Thank you for stopping by, and for taking an interest in our dream! This project is the brainchild of wayward explorers, passionate educators, writers, and photographers who have traveled 15,000 kilometers by human-power across three continents, and now need your help to put the last and largest piece of an around-the-world journey into place.
Take a look around, head over to the website, and, if you can, take a minute to offer your support.
Please, whether or not you can spare a few dollars to help us make it to the Pacific, share this page on Facebook, Twitter, and by e-mail. Text your friends. E-mail your dentist. Tell... everybody. Spread the fire, and you can help make our dream a reality!
Zand & Bria
Our route begins in central Mongolia, on the edge of the vast endorheic basin of Central Asia, where rivers disappear into deserts and dying seas. We will travel by canoe through the canyons of the Chuluut into the rushing waters of the Ider, to the major flow of the Selenge, to Baikal, the biggest lake by volume on Earth. From there, we will move into the Amur watershed, moving east towards the Sea of Okhotsk. Human-powered expedition travel is our means, canoes are our craft, and our goal is to move across the land in the best style possible, gathering stories as we go to share with those unable to visit this last, best place, and perhaps inspire them to further river conservation there and at home.
We will travel by canoe through a landscape of superlatives: towering peaks, endless steppe, the largest forest and largest lake on Earth, through whitewater canyons and past peaceful wooden villages set on crumbling riverbanks. It'll take four months of constant human-powered travel to make the route, but that is just the start of our journey.
The Bigger Picture
We want to tell stories. We want to tell the story of this journey to lend an inspiring voice to conservation and education efforts, and we want to tell it in as many different forms as possible. Young people need stories to inspire them to think about natural resources, and to move from in front of the screen to the out-of-doors. The world's rivers - "...the chords that bind the world together." - are in danger today as never before. Energy exploration, climate change, hydroelectic development, antiquated management practices, and population growth all threaten these key resources; we know in our hearts that an untamed and undeveloped river flowing through wilderness holds incredible power, and is worth exploring, and worth protecting.
The distant watersheds this expedition will traverse and the high style this team plans to use helps set this journey apart. While the Asia River Expedition stands alone, it does continue a theme first set out four years ago when Zand Martin set off from Portland, OR to paddle across North America. Since then, he has moved east 15,000 kilometers across three continents, and if successful, this project will bring him back to where he began: the Pacific Ocean.
A native of New England, Zand Martin is an educator, writer, and explorer. He paddled across North America solo at age 22, and Europe at age 25. He is a senior faculty member at the National Outdoor Leadership School, and is most alive teaching or writing on the banks of wild rivers surrounded by conifers. Full bio
A native of northern Minnesota, Bria Schurke is an avid outdoors woman, traveler, and humanitarian. If she's not out nordic skiing or climbing or playing with sled dogs, you might find her attempting to play the fiddle or keep herself from lighiting on fire while spinning poi. She'll be joining the expedition in Mongolia after volunteering in Somalia and mountaineering in Nepal.
Her first trip to Siberia was at age four. Full bio
We are seeking $11,000 in funding to cover the substantial costs of executing an international expedition. The vaccines we need cost $1900 alone, not to mention flights, visas, gear, food, and communication technology. Anything you can give is much appreciated, and rewarded with lots of cool stuff!
With the generous support of the Polartec Challenge Grant, our fundraising got off to a great start. But it can't end there. The team will be paying for one-third of the cost of the trip, with the rest made up by individual donations. About 9-10% of the cost will be in gear, which we hope to have donated by reputable outdoor companies.
Thank you for taking an interest, and for supporting a spirit of adventure and exploration! Even the smallest contribution makes us feel loved and supported, and gives you a stake in our success. Stay tuned here and on the website for more details as the trip gets closer!