Adventurers and Scientists for Cheez-Its? The Little Things Matter When You Are Rowing Non-stop from Canada to Russia Across the Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Row Team Checks in via Blog on The First Stretch of Their Row Across the Arctic
retrieved from http://www.arcticrow.com/blog/
Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans…. And so, despite packing enough Cheez-Its to fill a 3rd grader’s lunchbox for a year, the guys are now in dangerously short supply. They find this much more distressing than I do, needless to say.
Otherwise, all is well on the Arctic today. I just got off the phone with Paul (around 11:00pm Central time). He had just finished a shift at the oars and was about to catch up with Scott, who is already napping. They’re due back on deck at 1:00 am, although the days and times tend to run together above the Arctic Circle in summer, as it never gets dark.
The last day or two has been marked by good rowing weather and their first ice sightings. They caught some pretty great footage of an iceberg they estimate was about 50 feet tall (above the water) and the size of 3 football fields. The bergs are apparently so massive that they’re visible a good 2 hours before they go past. Smaller ones can be about the size of a car and are present near the large ones, but don’t last long once they’ve broken off the main berg, so they don’t seem to present a threat.
The Wilderness Classroom Blogs about Their Experience Collecting Data for ASC
As part of the final 5,000 miles of our journey across North America we spent seven weeks paddling along the north shore of Lake Superior and into the North Channel and Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. With the help of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation we teamed up with Val Klump from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Each day we took two or three Secchi disk readings to help Val and other scientists understand more about water quality in the Great Lakes.
Soon after starting, we lengthened the rope attached to the Secchi disk because the water in Lake Superior was so clear. We often had readings of 45 or more feet with the deepest being around 55 feet. It was very interesting to see the affect the surrounding environment had on the depth that we recorded. The wild stretches of coastline were where we most often had very deep readings. While when we were near towns, they usually were not quite as deep. We found that rivers often had a profound effect on the reading. West of the town of Marathon, Ontario near the mouth of the Little Pic river we got a reading of only one and a half feet! While earlier that same day, we had had a reading of 40 feet.
We were glad to be able to help the School of Freshwater Scientists gather data on water clarity in Lake Superior and Lake Huron. And we hope that it will be useful to them. It was a learning experience for us. It made us think more about the clarity of the water that we are paddling in and what can affect it. It also made us appreciate the water quality of Lake Superior more.
Retrieved from: http://www.wildernessclassroom.com/blog/updates/notes-from-the-trail/461-collecting-scientific-data-for-the-university-of-wisconsin.html
Our Adventure athlete, Hari Mix, is on Mt. Lenin and just attempted the 20,000ft summit. He checked in from camp 1 with this phone message. Hari is involved in a number of science projects with us, and we are always excited to hear of his progress.
Go Big or Go Home: ASC Adventurer Andrew Badenoch's recent 77zero blog addresses the myth of light and fast backpacks
Bikepacking: 5 Reasons to Take a Bigger Pack
Notice right away that I didn’t say I’m going to give you any reasons to pack bigger.
If you’re getting tips and how-tos from the sources I ran across, you’ve been thoroughly convinced that shrinking the size of your backpack is crucial. I’m here to let you off the hook: go bigger. Here’s why:
1. You can handle it. Of course it would be nice to frolic about with nothing to restrain energy or imagination. I’m no fan of that swath of sweat down the middle of my back either, but let’s be real. After weeks of in-field experience, I haven’t once thought, “this backpack is too much.” Not one moment. Yet there have been multiple times I’ve wondered what everyone else is on about when insisting that a smaller pack is the only way to go. Don’t let them scare you away from a using a bigger pack for your bigger adventures.
2. Terrain. Sometimes your bike will be too heavy. The term bikepacking generally implies adventure cycling that goes beyond traditional road touring. Whether that involves anything from moderately technical singletrack to off-trail epicness, there will come hours or days or weeks of terrain that will be difficult to traverse with most of your total payload shifted to seat, frame, and handlebar bags. My recommendation is to take a backpack that will allow shifting your entire kit to the backpack.
I love alpine lakes. There is nothing better than getting to the top of a hike, whether it takes several hours or all day, and seeing that calm, flat, reflective body of water waiting at the top for me. If I can jump in I will, bracing myself for the sharp cold of water that was snow only hours before. Dr. Loren Bahls is a fan of alpine lakes because they hold the key to his climate change research. Dr. Bahls is the curator of the Montana Diatom Collection in Helena, MT, and his work is focused on finding new species and helping to piece together the story of climate change in the North West.
Diatoms are unicellular microbes with cell walls made of glass. Though invisible to the naked eye, these tiny microbes are responsible for 40% of carbon fixation and oxygen production world wide. The North West is the least sampled area for diatoms and most of those samples have come from lower elevation lakes that have been polluted. Imagine the possibilities for finding new species in these pristine alpine lakes.
This weekend I had a friend in town and decided to show her one of my favorite easily accessible alpine lakes in Beehive Basin above Big Sky, MT. Beehive Lake sits at 9,200 ft and is surrounded by granite peaks that boast snow year round. I took the diatom sampling kit provided by Dr. Bahls with me to see what I could find. With a storm rolling in during late afternoon, I wasn’t positive I would be able to take the samples, but the directions are relatively easy. I found some aquatic moss near the shore and squeezed the lake water into a vile. Diatoms live right at the surface of lakes and are best found living in aquatic vegetation, in the slime on submerged sticks, and other similar areas. I screwed the cap on the vile and copied down where I found the sample just as the first rumble of thunder hit us. I can’t wait to find out what’s in there. There is a good possibility Dr. Bahl will find new species. Maybe he’ll name one after me.
Anyone can join in the study while hiking in the Northwest. It’s relatively quick and easy to take samples, and ASC can provide you with a sampling kit and all the instructions to get you going. For more information check out the website here: http://www.adventureandscience.org/diatom-lake.html
“How did a great Red-tailed Hawk
come to lie - all stiff and dry -
on the shoulder of
This question, posed by Gary Snyder in his poem “The Dead by the Side of the Road” is at the heart of ASC’s newest project: “The Roadkill Survey for Road Bikers,” which asks bikers all over the world to record the instances of animal casualties they observe. Together with the UC Davis Road Ecology Center, ASC is interested in learning which areas along major roadways world wide are the most dangerous for animal migration.
We are recruiting all road bikers to get involved, and the process is very easy thanks to the website iNaturalist.com. Anyone can sign up to record data or download the app to a smart phone here http://www.adventureandscience.org/roadkill-data.html. We are looking for data all over the world to determine the areas that are most often used by animals on regular migration routes. This data will be used to determine where road kill “hot spots” are located, which animals are affected the most, and the cause of roadkill.
Your observations can speed up the process of mapping where road kill occurs and the main thorough fairs used by animals to get from place to place. By engaging an army of citizen-scientists, we can collect data much faster than if researchers where on their own. The more people who are out collecting research, the better for everyone. It’s easy and it adds a motivating sense of purpose to you daily or weekly ride.
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