Troy Henkels

Latest Expeditions


Winter Ride Across Iowa 2020


The North Expedition
An 800 mile, unsupported kite skiing traverse across Alaska.


 Photo Blog Archives 2008-2019


December in Seward, Alaska at -15F.

Sunrise on Turnagain Arm, Alaska.

Last light and a walk on the beach in Nome, Alaska.

On some days in Nome, it's REALLY cold!

Spectacular sunrise on the Bering Sea. 

Full moon over low mountains near Nome, Alaska.

Winter has arrived in NW Alaska.  The coastline of Wales, Alaska on the Bering Strait at midday.

Little Diomede on the Bering Strait with Big Diomede/Russia in the background.

Night falls on Little Diomede.

Sunset on the Bering Strait and the International Date Line.

Alaska mountains never disappoint.

I never tire of the mountains in Alaska.

Denali and the Alaska Range.

Just one more kite session on the Bering Sea before winter sets in.

Time spent on Little Diomede is never disappointing.  Here's looking across the Bering Strait at Big Diomede/Russia with the village of Little Diomede in the foreground.

Little Diomede, the Bering Strait, and Big Diomede/Russia.

Flying around the north side of Little Diomede.

This time of year in Northwest Alaska offers up some very dramatic landscapes.

A dramatic sunrise along the Bering Sea coast.

Denali Park in the fall is full of color and contrast.  It was a particularly brilliant year for fall colors.


On a recent outing exploring in the Alaska Range, I came across another old bus in the wilderness.  It made me wonder if somehow, someday, history would repeat itself.

As it turns out it's an old Denali Park bus.  Maybe from the early 60s??

The fall colors in Alaska can be stunning.

Headed out the trail to the Golden Zone mine....mountain bike, hiking boots, and packraft...because in Alaska you never know.

The main mill site at the Golden Zone mine.

Another spectacular day exploring in remote Alaska.

One last ride on the Bering Sea coast before freeze up.

Monochromatic days kitesurfing on the Bering Sea. 

Exploring the control room of an old gold dredge outside of Nome, Alaska.

Always a full drysuit for kiteboarding on the Bering Sea.  

Mid kite session and the fog came in thick.  Not an uncommon occurrence on the Bering Sea. 

The Last Train to Nowhere near Solomon, Alaska. These engines were last functional in 1907.

Aerial view of the rivers north of the Kigluaik mountains. 

What a ridgeline in the Kigluiaks.

Dramatic weather in Denali Park.

Packrafting on Otto Lake, Denali, Park. 

From the air, the damage caused by spruce bark beetle is apparent. 

Another long foray into the wilderness.  40 miles of not much trail to be found and a lot of smoke in the air. 

Many, many rainy days this summer in Denali Park. 

Denali and the Alaska Range. 

I was lucky enough to take a private jet to Shishmaref for work.  Very cool experience.

On final approach.

Shishmaref, Alaska

Heavy traffic in Shishmaref.

Starfish from the Bering Sea. 

Shishmaref, Alaska

Fall colors are starting to change in Shishmaref.  

Summer in Alaska. Looking west towards Cape Nome and the Bering Sea. 

Looking North from the Bering Sea at the Kigluaik mountains.

Flying north over the Alaska Range is always stunning.

The kite foiling on the Bering Sea has been off the charts this summer.  Photo copyright Bonnie Reynolds 2021.

Kitesurfing on the Bering Sea in front of an active gold dredge.    Photo copyright Steve Johnson 2021.

The summer kiting season in northern Alaska is finally here!

Flying back to Alaska I'm always amazed at how stunning the Alaska range is.

One of my favorite things during an Iowa summer is baseball games in the country with my Dad.

Summer in Iowa means picking cherries at sunset.

On June 7tn, my longtime expedition partner, Dixie Dansercoer, was killed in a crevasse fall in north Greenland.  This man not only provided me with countless once in a lifetime experiences, but an uncommon friendship that spanned over 20 years and one that I will always cherish.  He will be dearly missed by not only his wife and family but everyone that ever met him and experienced his passion for the Polar regions. 

We lost not just a good one, but an unforgettable one.

A recent trip to Belize found me foil-boarding in Rendezvous Caye.

Waterfalls and caves are all stunning in the rain forests in Belize.

The colors around Belize are all spectacular.

Fishing boat on Rendezvous Caye.

Snorkeling and scuba diving in Belize is out of this world.  A great spotted Eagle Ray sighting.

Getting up close with reef sharks.

Purple sea fan.

Paragliding season has begun.....initiating launch sequence.

Soaring over Sleeping Lady. 

