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Ice Age Trail annual meeting scheduled

"Adventures in the High Arctic: Sailing Spitzbergen and the Svalbard Islands" is the featured program of the annual meeting of the Indianhead Chapter of the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation.

The meeting will be held on Sat., Jan. 26, at 10 a.m. in the Interpretive Center at Interstate Park in St. Croix Falls. The public is invited to this event. Refreshments will be available.

Keith Reylea and Jeannie Kant spent 12 days sailing in the high Arctic this past summer aboard the Nooderlicht (the Northern Lights), a two-masted schooner. They and their fellow travelers sailed and motored along the northwest coast of Spitzbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Sitting between 75 and 80 degrees north latitude, the Svalbards lie half-way between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole. They are largely uninhabited by humans. The islands were discovered by Norwegians in the 12th Century and were used as an international whaling base in the 17th and 18th Centuries. In 1920 they came under Norway's sovereignty.

Keith and Jeannie will share their photos of polar bears, whales, bird and plant life, walruses, remnants of Arctic exploration, glaciers and the spectacular scenery of Spitzbergen, as well as showing evidence of global warming in this starkly beautiful wilderness. The islands are the site of Global Seed Vault, a "doomsday vault" designed to protect millions of crop seeds from natural disasters, wars and even global warming.

Contact Dean, Chapter Chair, at (715) 472-2248 for further information.