My parents were arctic adventurers who spent years away from civilization. Their documentaries and my mother’s books were the results of (rather than the reason for) their nomadic lives. My early travels with them kindled in me a deep resonance with wilderness, and my young adult years were also spent wandering Alaska’s remote Brooks Range. In the spring of 1992, I was drawn back to these mountains to fulfill a cherished dream of sharing the wilderness with my husband, our six-year-old son, and a young woman friend. The four of us were flown into the Brooks Range and left alone to build a cabin and live for the next fifteen months. When spring again opened the river, we set forth to explore deeper into the mountains before embarking on the month-long canoe journey back to civilization. Throughout our sojourn in this beautiful and vast solitude we candidly filmed our lives, and from the ninety hours of footage we eventually produced our documentary, Arctic Son.
For more than three decades Tom and I have created art together. Now in our mid-sixties, we continue to spend a third of each year in the wilderness. When our beloved son died unexpectedly in 2012, we retreated to the solace of our mountains where we decided to revise our documentary as a tribute to his life. The new edition with special features is now available on the “store” page of this site, along with the classic version, and other works of ours. Next summer we will again be walking the Brooks Range, filming a documentary on my early years in wilderness. My new book on our continuing journey, Trusting the River, will hopefully be out later this year. We plan to eventually make available six of my mother’s books, along with all of my books, and Tom’s writings.
Tom and I have come to believe that inspiration is our most valuable contribution. While ours has not been the easy path, it has gifted us with an unusual share of natural beauty and freedom. This is treasure beyond money and a privilege that few people today experience. We hope to inspire you to love our planet, make a difference with your life, and heed the call of your own precious dreams.
Wishing you Joy and Inspiration,
Jeanie Aspen and Tom Irons 2013