River Rafting: Notebook

The ‘river rafting’ episode was to give us our biggest challenge.

We were going to be isolated for 10 days, with no chance for resupply or contact with the outside world if we needed anything. Our camera operator would have to insure that we would have enough power to run both camera and all our other gear for the entire ten days, as well as have backup solutions because, well, this is Alaska. And Alaska is tough on everything.

Anthony our cameraman at work

The solution he came up with was to use solar panels. Not the big ones we see today on homes but small portable ones that would be reliable enough to take the exposure to the elements, getting packed into bags, and yet still deliver the power needed so we could record our adventure. He ended up getting the same panels that our US military used in the first Iraq war. That problem solved, he also decide to bring along two main cameras, which was fortuitous because we lost one while shooting the glaciers in the lower Copper river.

Almost the entire trip we had great weather, but as we approached some stunning glaciers near the end of our odyssey, cold and clouds blew in quick. Soon sleet was pelting us and all our gear. Standing around a table on a bank trying to eat some extra foot to keep warm, we discussed what we needed to shoot, and what we could skip because of the weather.

While trying to shoot during the sleeting rain, water collected in a little puddle on top of the camera cover. The manufacturer of the camera bag stupidly placed the zipper right at this spot and water trickled down inside the bag, between the lens and the camera bod and shorted out contacts & circuits. The camera became unusable. Thankfully, the second camera had a different cover that did not have this design defect and we were able to keep shooting with the second camera.

This is important because the scenery was awesome and the wildlife was abundant.

From Eagles soaring overhead to a grizzly going after Salmon in the river. We even had a little seal follow us for a few miles past the two main glaciers. At one point with the roar of the rapids in the background and the area surrounding the camp so majestic that we stayed an extra night.

I am sure you will enjoy seeing our host as she learns the ins and outs of rafting. At one point she brings her raft close enough to an iceberg to be able to reach out and touch and intense blue piece of Alaska’s frozen past.

So please join us, on our ten day adventure, as we raft from the foot of the Kennecott glacier in McCarthy to Cordova and the gulf of Alaska.

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