Since 2001, under the initiative of our friend John Neary (then with Admiralty Monument; now at the glacier visitor center), Discovery has offered a teachers’ expedition to Pack Creek. Titled Bears of Admiralty, the goal has been to acquaint educators close-up with brown bear behavior and ecology, and to spend a week thinking about the history, philosophy and politics of Wilderness. Participants arrived and departed on float planes.
In June 2017 Steve Merli and I instructed this class for the first time, and being incurable generalists, bears were just a part of our quest. Another change—we kayaked down from a boat drop-off at Deishú Áak’w, little lake at end of the
trail (Oliver Inlet), thence via portage into Kanak‘aa, skinny (Seymour Canal)
I hadn’t been to Pack Creek since 1990. To prepare, I spent several days assembling map resources and Shorezone oblique photography. I love doing these pre-trip scopings, partly cause each time there’s new resources to apply, new constellations of insights and graphic potential. Guiding leaves little time for journaling in the field (although we built in time each day for the teachers to do that). But I spent several weeks afterward compiling a 68-page trip log, illustrated with maps, photos and embedded video. Because of those movies, total size is 230 megabytes, too big to upload here. But by unlinking those, size comes down to a manageable 11 MB.
There’s nothing I’d rather do than hang out in wild places with people who give their lives to our children.