No explanation of extreme adventure is more famous than “Because it’s there.” When George Mallory purportedly said it way back in 1924, he was talking about climbing the highest mountain -- Everest.
Does that answer work for paddling UP a river? Who picks spending 13 days paddling canoes UP a river? Such was a middle leg of a multi-river, two-month, thousand-mile trek through the north country of Canada and Alaska.
Who carries three canoes and backcountry gear, through swamp and thick forest, for three days to portage 15 miles between rivers? Six young, rugged, didn’t-think-it-would-be-this-hard guys do. Don’t even talk about the mosquitoes. Watch the guys bond through the rigors.
More than “Because it’s there,” they bear witness and share the pristine qualities of the Peel River watershed. They took the trip at a time when 70% of this region has been signed up for development. Environmentalists don’t want that. First Nations people (indigenous tribes) don’t want that. The adventure includes a respectful, appreciative visit with one native family. Think of boom and bust mining practices, including ravaged, polluted aftermaths.
Where should mines be dug to meet modern needs? The adventurers admit that their canoes and gear benefit from intense manufacturing processes. Which open spaces should be protected? Look at their encouragement to experience this particular wilderness. Watch them “Paddle for the North” that they say deserves to remain untrampled.
Oh, and one day they rigged a makeshift sail and get to travel DOWNriver forty miles in one day.