Art “Karts” Huseonica and Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood are frequently asked the question how their Yukon 2020 expedition came to be.
Mr. Huseonica, a Sun City resident, first pondered traveling the entire 2,000-mile Yukon River two years ago. His 2016 Amazon River expedition leader and author, Jacki Hill-Murphy, suggested the adventure. Over time, the idea morphed several times, resulting in a Yukon River source-to-sea run in an open, Canadian-style canoe.
At first, it was to be a solo adventure, but many of Mr. Huseonica’s family, friends and sponsors suggested he sign on a partner. This suggestion was due to the inherent danger of taking on such a remote and challenging adventure alone. He personally believed that it was partially because people were getting tired of him.
After a long international search, Lauren Sherwood was selected to be the second paddle. A Prescott native, she brings to the canoe an adventurous spirit, knowledge on numerous expedition subjects, a great sense of adventure and is not afraid of a challenge.
Ms. Sherwood will be the expedition’s primary drone operator.
Making this a properly documented record-attempt expedition resulted from a search of past Yukon River runs. One example was Beth Johnson’s popular Yukon River expedition, whose resulting detailed book, “Yukon Wild,” is being used by the team as a valuable reference. Ms. Johnson and several ladies, ages 27-52, put in at Whitehorse, many miles from the river’s source, thus it was not a complete river run.
Another valuable source was the exploits of the United States premier long distance paddler Verlen Kruger. He was older than Mr. Huseonica when he ran the Yukon, but he used heavily modified watercraft.
When Yukon 2020™ starts on June 4, Mr. Huseonica will be 69. Ms. Sherwood will turn 26 when they reach the Arctic Circle in late June.
To properly document a record attempt of being the youngest and the oldest to paddle the entire Yukon River, the team is required to officially declare what they are going to do, explain what they are doing while on the expedition and then tell what they did at the completion. In addition, during the expedition, they are required to provide a trilogy of proof. This includes a publicly accessible GPS track, documented eyewitnesses, and location selfies and videos.
Before flying to the river’s headwaters near the border with British Columbia, the team will outfit in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. This is a self-supported, unassisted expedition, meaning that the team cannot accept any help along the river, and cannot use wind power in any fashion. They will mail resupply boxes to remote villages along the river in Alaska. They are required to complete portages themselves; one portage being 1.25 miles.
Helpful input is being received from experienced Yukon River runner John “Double Tap” Van Barriger. In fact, the team anticipates seeing Mr. Van Barringer on the river this summer. Another modern-day source of information is respected extreme adventurer and Canada’s premiere long distance canoeist Martin Trahan.
Resupply costs along the river are exorbitant. For example, a can of tuna is $8 U.S. dollars. A bag of chips is $12. Residents can provide direct financial support to the expedition and receive an expedition T-shirt at the team’s Go Fund Me page at gofundme.com/f/yukon-2020-river-expedition.
A Facebook group page will be soon published to help keep the team’s followers updated. Visit arizonianexplorer.wordpress.com/ for updates until then.
Editor’s Note: Ms. Huseonica is Mr. Huseonica’s wife and manager.