Yukon, Aug 1
Tuesday – Day 40 on Water – I am stressed with the thumbs and joints. Not whining, but it is uncomfortable. It is at night that they bother me the most. They go numb for quite some time and it takes a good 30 minutes to get any feeling back in them. There are times I am trying to do something and I can’t because it feels like an ice pick is being jabbed into the joint.
It is tough to paddle against the wind with no current as it is; even more effort needs to be exerted when my thumbs aren’t working, because that is where the pressure is from the paddle.
A storm is coming up and the wind blowing strong. I was making no headway so I stopped across the river from another Native Village. I tied up and got a tarp, my sleeping bag and my sleeping pad and went up under a bluff, under some trees and took a nap for a couple of hours. The wind did not quit blowing and there was no question it was going to rain.
I decided to cross the river and get to the other side, so I could be on the side of the channel that looked like there was some current and some protection from the wind. I had Stormy’s bubble on and got my rain skirt on and we were water tight. This Feathercraft is made for this kind of weather. It can take a lot of wave action. So we headed straight across, with the wind coming at my left shoulder. So I wasn’t really having to fight the wind, but the waves were a different story. They were a good 2 to 3 feet high. Several village residents on the bank watched me paddle across. Took a good hour and it was only a couple of miles.
I then turned down river and managed to make pretty good time. Then it started to rain and from the looks of it, it wasn’t going to stop, which ended up being the case. Once again, I don’t mind the rain and for sure Stormy doesn’t. Making that clear bubble for her has helped make this trip. If she is stressed I am stressed.
It wasn’t long and I paddled back across the river to get to the inside of a Island to camp for the night and it ended up being a very long walk to get to a point I was out of the wind to get camp set up.
Once again, we set up camp with it raining. Stromy is immediately in the tent and does not leave unless she has to. Once I have the bed set up, she is on it and that is where she stays. She hates to be wet.
One thing I have managed to do is keep the sleeping bag and the blanket I use dry. I have yet to have a wet sleeping bag, blanket or sleeping pad.