Peter Stark's Blog


Until the Teeth Fall Out of Your Head

Until the Teeth Fall Out of Your Head

Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2014 by Peter Stark

SCURVY SET INTO WILSON PRICE HUNT’S PARTY UNTIL THE SHOSHONE MEGA-DOSED THE EXPLORERS WITH THEIR SUPER-HIGH VITAMIN C ‘BUSH REMEDY.’ One day, during your struggles, you look down at your thigh. You should see a familiar scar from an old childhood wound. But now that scar has begun to pull apart, skin separating, as if…

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When An Explorer's Body Begins to Eat Itself

When An Explorer’s Body Begins to Eat Itself

Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2014 by Peter Stark

IF YOU’RE STARVING TO DEATH IN THE WILDERNESS, YOUR BODY IS ON THE MENU When an explorer is dying of starvation in the wild, his voice takes on a peculiar deep tone. “We were all shocked at beholding the emaciated countenances of the Doctor and Hepburn,” wrote 19th century Arctic explorer John Franklin. “The alteration…

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When 25,000 Packets of Jerky Is Simply Not Enough, or The 6,000-Calorie-A-Day Diet

When 25,000 Packets of Jerky Is Simply Not Enough, or The 6,000-Calorie-A-Day Diet

Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by Peter Stark

TODAY’S ENTREE: Your moccassins One of the most delicious breakfasts I ever ate consisted of a foot-long length of the boiled intestines of a large fur seal, split open length-wise like a hot dog bun, with slivers of baby seal blubber wrapped inside—kind of like a foot-long, with blubber relish. We were spending several days…

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How to Survive A Scalping

How to Survive A Scalping

Posted Sunday, March 9, 2014 by Peter Stark

Read my most recent Outside blog post about “Astoria” at outsideonline.com: “How to Survive A Scalping.” On a forgotten day in 1811, a scalped head would not only shape the American West but refashion the geopolitical future of the entire North American continent. “So maybe you two can tell me,” I shouted over the holiday…

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The Grand Portage -- The Voyageurs' Doorway to the Western Continent

The Grand Portage — The Voyageurs’ Doorway to the Western Continent

Posted Monday, May 27, 2013 by Peter Stark

July 6, 2012 – The Grand Portage – I’m jogging up a winding, rocky trail, through bits of swamp, across logs, up and down small hills, in the rainy forest in what today is Minnesota. Always climbing a bit higher into the dripping woods, the trail is eight-and-a-half miles long, probably thousands of years old,…

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