Even though we are well into May in Nome, there is still plenty of snow, and wind.

A quick rainy weekend to Olympic National Park rendered some great photographs.  What an amazing National Park!

The rare moment that the clouds cleared for a split second.

Even the roller skating on Denali Park road is sensational this time of year.

The ice climbing on Dragonfly this spring has been quite dramatic.

Fox Falls never disappoints.

The biking around Denali this spring has been spectacular.  There's still lots of snow around.  Boot Hill is still a great ride, even this time of year.

The bike ride up Sable and Polychorme Pass are particularly muddy. 

Whenever I fly to or from Northern Alaska, I'm always amazed by the views of the Alaska Range.

Winter in Nome drags on into the first few weeks of April.  Cold temperatures and strong storms off the Bering Sea have been the norm this year.

Despite the cold temps, the kiting has been off the charts,

Some of the sights around Nome.  Gold dredge #5.

Kiting across the top of Anvil Mountain, near the cold war era White Alice site.

Kiting on the Bering Sea this time of year is like kiting nowhere else.

Abandoned VW bug right on the Bering Sea coast near Nome, Alaska. 

Cold and windy.

The Alaska Range and Mt. Foraker on the left and Denali on the right.

Rocky peaks deep in the Alaska Range.

The Alaska Range in all its glory with Denali on the horizon. 

Another great day of Kite skiing on Stampede Trail, Denali National Park.

The biking around Denali Park this year has been fantastic.

Kite skiing on Stampede Trail.

A recent trip to Wales found the Bering Strait chock full of broken ice. Fairway rock in the background.

In the distance Little Diomede(US), Big Diomede(Russia), and motherland Russia on the right.

Panoramic looking back at Wales from the sea ice.

Whale bones in Wales, Alaska on the Bering Strait.

The same whale bones during daylight hours.

Wind on the Bering Strait with Fairway Rock on the horizon.

Windy and cold at sunset on the Bering Strait.

Windy and cold on the Bering Sea.

A perfect night on the Bering Sea,

Sunset and sea ice on the Bering Sea.

A perfect night kiting on the Bering Sea.

A stunning full moon this week!

I never tire of the amazing views of Alaska from the air.

Another stunning Koyuk sunrise. 

It was good to finally get a kite in  the air for the first time this winter.

Fat tire biking on the Bering Sea ice in -10F temperatures.

Room with a view on the evening commute from Koyuk back to Nome.

Mid-winter in Alaska doesn't offer much in the way of daylight, but it sure is beautiful. 

Mid-day light in remote northern Alaska.



Sunset on the Bering Sea.  Nome, Alaska

Just another winter day on main street in Shaktoolik, Alaska

Teller Trading Company is not seeing much business these days.

The Castner glacier ice caves in the eastern Alaska Range are stunning to say the least.  I hadn't been to this glaciers since climbing a peak called White Princess nearly 20 years ago.  This cave was not even formed back then.

The drive north into the Alaska Range is always stunning and on this day looked like a painting.

The many moods of the Bering Sea during solstice.

High noon on the Bering Sea in Nome, Alaska.  There's not much daylight as we approach winter solstice.

Throwback to 2008 and being the first person to ever kitesurf in Antarctic waters.  An epic experience.

Fat biking Denali Park. 

Short daylight hours in Denali.

Ice skating Otto Lake, Denali Park, Alaska.

Denali Park, Alaska

Pyramid Mountain near Denali National Park, Alaska.

Remote Telecommunications work takes me all over the State of Alaska.  This trip took me to the small village of Little Diomede in the middle of the Bering Strait.

Unloading the helicopter with Big Diomede/Russa in the background.

Life on a small island where you can see Russia right out your front window.

 Little Diomede with wind blowing off the top of the island.

Fairway Rock in the middle of the Bering Strait.

Wild weather offered up some amazing conditions on the helicopter ride back to Nome.  

Short daylight hours in this part of Alaska at this time of year.  

A layer of clouds highlighted the mountains around Brevig Mission. 

While in the other direction the sun streamed through the layer of clouds.

Sunrise over Razorback mountain in Wales, Alaska.

Sun and clouds on the Bering Sea.

Close up detail of Fairway Rock.

First light in Golovin, Alaska.

Abandoned cabin in Shaktoolik, Alaska.

Flying back to Nome after village traveling is never dull.

The many moods of sea ice in Koyuk, Alaska.

Sunrise over the sea ice in Koyuk, Alaska.

Sunset and Koyuk ice.

Kite skating at sunset in front of Mt. Susitna/Sleeping Lady.

Kite skating in paradise.

Kite skating on Lake Lucille. 

