Denali

Just went to the Denali National Park 100th party for employees and ex employees. Honor to be there.  Great park. Lucky enough to make a 5 day backpacking trip into the back country with some great people and a true adventure it was. We saw historic sites, wandered some great country, and climbed a gnarly mountain, formerly named Ram IMG_2493. Into the nasty gulleyJPGMountain, 5700 feet, in a blizzard….IMG_2500. Radtke Sheldon team starting final pushJPG

IMG_2501 View back the way we came and way we had to return

The woods, here and there….

Four days in the Olympics, Grand Valley, Lake Lillian Valley, beautiful weather, great country, and watched the eclipse overlooking Lake Gladys in Grand Valley. Nobody around for miles. Brilliant sun. It did not get much darker, but it got COLD. Very cold. The birds stopped singing also.

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Now, August 28, in Alaska, Denali National Park, staying at Denali Education Center before a five day backpacking trip around the Toklat River in the Park. Gonna be colder, up here, and different, but stunning also. Plan is to come out of the back country by Labor Day weekend for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Park for employees and former employees….

Love these National Parks….

Reader Reactions to Strong Heart…

…a beautiful and heart-warming story…

…fabulously plotted…

 …this book gripped me and would not let go…

 …this is a must read for everybody…

…the perfect blend of the deep-rooted legends and harsh realities of life…”

 …I would recommend this book to anyone…

 …it’s as if you are immersed in the story….

 …one of the most incredible fiction novel I have ever read…

 …if you are an adventure lover, this will make a wonderful read…

 …this is a must read book…

 …makes me wish I had listened to stories my great-grandfather and grandparents told a little more closely…

…if you are into folklore, dreams and magic, this book is a definite must read…

 …a fictional story of learning about one’s past heritage and how that knowledge can assist us in our lives today…

 …themes…so universal that I believe they will speak to any reader of any age…

 …if you are looking for a story with suspense then this is the book for you…

 …this unique story is a book of fiction, or is it? It is similar to science fiction or fantasy, the difference being that this story just might have actually happened. Is it the author’s  vivid imagination, or is it based on actual data?… Mr. Sheldon’s ability to describe scenes makes one think he vividly sees them in his mind and then is able to translate those pictures into words. I was able to visualize what was happening to Sarah, where she went, what happened to her on the way, in a way I have not experienced before. The beauty of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest comes to life on the pages…

 …absorbing…alternates constantly between the past and the present and before long you lose yourself in a beautiful world with beautiful people whose experiences you joyfully share. You go through pain, anger and even helplessness with the characters…..

 …the simplicity of the writing makes it for an easy read, and the charts and landmarks noted in the first few pages gives the story an authentic feel and helps you as the reader to understand the layout and journey that was taken. It is not only a voyage and adventure, but also a building of character and the display of our most basic and ferocious instincts; survival and procreation. We all want to live the best lives we can and leave something behind for the generations to follow by which they can commemorate us and remember us by. Be it in drawings, skills or just legends and stories told around a warm campfire…”

 …more than a wilderness adventure, the book is good in bringing out the value of traditional knowledge in a world where scientific facts sometimes overshadow reality itself…

StrongHeart_CoverConcept2

Ancient humans in North America?

My tale, Strong Heart, offers a different theory for the origin of modern humans. When I did the research, 4-5 years ago, I thought, the Good Lord has a wicked sense of humor and I bet that shortly after my tale was published evidence would appear supporting what I imagined…..Well, here we are, just five months after publication,  and this article just appeared in Smithsonian Magazine arguing that humans were in western North America 130,000 years ago. I know there will be gnashing of teeth, careers in flames, accusations of fraud, the full gamut of reaction, but…..it seems we are in an era where all the old paradigms are breaking aprt….

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-evidence-human-activity-north-america-130000-years-ago-180963046/?utm_source=keywee-facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=keywee&kwp_0=398291&kwp_4=1471585&kwp_1=643459

Real Hikers

So I am in Butte Montana flogging my book and stop for lunch, overhear these two guys sitting near me tell the waitress they are in off the Continental Divide Trail for supplies and a beer. I have long thought about trying the Appalachian Trail (2100 miles) or the Pacific Crest Trail (2700 miles) and I had heard about the Continental Divide Trail (3100) miles. Here were two guys, as old as me or older, and that’s starting to get a bit up there, doing the longest trail of all! So I interrupted their lunch and learned some incredible stuff:

  1. They were doing the CDT in two sections, halfway each summer, and this was near the end of it;
  2. One of the guys was 73 and the other 68, both married;
  3. One of the guys lived in Bellingham and we knew people in common from my brief work up there;
  4. BOTH these guys had also done the full Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail, too!
  5. So here were two geezers who were finishing 8,000 mile of trail systems, walking 20-23 miles a day, rain or shine;
  6. I thought, I better get started, here, time is running out;
  7. Mostly, I thought, what an example these guys are;
  8.  They must be damn close to finishing this day as I write this; I saw them four days ago
  9. thru hikers

The human origins story keeps changing….

Last month the story was that Neanderthals and ancient humans interbred in southern Europe hundreds of thousands of years earlier than previously thought, totally upending the out-of-Africa theory which had held that one small band left Africa around 100,000 years ago and became the basis for all of us today. Now people must talk of more than one out-of-Africa migration. And apparently, too, it wasn’t just Neanderthals that mingled with ancient hominids – Denisovians did too, and maybe others as well. NOW comes evidence that modern humans reached Australian over 65,000 years ago, 18,000 years earlier than previously thought. This means they sailed across the open sea in boats, out of sight of land, enough of them to start a community and then a continent-wide occupation.  Could it be that the tectonic plates of human origins are cracking, and shifting? Is the out-of-Africa theory under siege? A theory, once accepted, is defended like death. But true science sometimes shatters theories. Must shatter theories.

I am waiting, eagerly, for the first documented find of ancient humans, people who lived more than 50,000 years ago, somewhere on North or South America. Just because no evidence has yet been found (that has been verified) does not mean no evidence exists.

http://www.thenational.scot/world/15428887.Profile__Australia_s_shameful_past/