Tuesday, 16 October 2012

#329 In the field: Noatak River, Alaska

Field study has dominated much of my time this summer and fall.  August and part of September were spent paddling the Noatak River, located entirely above the arctic circle, north of the Brooks Range in Alaska. See blog post #314, September 18.

The Noatak flows 460 miles from its headwaters on Mount Igikpak to the Arctic Ocean, spreading into a delta at Kotzebue sound.  The entire region is in its wild and natural state as the river winds through mountains, forests, and tundra.  We encountered no people until the last week of the trip when we met a delightful Inupiat native who hailed us from the river's edge.

The expedition was led by canoe expert and professional photographer, Gary McGuffin and artist, Rob Mullen.  Six of us spent five weeks paddling the river's entire 460 mile length . . . sketching, painting, and photographing the area's birds and animals.

Top right, me, Bob Hansen, Linda Besse, and Rob.  Bottom right, Trish and Gary.

Below, is a field study of a Tundra Swan from my sketch book journal.

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