Yukon, Aug 3
Thursday – Day 42 on Water – I have decided no matter what I am going to get to Grayling, the next Native Village down river today. It looks like it is about 50 miles, which is a very long ways to go under these conditions. If I can fly out of there, that is where I will end this trip. I see no reason to suffer and not enjoy the last 250 plus or minus miles, it just doesn’t make any sense. I am sure under the circumstances that both RAVN and Alaska Air will change my tickets, assuming Angie got the reservations made.
We haven’t seen any bears lately at all. But I did see 2 different wolves today. One older male and one younger male. It is the 1st time I have seen wolves in the wild. They looked identical and look like they were from the same pack, the same litter. The older wolf was headed up river and saw us as we approached and immediately went off up into the bank trees. The younger one, once he saw us, also headed up river, just sat down and watched us go by. I also saw a Sliver Tipped Fox on the bank, he was far enough away he never did see us.
Stormy wasn’t quite sure what to make of the wolves. She was in her bubble so to bark at them or move around was out of the question, so she just sat there and watched them as I paddled by.
As I came around a corner there were the 9 “kids” camped right along the bank. Looked like they had been there a couple of days. (As it turned out when I saw them the next day, Friday, they had indeed been camped there for 2 days waiting out the wind and the rain.) It is not as easy to paddle in the wind and rain in a canoe as it is in a kayak, especially one like mine where you can basically get water tight. It was about 9:30AM and they were all in their tents, so I did not make any noise or disturb them.
It was a very long day to say the least. We paddled 52 miles in 14 hours and I was very tired and my hands were practically numb. We put on the water at 6AM and it was 8 in the evening. We had stopped 3 different times to get out of the kayak and walk a bit. I did not want to get up tomorrow morning and not know what the decisions was I was going to make in ending the trip or going on.
As I was approaching Grayling a couple on a 4 wheeler was going up river and I paddled over and got them to stop and talk to me. Yes RAVN flew out of Grayling every day. There was a covered area to camp right off of the river. This lady happens to be the cook for the Elder’s Center and she invited me to Senior Lunch the next day, she was cooking Moose Chili and traditional pan bread.
Once again it was still raining, so it was good to set up the tent under the cover. I got everything out of the kayak, under the cover and laid it all out so it could start drying out. I made something to eat, don’t even remember what it was and we went to bed, it was already past 10:00.