Yukon River Run
Description: This past year, Associate Publisher and Special Assignments Editor, Charlie Richie Jr. had the fortunate opportunity to be involved with developing a show for The National Geographic Channel called Yukon River Run. The show was based around Alaska resident and past Backwoodsman contributor, Neil Eklund. Neil wrote an article for the Backwoodsman called “Rafting In Alaska” that was published in our July/August 2014 issue. The article was about Neil’s log rafting ventures in Alaska down the Yukon River. He’s been building his own lografts and floating on them for 39 years, mimicking Yukon lografters from the late 1800’s by constructing and navigating them just like they did. With his youngest son Lauro, they have been making other kinds of trips down the river offering their services delivering firewood and other types of goods to native villages & other people who live in remote areas along the Yukon River.
Last summer, Charlie Jr. began working with Gurney Productions locating talent and developing show concepts for outdoor-based television programming. While proofreading Neil’s article, he became fully captivated by it and ultimately an idea for a documentary style television show formed around Neil & Lauro’s lografting adventures. The idea and contact information was sent to Gurney Productions. One thing lead to another and a production deal was eventually agreed upon with The National Geographic Channel. Last September, Gurney Productions began filming Neil’s crew and two other log raft crews building their rafts and floating down the river while making deliveries to their customers along the banks of the Yukon River.
Yukon River Run premiered on the National Geographic Channel on Monday, July 20th, and it will continue to air until the end of this summer. Be sure to check out one of our own, Neil Eklund along with the rest of the lograft crews brave the mighty Yukon River.