The White House press release about the trip mentioned several other motives for his historic journey, including returning Mt. McKinley to its native name — Denali — launching a new youth program to promote arctic culture, bridging the gap between communities and resource management and discussing new fish and wildlife cooperation management.
In the press release preceding his trip, the White House press secretary highlighted the central role Alaska plays in combating climate change.
“Climate change threatens the way of life of Alaska Natives across the state, from the North Slope to Bristol Bay,” the White House said in a press release. “The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, and is experiencing the consequences.”
The president made several posts to the White House Twitter and Instagram accounts during his journey, cataloging his meetings with locals, emphasizing the importance of preserving natural lands for future generations and showing us all his native dancing skills.
In his interview with Today News, Obama said he wasn't nervous about the trek with Grylls, but about the meal situation. "I've seen some of the stuff Bear eats, and it's gotta be something that doesn't still have its legs and eyes on it. I want it not to be too recognizable," Obama said to Today.
Luckily for the president, lunch turned out to be salmon. Perhaps less luckily, someone else had already enjoyed it.
Grylls told Obama that bears often eat the fattier parts of the salmon but leave plenty of meat behind. Obama said the roasted fish ended up being “tasty,” but he would have liked a cracker to go with it.
The episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls is set to air sometime this fall.
"This has got to be one of the best days of my presidency," Obama said, according to Today. "First of all, I'm not in the office. Second of all, I'm not in a suit."
Obama may have mastered arctic dancing and wild eating, but he still has a lot to learn about taking selfies.
Scroll for photos and tweets from the White House Instagram and Twitter:
When you know you don't need to run for reelection:
When you're stuck babysitting on a Saturday night:
When you're Barack Obama and also ~artsy~:
When something seems a little fishy:
When you *definitely* caught this with your bare hands:
When your mom told you not to fight in middle school but you care about climate change: