Lonnie Dupre is an honest-to-goodness Polar Explorer. His occupation in life, if you can imagine. Sometimes he does carpentry work, public speaking, writing, advocating for the Arctic sea. But I believe when he fills out the forms that ask for profession, he gets to write in Polar Explorer. Definitely a write in, because I'm betting it's not on any drop down list.
(photo from lonniedupre.com)
He's been preparing for his next adventure: The Peary Centennial Expedition...leaving on Friday. To the north pole (photo from pearycentennial.com)
Kelly and Lonnie are very welcoming when I'm loitering in town...in their little artsy energy efficient house. Kelly Dupre and I have been working on a book project--more on that later. Kelly has an entire drop down list of her own---besides being the Beloved Wife of a Polar Explorer. Not to worry, even if they look like little rodents. These paws were custom sewn for the expedition.
You can see that Kelly doesn't mind taking a break from her artwork to do the important taxing job of testing of the equipment...
So....what are the job qualifications of an Explorer? Adventurous, inventive , playful, congenial?? Check check check check.
Or maybe...it's genetic. Lonnie is actually related to Jacques Cartier...the French Explorer that claimed Canada for France. Can you see the resemblance??? Note that Lonnie is testing the sausage that he's bringing on his trip. .....a little moldy tasting, if you ask me.
He's been trying to gain weight since Christmas. Stock up on calories...every bit helps. Somehow that part isn't working for him. A weird perspective really.
It makes sense that there is so much inventing going on...because once they get to the Arctic...the group has to be self sufficient. He's been on so many trips, he knows exactly what he wants, and how he needs to modify his equipment.
I'm always interested in the little details...how to keep warm, how to keep ice out of the sleeping bags,.. how much of what they plan to eat every day...
The hand crafted bindings to match the gigantic boots...
the "skins" for the bottom of the skis,
he stove system with custom made
The muffin things were from a special trip to a certain Thunder Bay Bakery...hundreds that were transformed into some sort of hockey puck wheat cracker things when dried out in the oven. Apparently they'll just put them in their pockets during the day, and they won't even crumble. Not so easy to chew either, but they are sort of tasty.
Everything was dried out or partially cooked. A lot a lot of bacon to cook for 8 weeks of bacon cranberry pemmican...