Lawrence James, a 52-year-old resident of Birch Creek, had a few drinks and decided he would take a walk to Fort Yukon.
The distance between Birch Creek and Fort Yukon is 46 miles and Mr. James decided to walk it on Monday Feb. 2. This story is even more interesting because it was 35 degrees below zero. Lakes and rivers stood in his way, but he kept walking the zig-zagging snowmobile trails.
James walked nonstop for about 46 miles, and his journey lasted about 15 hours. When the search team caught up with him, he was only four miles away from Fort Yukon.
He was properly dressed for cold weather and carried a bottle of water and a .22 caliber rifle. The small caliber rifle would not have offered much protection against an angry moose or a pack of hungry wolves in the Alaskan wilderness but he kept walking and said he never got cold. He did say, at the end, that his leg muscles felt sore.
James said one of his cousins made the trek years ago and he wanted to do the same. He probably could have picked a different season with better weather, but maybe that last drink got him going. He packed for survival and was prepared, but he was ready to accept a ride from a snowmobile for the last four miles to Fort Yukon when the search and rescue team found him.
Police Officer Michael Ivie, the officer who brought Mr. James home, said;
He said if he had to do it all over again, he would have probably picked a different time. He said his last drink kind of gave him that urge, that oomph.
What an amazing journey.