Arctic Circle Skate with Luc Mehl

Two of the tagline words for this blog are ‘passion’ and ‘explore’. I’m passionate and focused about the things I choose to learn about and engage with, and I love to explore and see new things. The two words synchronize perfectly with every one of my hobbies.

This post is about an article that caught my attention called “Arctic Circle Skate” located at this link and it definitely falls into the category of ‘explore’. It’s written by a guy named Luc Mehl and his blog is called ‘Things to Luc At’

An icy tale

The article describes a carefully planned expedition ice skating journey that Luc and Greg Mills took in the Arctic Circle. They traveled over lakes and the sea, in daylight and darkness, between the Alaskan towns of Selawik and Kotzebuehas. It’s filled with many great photos and a 6-minute video that shows the expedition and conditions that Luc writes about, so it’s definitely worth watching to give visual life to his writing.

I came across Luc’s article in a roundabout way. I was reading about how to use the excellent Gaia GPS hiking app on my iPhone and the Gaia website had a summary article about Luc’s expedition that further linked out to his own Alaskan adventure blog. (Those are the types of paths I sometimes go down on the internet when I’m interested in a topic…)

Adventures like the one Luc describes require careful planning, preparation, and skill in order to avoid disaster. The way he used the Gaia GPS app and satellite imagery to plot the course for the adventure so they would only travel over smooth ice for better skating was a stroke of genius. Everything else needed to be be plotted carefully too, not just the route. They needed to know where they would sleep, what time to get there, how to skate safely in the dark, how to stay warm in brutal conditions, etc. So many critical details. And speaking of which…ice skating in the dark in the Arctic Circle at night with nobody else around?! Yikes! The thought of that kind of freaks me out…

Never lose your sense of adventure

Luc’s article perfectly describes a robust sense of adventure! It’s important to keep that as you get older because it leads to a healthier and happier life. It keeps you curious and on your toes. Your sense of adventure can include physical or mental activities (or both), it really doesn’t matter. The key is to keep your eyes open to explore and learn.

When I was a kid my adventures were pint-sized, but nevertheless…they were mine. I could let my mind run away for hours to fill an entire afternoon with a high seas pirate adventure in my own back yard using a huge box from the new refrigerator my parents just bought as my “ship”. I have so many vivid memories of activities just like that when I was little. As an adult my adventures are a little more elaborate (and sometimes expensive!), but one thing still remains the same…they’re mine. You always carry your adventures with you.

I’m glad that I never lost that sense of fun and adventure as I got older, and I hope some aspect of it has rubbed off on my kids as well so that they’ll reach out to discover their own adventures during their lives. These days though I limit my adventures to Earth-bound activities because my aerial activities many years ago of skydiving and hang-gliding did not end well (the former was a minor crash, the latter was a more significant total wipeout). I’m perfectly happy to keep my feet mostly on the ground now, although I’ll write a separate photo essay here soon about our repelling adventure in Moab, UT in 2016 when we were most definitely NOT on the ground.

Enjoy Luc’s icy exploration story, and let it awaken your sense of adventure to plan and try a new idea, even if it’s a calmer activity around your own home area. Just go out and let your mind run away with something new for a while…

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