Coastal island hop or icy-cold lake swim?


Meltwater from the Wilson Piedmont Glacier

Let’s say you were on a family trip that lasted generations, with the goal of finding an area plentiful in food and resources.  You would have to make difficult decisions, like which way to turn, where to get water, and what to eat.  After arriving in western Alaska via the land bridge (sea level was lower, so you could walk from Russia to North America), you have two choices:

  1. Inland route: Wait til the ice age ends and walk through a corridor with glacial walls and silty, icy-cold meltwater lakes and rivers for a floor.  Any torrent of meltwater contains little to no life/food and could sweep you up at any moment.
  2. Coastal route: Island hop along the Pacific northwest coast, maybe visiting hot springs, fishing and eating seaweed til you are south of the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

Take a minute to think about your options.

New studies suggest that the Native American ancestors likely chose option #2.


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