Tuesday, August 22, 2006

8/22/06: Home from the Arctic!!!

Dearest friends and family!

After eight weeks of unbelievable vistas, belly laughter, tumbling whitewater, swelling salty seas, rain, sleet, sun, wind, and fog… Benjamin & I have arrived back in Minneapolis, MN from the northernmost outpost of the remote and rugged Canadian wilderness.

For those of you who don’t know, or don’t remember, Benjamin and I spent the summer in the Northwest Territories with two unbelievable traveling companions, Erin Walsh and Katie Fritz, paddling the Ross-Anderson Rivers to the Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean. We were ‘on trail’ for 43 days, traveling in a 17-foot red foldable canoe. We sang sea shanties, we sought refuge from millions of biting insects inside screen shirts and tents, and we danced in the land of the midnight sun on the banks of mighty rivers and gazed across the ocean. We were awed by grizzley bears, exhilerated by caribou and colored hills, and respectful in the presense of the powerful white wolf. We were challenged by long portages and heavy packs, in triplicate. We scared herds of musk oxen away with bear bangers. We felt the flow of rushing whitewater. We were blessed with glassy calm on the ocean, playful beluga whales, and curious seals. By the end, the fog had rolled in off the North Pole and the winds prohibited our travel…reminding us constantly of our small place in this great world.

If you will be in Minneapolis or in the Washington DC metro area, we would love to invite you to a more formal ‘Tales from the Trail.’ Please join us at the Bloomington, MN REI on Tuesday, August 29th at 7pm, or at the College Park, MD REI on Thursday, September 7th at 7pm for a slide show, stories and q&a.

If you can’t make it to REI… We haven’t had a chance to put any photos onto our website yet… (www.nofalling.com), but hope that you will check back over the next couple of weeks to check out our slide show!

In other exciting updates, Benjamin and I will depart for the Peace Corps in Peru on September 13th, 2006. We will spend the next 2.5 years working in maternal/child health (Libby) and environmental/conservation (Benj) somewhere in Peru. Our website will also serve as a way for us to share stories from this next adventure, so keep posted.

You can be in touch with us in a number of ways over the next three weeks:

In MN until August 31st… 952-926-7607
In MD until September 12th… 301-474-5824

Snail mail can be sent to 8A Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770.

Hoping to see many of you soon…

Dreaming of the land of the midnight sun,
Libby and Benjamin Bixby Skolnik