Yukon, July 29
Saturday – Day 37 on Water – It quit raining about 1:00 in the morning. Fortunately, Stormy can pretty much go all night long without having to go outside. I can’t. So when I get up to go pee, she always takes an advantage of that and goes out real quick. She loves to sleep, so she is in and out and back in the bed. She appears to be sleeping but she is always hearing everything or smelling it. It is uncanny what she hears I don’t.
Since the grocery store doesn’t open until 10:00 and I get up early, we were up and broke down the camp and carried everything down to the kayak to have it ready to load later on in the day when it was time to launch.
Then we walked all the way around the end of the runway, to go to the RAVN office which is the airline that flies in and out of all of the Native Villages. Once there it didn’t open until 9 so we waited. Once it opened the lady in the office was very rude and uncooperative. I learned absolutely nothing and was very stressed, because I was already thinking that my thumbs were going to be the grief that caused me to end the trip prematurely. So therefore, I needed to find out what my options were in flying out early and where from down river.
After walking a ways, a guy stopped and gave us a ride back to the grocery store. Once it was open, I bought what I needed and got a ride back to the kayak. I packed everything up, packed the kayak up and then decided to go to another part of the village, the other grocery store and a small café I had heard about and have some lunch. I was also told that the school had a library that would open at 2.
I don’t know why, but I had my waders on. I should have put my shoes on. I picked the wrong road to walk the 2 miles down to the other end of the village. I rubbed my legs raw from the sweating and walking, I just couldn’t get a ride, there was very little traffic. I finally got a ride the last couple hundred yards.
I went to the café and the lady working in there said I could use her phone. She got the numbers for RAVN and Alaska Airlines both. I order a BLT and made the calls. Since I had not made my mind up if I was going to end the trip early, the flights were for out of Emmonak, my original destination.
Since my money didn’t go into the bank until the 1st, I called Angie and asked her to make the reservations for me; giving her my card # and the flight information and made sure she understood that she needed to make them on Tuesday. She agreed to do so.
Then I went and got a few things from the 2nd grocery store, got a ride back to the kayak and finished packing up and we hit the river.
Down a ways I ran into a couple from Ontario. They had put on the river at the end of May. I started the 24th of June. So they were really taking their time. They were in a canoe and they seemed to have the right gear and were enjoying their trip.
I had paddled over close to the bank where they were sitting up camp on an Island and once I started to leave I got stuck on a sand bar. I got out and pushed off and as I was getting back in the kayak I fell in and got soaked, filling up my waders. That was the only time that had happened. I had my left leg in and my right foot got stuck in the mud and the kayak moved on me as I was trying to get in. Embarrassing to say the least, but none worse for the event.
The weather turned and it started to rain again. No fun setting up the tent in the rain. But once it is set up and things are inside and the kayak is secure, things are fine.
We had paddled 30 miles since 3:30 when we left Galena. We found a great place to camp this time, right along the water on a small gravel beach.