Dave Eileens 30th Anniversary Show

Brother Dave and his wife, Eileen, celebrated their 30th Wedding Anniversary on April 2, 2016.  Click below to watch the photo slide show video:


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A-B Medal

Arctic Chief's MedalArctic Chief's Medal back

A few months ago, a coin dealer contacted us to offer a real A-B Medal. This is a photo of the front & back. Beautiful isnt it?

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Honorary Member Candidate David Hansen, Jr.


Name: David Hansen, Jr.
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Any Record of Henry Peter Hansen?

pin of Henry Peter Hansen

I have an A.B. pin with three gold nuggets at the bottom. It belonged to my great grandfather Henry Peter Hansen, do you have any record of him?  He was apparently a founder and my mother remembers something about a story that the lodge was near a corner store?  My late father David Harrison Hansen had dated the ring to 1897, he could be off by a couple years though.

I have Emailed Ashley and she responded that she would look into it but I haven’t heard back.  Any info would be great.


Dave Hansen Jr.

Ridgetown, On.

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Dons Epic Meltdown Rant to the Guys About Risk

[Brother Don goes full-Chernobyl on the whole gang with the following email reply after another unnamed Brother announced he was dropping out of the 2015 trip to Bolivia, saying that he is risk averse and implying that traveling to is Bolivia too risky]

Brothers of the Arctic:

For the record, the Arctic Brotherhood has never been risk averse.  We are true adventurers.  Everything we do is about risk taking.   We vertically climb Half Dome by pulling ourselves up rusty steel cables; we camp in deep slot canyons in southern Utah where people regularly drown from flash floods; near Kodiak Island we sleep in a campground with nothing between us and 13 grizzly bears except a flimsy electric wire; we climb Angels Landing after passing warning signs showing stick figures falling to their death; in remote Alaska, we saddle up to and touch the source of a massive volcano with steam still coming out it;  in New Mexico we crawl in a deep cave and get stuck; in Wyoming we abort our plans and retreat out of a dense forest in a full-blown snow storm like the 28th Infantry Division returning from the Siege of Bastogne;  on the Alaska peninsula, we ford freezing-cold, fast-moving, thigh-deep streams only to stumble and lose gear; we camp in the central Alaskan backcountry just a short distance from where a guy is killed by a brown bear the following year;  in Montana we knowingly pitch our tents in the EXACT spot where 39 years before, a teenage girl was dragged out of her sleeping bag and mauled to death by the same apex predator;  in the rain, we boulder-hop on massive glacier moraine in remote southern Argentina, where a slip probably means broken bones, a multi-day evacuation and questionable medical care;  we spend an uncomfortable night in Wyoming with no scotch whisky and a howling pack of wolves circling our tent in the distance; we stay in a sketchy hotel in a bad section of inner-city Seattle, for the sole benefit of trying to save a few shekels.

Clearly, taking RISK is what we, in the Arctic Brotherhood, fucking do.  If you want risk-averse, join your local Rotary Club.  No one gets off this planet alive.  Trust me in that our heirs will remember us more fondly if our obituaries read that we bit the dust on one of our bad-ass A-B adventures, rather than the more-likely alternative of death by a bizarre, alcohol-related gardening accident at home.

I just happened to watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation the other night and I think Chevy Chase (playing the character Clark Griswald) summed it up nicely as the frustrated dad who totally lost his cool:


Clark Griswald:  Where do you think youre going? Nobodys leaving. Nobodys walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. Were all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. Were gonna press on, and were gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, hes gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

Like Clark said, no one is getting off this email chain.  We’re all going to buck up and enjoy the entire Bolivian experience.  Do some research on traveling to Bolivia vs relying on your preconceived notions.  You’ve find outstanding travel reviews and very little negative.

Don Lake
Arctic Chief

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2016 Trip Preview

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Fools Fall in Love

We wanted to tack on some silly nonsense at the end of the Katmai National Park video/slide show and this is the result.  Enjoy

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Aug 2015 Katmai National Park / Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is one of the most stark, barren, desolate, surreal, and stunningly-beautiful landscapes on earth.  For us to get to this place, it required a big plane, a smaller plane, a tiny float plane and a 23-mile rough ride in a jacked-up school bus.    Weve been farther away on our trips (Patagonia in 2014) but never this remote.  We didnt see another living being for three straight days.  The soundtrack follows the ups and downs of our state-of-being during this remarkable adventure.

We left Orlando in very high spirits (the spiced rum poured from the goat-foot flask in Dons kitchen not withstanding) and pressed on through the long flights all the way to Brooks Camp with little sleep.  The second day continued on that high but near the end, the (not-so-young) Young Americans ran out of gas as we were frustrated by the deteriorating weather, getting somewhat lost due to poor intel, physical fatigue but mostly mental exhaustion.  The original plan was to make it all the way to the Baked Mountain Huts, but we made the call to toss the plan and make emergency camp at the only place we could find with a trickle of water and an almost-flat, exposed spot that was just big enough to accommodate us (later found out it was at mile 7).   We barely got our tents up in time before we were pummeled with driving rain and high winds that lasted all night and didnt stop until 7am.  Saving Grace a great (but barely-charted) song from Tom Pettys last solo album, reflected our overall mood on the 3rd day that had its share of challenges too. We didnt realize it at the time, but in hindsight the weather gods had once again cast good fortunes upon our Arctic Brotherhood trips (11 straight years of great luck in weather).

