the keyboard. More soon.

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