Today: Lonnie Dupre of Grand Marais is an adventurer and explorer. Among his many accomplishments, Dupre made the first solo winter ascent of Alaska’s Mount Denali (20,340 feet) in the month of January, in 2015. Denali is the tallest mountain in North America. He’s also circumnavigated Greenland (6,500 miles) by kayak and dog team, and has plans to return there in August.
I started reading “Shadows on the Koyukuk: An Alaskan Native’s Life Along The River.” It’s about a location I explored as a young man in the winter of 1985. I wanted to see if the book portrays my same memories of the area and what else I could learn about the culture and mind-set of folks at that time.
I’m following and supporting the young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. She is spot-on in her assessment of climate change and its dire consequences if we don’t drastically change our ways. You cannot help but respect what I call her “youth honesty,” unspoiled and undeterred by the greed of money, power of politics or fame. She speaks the truth eloquently, yet with a simplicity and integrity. She walks the walk.
On Netflix, a Danish sitcom called “Rita” about a no-nonsense, unfiltered Danish schoolteacher. Her forward honesty is a breath of fresh air. The moral of the story is, “Life is messy at best, with slices of reward and happiness.”
To one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Cobi. He just happens to be from my hometown of Grand Marais.
Just got off a winter climb in Alaska of Mount Hunter. Made it to 11,000 feet before getting my ass handed to me. I’m now home biking in the spring sun, hiking on the shores of Lake Superior and planning the next adventure to Greenland.
We are staying hunkered down in our cabin and contemplating a two- to three-week ice-out canoe trip. I think early on most people, me included, were planning ahead as if the pandemic was going to blow over and everything would revert to business as usual. We are now coming to terms with it: This virus has changed the world in concrete ways, some good, some bad. There will be some major belt-tightening, less travel, and a pairing down to basic essentials in home and business.
As for Greenland, it’s our goal to go back, now 20 years after our circumnavigation of the island, to see what has changed and document it on film. We will do that by sailing from Iceland to Greenland this summer to a remote magical spot on the island’s east coast. This location represents everything that Greenland is: untouched by man, vibrant with marine life with an almost Jurassic Park-feel, massive glaciers pushing between an amphitheater of black-rock monoliths and escarpments. It makes a person feel very tiny when you see the expanse of such terrain.
In 2021, I plan to dog-sled to all the polar Inuit communities in northwest Greenland to visit old friends and get their take on environmental changes and how they are adapting. We will document this in ultra high-definition 4K film and drone footage.