Day 4 was our big payoff day when everything seemed to finally to go our way.  We departed the huts in a heavy fog but as we later crested the pass and looked down into the valley, the fog was rapidly clearing before our eyes.  Our emotional swing was reflected in the chorus of Travis Tritts hit song, Its a Great Day To Be Alive.  We hiked down into the valley to touch Novarupta, the source of the 1912 volcano (largest of the 20th century).  The true beauty of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes was finally revealed.  Day 5 was a long march back to the starting point but we had gotten what we had wanted from the day before so nothing was going to stop us.  We hammered it all the way back to Three Forks Overlook Visitor Center. The skies were finally blue which made the previous subdued scenery look absolutely beautiful.  The temperature was perfect so we were as comfortable as one could be on a 11.5 hike.  Oh yeah, it was downhill too.   Finishing the backcountry part of our adventures is always such a celebration for us. So it made sense to use Toby Keiths 2012 hit song Beers Ago as our closer.  Viewers should hang until the very end for a special surprise.

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Honorary Member Candidate Brother Reggie Cole

Reggie Cole 2

Name: Reggie Cole
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New Honorary Members from our Patagonia Trip

On our recent trip to Patagonia, we tried something different. Knowing in advance that we were going meet many fellow trekkers and others on this unique trip, we wanted to come up with something to leave behind to make an impression. So we had custom Arctic Brotherhood lapel pins designed and made. Anytime we met someone we liked, we bestowed upon them an honorary membership and gave them a pin. It was a huge success and everyone loved it. Unfortunately, we couldnt remember everyones names but we did get photos of each.


New friends from Austria. We camped next to them at Poincenot and ran into them again in El Chalten


Ricardo. Our driver and tour guide to the Perito Moreno Glacier. We made him an honorary brother and convinced him to give us his Mate gourd & straw.


Maria Barcello was our tour guide in Buenos Aires


We met Denis & Milo from The Netherlands on our van ride back to El Calafate. We later ran into them at the airport. They were on our plane back to Buenos Aires


These are our new best friends from Australia, and we didnt get their names. We met this nice family on the van ride to El Chalten and ended up running into them again 5 times, including on the trail, in El Calafate at a cafe and finally at the Perito Moreno Glacier.


These are our new Danish friends we met on the trail back from Laguna Los Tres when we stopped to take a break and smoke cigars.


Jorge the Parc Ranger who met us at camp DAgostini


Our lovely waitress in El Chalten. Were pointing at the A-B lapel pin, really!


Our custom design Arctic Brotherhood Honorary Membership pins.

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Dec 2014 Patagonia Argentina

This is the photo-slide show of our epic adventure to Argentina.

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Brother Bill Fikes

Bill Fikes cropped

Name: Bill Fikes
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Brother Derek

Derek_at _Kilauea

Name: Derek Lyon-McKeill
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UPDATE: H.C. Davis Actually Was a Member!!

H C Davis 2

(See previous post about Dons Great-grandfather)

According to Super A-B fan & historian Ashley Bowman, Dons great-grandfather, Henry C. (aka H.C.) Davis,was initiated in Camp Dawson No. 4.  Ashley has accumulated rosters on a few of the Camps.   It makes sense.  Records show that H.C. worked and lived just two blocks from the Arctic Brotherhood Hall (now Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall).


Records from the archives of the Northwest Mounted Police, show that H. C. Davis (Seattle) entered the Yukon at the Chilkoot Pass on 4/1/1899.


The following info about H.C. Davis is from Polks Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer and Business Directory (compiled 1901 1912):

NAME                OCCUPATION                    COMPANY                     ADDRESS                    LOCATION & COUNTRY                    YEAR
DAVIS HENRY C.   BLDG CONTRACTOR                                            309 YORK                    DAWSON CN                                 1903
DAVIS HENRY C.   B L D G . CONTRACTOR                                        310 YORK 309 YORK       DAWSON CN                                 1905
DAVIS HENRY C.   GENERAL CONTRACTOR                                        GARDEN ISLAND             FAIRBANKS                                   1907
DAVIS H. C.         SASH, DOOR, SUPPLIES      TANANA MILL CO              GARDEN ISLAND             FAIRBANKS US                              1909-10
DAVIS HENRY C.   CARPENTER                                                       GARDEN ISLAND             FAIRBANKS US                               1911-12


Fairbanks Daily Times
September 6, 1913

News was received on the mail arriving yesterday that Mrs. H.C. Davis, of this city, had died in Seattle on August 16th. the death was not unexpected, as Mrs. Davis left for the Outside last June, suffering from a cancer. Upon her arrival in the States she went directly to the Mayo Bros. hospital at Rochester, Minnesota, but the famous surgeons refused to operate, saying that the case was too far advanced. Mrs. Davis was well known both here and in Dawson, having come North more than fourteen years ago with her husband. She is survived by her husband and two sons, Edward and Roden, of this city, and by three sisters and two brothers in Seattle. She was 43 years of age and was born in Davenport, Iowa.


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Death Be Not Boring


DEATH BE NOT BORING:  Spare me the mundane fade of natural causes, the gentle expire in the dark of night. Take me rudely, in a frantic gnashing of claws and canines in some far Continue reading

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An Accounting of the Different Camps

The following are summaries of the 32 A-B Camps that were established from 1899.  As one could imagine, finding specific information on many of the remote camps of this long-defunct organization was quite challenging.  Continue reading

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