Nancy Lakes have set up quite nicely for skating this year. 

Cold temperatures in interior Alaska have made for perfect fat tire ice biking.

Fat biking in Denali Park this time of year is perfect.

Driving north to Denali Park this time of year can be stunning.

Whenever I return to Alaska I'm reminded how lucky I am to live where I do.  Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter, and Denali on the horizon.

Fall always means time spent in Iowa harvesting apples on the orchard that I grew up on.

Classic Iowa landscape.

Friday Night Lights, Iowa style.

The evening commute after a day of harvesting crops in Amish country in Wisconsin.

Fun days in Amish country.

All the pretty ladies!

Sunrise at Bluebell Orchard, Dubuque, Iowa. 

South.  Everything points south these days. 

The fires out west have produced some other worldly sunrises in the Midwest.

And sunsets too.

One of those stellar flights into Anchorage with Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter, and Denali on the horizon. 

A multilayered sunset over the Bering Sea.

Front Street in Nome, Alaska.

Dramatic fall landscapes in northern Alaska.

Fall colors in remote Alaska.

The Council Roadhouse, Alaska.

Dramatic weather in northern Alaska in fall.

Another long road to nowhere outside Nome, Alaska.

The Last Train to Nowhere near Solomon, Alaska.

The Last Train to Nowhere.

Musk Ox in Nome.

The kiting in northwest Alaska has been fabulous.  Safety Sound offers endless exploring.

Hydrofoiling on the Bering Sea.

Denali Park in summer can be the most stunning place I've ever been.

Contrasts on the old dredge near Teller.

A reindeer herd outside of Teller, Alaska.

It's salmon season in Teller in Northwest Alaska.

Sunset over Denali with Mt. Foraker on the left.

A quick trip to Iowa never disappoints.


Akutan, Alaska

Finding the elusive Japanese glass float deep in the Aleutian islands.

Shishaldin Volcano smoking on a bluebird day in the Aleutians islands of Alaska.  Shishaldin at 9373 feet, is the tallest volcano on the Alaska Peninsula


Explorations in the small community of False Pass, Alaska in the Aleutian islands has been stunning. This is one of three volcanoes on Unimak Island.

Only about 60 people call False Pass home, most of them fisherman.

An old and abandoned Peter Pan Seafood's cannery sits right in the middle of town.

Once active docks are now falling apart.

The waterfront in False Pass.

Round top mountain in False Pass. 

Even across the water on other islands, there's even more volcanoes.

Spring is just starting to happen.

The hiking here is off the charts.  One of the longest ridge that took me deep into the mountains that I've been on in quite some time.

The things that you find in the Alaska wilderness.

Biking the high country at the GVEA wind farm.

Boot hill, a miners boot graveyard near Ferry, Alaska.

The ice climbing at Dragonfly falls in Denali Park has been spectacular this year.

Spring kite skiing in northern Alaska.

Kiteskiing on Newton Peak outside of Nome, Alaska.

The spring fat tire biking in Denali Park has been off the charts.

Who needs an electric bike with E-assist when you can have a fat bike with dog assist.

Kitesurfing the pristine waters of Coco's Lagoon in Guam.

The sunsets in the South Pacific are not much different than sunsets on the Arctic Ocean.

Biking into the sunset on the frozen Bering Sea at twenty below.

Winter Bike Ride Across Iowa proved to be a full value experience.


Sunset on the Bering Strait.

And with fall the tundra comes alive with color.

Outside of Nome, near Solomon, Alaska, the Last Train to Nowhere lays testament to a bygone era.


As do the many gold dredges that are all around this part of Alaska.

Fortunately I spend a lot of time flying around remote parts of Alaska and I never tire of seeing the landscape from the air.  Here are the many lake near Wales, Alaska along the Bering Strait.

And the Alaska Range from the air is always spectacular.

Flying into the evening hours in Eagle River, Alaska.

Initiating launch sequence before getting high.

A recent work trip to Little Diomede found me cruising in the cockpit of a Bell 212 along the northwest coast of Alaska.

Landing on Little Diomede on the Bering Strait is always thrilling....with Big Diomede(Russia) in the background.

Panoramic of Little Diomede Island, Alaska.

A look at life on Diomede.

The shell of a skin boat on Little Diomede, once used for whale, walrus, and seal hunting.

My favorite rock to photograph just south of the Diomede islands....Fairway Rock.

Little Diomede on a normal gloomy day.

A great horned owl hanging aroud my place in Denali Park.

A fox out exploring old mining remnants near Nome, Alaska.

The Russian Orthodox church on Dutch Harbor/Unalaska in the Aleutians.