|My name is Bruce “Buck” Nelson. This website is primarily about the outdoor adventures that I’ve enjoyed. I’m not a world class athlete, and I’m not rich, so I hope this site might inspire others to experience similar or greater adventures of their own.|
|I have lived for many years in this 16′ X 20′ cabin northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. With its half loft, the cabin is actually much roomier than it appears. I have a good oil-burning stove and all the normal comforts except for running water. Hot showers and laundry are easily available on the short trip into Fairbanks and of course I can easily heat up water on my propane stove at home.|
|I grew up on a dairy farm in East-Central Minnesota. My parents and grandparents owned about a square mile of land with plenty of woodland. Squirrels were the big game for my brother and me in those days. The map shows most of the family farm. My parent’s farmstead is just to the right of center.|
|In March, 2008 I retired from fighting wildfires as an Alaska smokejumper. Here’s a photo from way back in 1982, with a smokejumper using an FS-10 parachute to jump to a fire in Alaska’s Brooks Range. For me, and most other smokejumpers, this was the “Greatest Job in the World.” Click here to visit my smokejumper page.|
|In the summer of 2014 I spent 70 days on Admiralty Island, home of 1,600 brown bears. The biggest challenge: I brought no food! My story is now a new book Alone in the Fortress of the Bears: 70 Days Surviving Wilderness Alaska: Foraging, Fishing, Hunting. Please check it out!|
|In the summer of 2006 I walked and paddled over 1,000 miles across Alaska. It was one of the great adventures of my life. You can see some photos and read the story here.|
|My loaded raft against the colorful September mountains. I took this photo on a six-week, 700 mile solo hunt in the Alaska wilderness in August and September of 2000. I filmed this trip and it’s now a popular video. Click here to see more photos of this trip.|
|We have revived the family tradition of making maple syrup. In Minnesota, tapping of maple trees usually starts in March and ends in late March or early April. Sap is often boiled all day long in a huge pan. 39 gallons of sap must be boiled away to get 1 gallon of pure maple syrup.|
|For 7 years I was in the National Guard, including 3 in Alaska where I was in an Airborne Recon unit. Here are TT Cole and I just before making a parachute jump on our way from Juneau to Anchorage.|
|The summit of Mt. Katahdin in August, 2001, at the end of my 2,168 mile backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine. To see more, click here.|
|The Gulf of Mexico, October, 2001, at the end of my solo 2,300 mile canoeing trip down the length of the Mississippi River. I canoed the Mississippi immediately after my hike of the Appalachian Trail. For the full story, click here.|
|In 2008 I spent a summer hiking the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada. Read about my adventure and see many photos of the spectacular scenery, here.|
|During the summer of 2010 I thru-hiked the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT roughly follows the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains from Mexico to Canada. Click the link to the left to follow along on my hike.
Click here to visit my Pacific Crest Trail page.
|In the spring and summer of 2012 I hiked the Desert Trail from the border of Mexico, and kept on going all the way up to Canada. It was a great adventure requiring careful preparation. For my journal, video highlights and more, go here.|
|Tom Boatner and I made a coast-to-coast bicycle across the southern U.S. during the winter of 92/93. I guess Al Biller was there, too. He took this photo of Tom and me hamming it up on the Atlantic coast at the end of our 43 day, 2,636 mile trip.|
|Lisa Armstrong, Tom Boatner and I climbed Mt. McKinley (also known as Denali) in 1991. Believe it or not, it was Tom and Lisa’s honeymoon! See also “Mountain Climbs” in the menu bar at top for information about climbing Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro.|
|My brother Tom with a nice silver salmon he caught along the Goodnews River of southwestern Alaska. This was an awesome trip, with our dad and “Howie” Hughes. We had great fishing and wildlife viewing. You can stream the whole video of this trip online today! Click here to see more photos of our float.|
|I’ve been lucky to have lots of time to travel, and spend some time on-the-road each winter. On one of these trips I saw this huge Cape Buffalo bull in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.|
|I enjoy fishing and have had some fun times fishing in Alaska. Roderic Orr took this photo of me with a nice king salmon.|
|Here’s Ken Coe hiking down the Oregon Coast. We spent about a month making this trip, and no, it DIDN’T rain every day!|
|This buck weighed 250 lbs, dressed, the largest buck I’ve ever taken. My first book Hunting Big Whitetails is about whitetail hunting, now in it’s third printing.Check it out!|
Is it possible to use a pontoon boat to travel the entire length of the river? I thought of using electric motors with the batteries being recharged by solar panels… is this possible, or totally insane?
Thanks, I appreciate any assistance you can offer.
The Mississippi River, of course? You could use a pontoon boat all the way from Minneapolis (just below Coon Rapids) to the ocean without taking it out of the water.
I see no reason why electric motors with batteries and solar panels wouldn’t work if you knew what you were doing, took your time, took advantage of the current and avoided fighting unfavorable winds when possible. If you do it, please report back!