Bill Layman & Lynda Holland's 2003 Porcupine River Trip
Vermette Lake, Northwest Territories to Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan
  Day #21 - Wednesday July 17, 2003 - Route Detail

Well, the trip must be over. I have now had a real bath with real soap in a real bathtub in a real house, and a real hamburger and real fries in a real restaurant in a real town (Stony Rapids).

We were up early today as it was blowing from the west (into our faces) all night and had lulled by 6:00 am. I wanted to get going quickly as Black Lake has an east/west orientation and no islands. If the wind came up again, I knew we would be in for a real hard paddle. By 10:30, the wind was mounting and we were down to about 1 1/2 mph and had some 3 to 4 miles left to go. It was like the lake just didn't want to let us go home. It was, in fact, so bad we opted to not paddle all the way to Black Lake. We headed instead to a tourist camp - Camp Grayling - where we could get a ride to Stony Rapids.

By noon, as we were nearing the last point en route to the camp, we spotted an overturned canoe on a point. We stopped and met a Danish paddler - Morten Maersk. He knows many of the people we met on the Kazan River several years ago.Small world or what? We invited him to catch a ride with us from the camp to Stony and we are now helping him figure out how to get his canoe and himself south to La Ronge on his way home to Denmark.
Morten Maersk
  I got a pilot from Northern Dene Air to come and pick us up with my truck. He told us that the new Health Care Facility was having its official opening today. We showed up, filthy and sunburned, and at least 40 people told us how they were listening to the radio interviews and/or following the internet. Neat .. someone really is listening to this voice from the wilds.



Billy Sandypoint was explainng to Leon Fern in Dene about all the moose we had seen and how they didn't even run away or look scared. Leon, who has to be 85 and speaks about 10 words of English, told Billy something in Dene that put him on the floor laughing. He explained to me in English that Leon figured the moose probably thought my sunburned bald head was just a rock in the river. You gotta' love these guy's sense of humour.

We visited with a "herd" of people we knew and everyone agreed that, although the opening was great fun, they would rather have been with us on the trip. Of interest is the general consensus that the water is 2 feet higher at a minimum on all the big lakes. So you figure out how much that increased the level of a narrow river in a rock-walled canyon. It was quite a trip!


Dave Webster - the head honcho from Northern Dene Air - was flying the Beaver that went over us a few nights ago on the river and if they had seen us they were going to land. He had Freddie Throassie, a Dene man who takes Black Lake kids on canoe trips, with him. Freddie was going to offer to guide us down the river. A big joke, as he has never seen it before. We saw Freddie, who was just leaving on a canoe trip tonight up to Flett Lake - it seems like a lifetime since we were there - so we hardly had a chance to visit with him.

Anyway, that's it, folks. Big thanks to Out-There for running this stuff and to Joan Eyolfson Cadham for editing it. Hope it was fun for a few of you. I know it was for me and for Lynda - well for most of the time except the canyon run on the Porcupine for Lynda.

We'll do it all again next year if Out-There will put up with us.

  Last Year La Ronge to Arviat 2002 Map
Introduction Story for the 2002 trip
Check out Bill and Lynda's
2001 trip to the Dubawnt River in NWT & Nunavut.
Bill Layman's bio - with other Trips & Stories by Bill.
Live text edited by
Joan Eyolfson Cadham, freelance writer/editor, Foam Lake Saskatchewan.


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