The worldwide Augustana College experience

Rafting the great expedition rivers of North America

July 18 A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure. It offers a necessity of life that must be rationed among those who have power over it. — Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in New Jersey v. New York, 283 U.S. 336, 342 (1931)

Which author was right about wilderness?

July 16 A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of laughter more terrible than any sadness-a laughter that was mirthless as the [...]

Midnight sun oddities

July 13 There are strange things done under the midnight sun…. — Robert Service, Yukon rhymester We are leaving the Yukon and moving on to the Northwest Territories. The Yukon is a great place, but we certainly had some strange experiences:

Land of mosquitoes and bears

July 12 Remember to keep the main thing the main thing. — My father, Carl Bahls There are two annoyances in the Arctic — mosquitoes and bears. High in the Arctic, mosquitoes can swarm you by the hundreds. You might be the only warm-blooded creature in 25 square miles. And it is not uncommon to [...]

Stepping into someone else’s mining boats

July 11 You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. — Harper Lee, To Kill a Mocking Bird I am fond of reminding our students that one of the benefits of a broad liberal [...]

Being careful with what we have

July 10 Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. -Aldous Huxley In the Arctic, you learn not to take the basics needed for a comfortable life for granted. Consider: • In some of the places we’ve been up north, there is no tap water. Most of the drinking water [...]

Experiencing the lost continent of Beringia

July 9 I would fain grow old learning many new things. — Plato I love learning. And recently I have been learning about what has been called the lost continent of Beringia. During the last ice age, so much of the world’s water resources were tied up in ice that the level of the oceans [...]

Responding to a two-flat-tire day

July 6 Three factors predict flat tires on rough roads – tire condition, road condition, and luck (or lack thereof) — Travel Host at Northwest Territories Visitor Center

Turning the Arctic crystal

July 1, 2012 Now let’s turn the crystal, looking at it from a different angle. – J. Martin Burke, law professor at the University of Montana School of Law I am fond of advising our students to “turn the crystal,” that is, to look at the world from different angles and vantage points. I think [...]

Crossing the Arctic Circle

June 29 And it remains for all of us, forever, to discover as though for the first time how beautiful the sunrise is, and the moon, and the night , and plain and mountains, land and sea, and man and woman; how beautiful life is. And whether we pursue discovery in the environment at home [...]