Sun City resident Art “Karts” Huseonica got the bad news that his Yukon 202 Expedition was postponed for a second time.
Originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, the expedition was first postponed last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and was put off again this year. The new start date is May 24, 2022 with a departure from Arizona. Weather permitting, their put-in date on the Yukon River is May 27, 2022.
“We remained optimistic as long as we could but circumstances far beyond our control forced this decision,” said Mr. Huseonica. “Most prominent is the Yukon Territory’s recent direct refusal to let us enter their territory this year under any circumstances.”
To the team’s surprise, the U.S./Canadian border closure was extended yet again.
Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood, 27, a Prescott native is sticking with the expedition. Ms. Sherwood was selected for the expedition after a worldwide search for someone experienced in the outdoors and was willing to go outside their comfort zone and be part of an epic adventure. She hopes to be the youngest female to complete the documented expedition in an open Canadian-style canoe.
A secondary reason for postponing the record-attempt expedition is the negative public appearance that the team would present by going off on a highly visible and dangerous adventure while so many people are suffering financially and the uncertainty of the world’s health status. The team is required to submit interaction plans to the Yukon Territory First Nations and the Alaska Natives groups detailing how they plan to be safe when stopping at indigenous villages and towns for resupply and expedition safety checks.
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“While Lolo and I are capable of documenting the expedition in photos, video and audio supported by Lolo’s drone expertise, we’d love to have someone film the major portions of the expedition in hopes of creating a film suitable for streaming on TV,” Mr. Huseonica said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Huseonica and Ms. Sherwood are working to stay healthy and focused on training to prepare for the rigors of a challenging expedition. Included are additional adventures, such as Mr. Huseonica’s record-attempt later this year to be the oldest person to document a hike and climb of 30 miles from Death Valley’s Bad Water Basin up to Telescope Peak and back, an elevation gain of almost 12,000 feet. He will be accompanied by Hollywood stunt woman and author Heather “Athena” Bond.
While the team is taking a huge financial loss by postponing such a complex expedition, the economic devastation occurring to the expedition’s business and personal friends in the Yukon and Alaska deeply saddened the team. They hope to keep the same expedition plan in place with their Canadian and Alaskan outfitters and the many other logistical support people if they can survive the economic downturn in the Yukon and Alaskan tourist industry.
Most of the expedition sponsors have pledged their continued support. The team plans to continue expedition fundraising efforts later this fall, to include searching for a major donor or sponsor. Their GoFundMe page is available through the Yukon 2020 Expedition Website.
Mr. Huseonica has lived in Sun City for seven years. He is an active member of the Sun City PRIDES and the Sun City Hikers.
Editor’s Note: Ms. Huseonica is a Sun City resident, Mr. Huseonica’s wife and his manager.