The human journey around our planet has made some big gestures, and the Bering Land Bridge calls some of them to mind. Thousands of years ago, a strip of land between two continents was exposed and migration from Russia to America became possible. In places, this land bridge was 1,000 miles wide. Some people settled on the western edge of what is Alaska today, while others carried on across Canada, or all the way to Greenland. This migration took place over generations.
Sometimes, this movement is represented by big arrows on a map, and we imagine entire populations passing by. Yet every journey also plays out at the individual level–one person at a time. By visiting sections of that long abandoned route, concepts become experience and the breadth of that landscape becomes tangible.
On parts of the ancient land bridge, caribou, muskox, foxes, wolves, bears, and wolverines criss cross the tundra. Moose wade into the willows. Ravens survey the riverbeds. Ptarmigan flock to new hiding spots.
From this vantage point, these valleys become more than wilderness; they are also a land of plenty.
Photo by Eric Guth.