|Bill Layman & Lynda Holland's
La Ronge, Saskatchewan to Arviat, Nunavut on Hudson Bay - 55 Days and 1000 miles.
|Last time we ran it, we
kept the rock on our left to stay near shore and avoid
the slick tongue route.
I'm not sure what happened, but the tail got too far away from shore and the left side of the boat hit the rock. No bigee.. if we had been able to slide down on the right side of the rock. Instead, we pivoted around the rock and got dragged backward onto the tongue right beside the hole. Lynda screamed a whole series of expletives and I made a new plan that saw us front ferrying past the hole and safely to the bottom of the run. Oh, would I like to have that run on video!
The next rapid is equally bad and we sanely lined it on river right. Annie Benonie must have gone to church and prayed for us yesterday. We had wind and cold rain from the east all night. When I woke up I expected to be wind bound, as it was howling. I stuck my head out of the tent to have a look and discovered that, during the night, the wind had turned 180 degrees and we had a huge tail wind and sunny skies. After about 7 1/2 hours, we got about 27 miles. We sailed lots and got the boat up to 5 1/2 mph according to the GPS. Lynda could barely hang on.
Charcoal Lake is
spectacular. The Dene call it Sunrise Lake. It is easy to
see why people from Lac Brochet and Wollaston trapped and
lived in the area. There are many sand eskers that are
all burned. The standing dead gray fire-killed trees
contrast wonderfully with new green growth dotting the
horizon. Toward the outlet there is a lot of rock that it
is all exposed due to the fire. Many of the eskers at
this end are gravel and are dotted with pink and grey and
Huge flat-bottomed clouds floated in a sky of blue all day. We saw many eagles today and at lunch on the second cast landed a five pound pike which we just finished ... and was it good. The wind is still howling in from the west. Much more and we would have a hard time paddling with it.
Tomorrow will see us into
Manitoba and off the Cochrane River as we work our way
into P G Downes' "chain of little lakes." By
about noon we will be following the route of thousand of
Dene, dozens of trappers and freighters and Magee and
Ernest Oberholtzer. The fourth time for
|Day #37 Tuesday July 16,
The wind gods are having an arm wrestling contest for sure. Last night it started to rain buckets. Remember how strong I told you the wind was? Well it drove in a storm and just kept up all night. Again, it did a 180 so it was in our face when we got up. It was real cold and we piled on the clothes.
Leaden skies with clouds and mist so low you could reach out and touch them with an outstretched hand. Never enough rain or wind to make it bad enough to quit, but enough to make us miserable. At lunch, after three hours, we had ground out about 9.5 miles. We made a long stop under the tarp and out of the cold for lunch.
After all kinds of "let's go, let's not" discussion, we set off. Do you think I can get my dearest to quit? Not a chance. She had a plan and it involved being into the P G Downes "chain of little lakes". We have been at a certain camp, where there is lots of old "memorabilia" scattered about, and Lynda wanted to camp there tonight. She seemed to ignore the fact that this would result in a 20 mile day, all into the wind. We made it, but not until 7:00. It is now 8:00 and we have camp up and supper about ready. But I for one am beat.
We ran three nice S turn rapids today and did far better than yesterday. Lynda told me to mention that she LOVES LOVES LOVES her new Extrasport lifejacket. I don't know what model it is, so tomorrow I'll get a picture of Lynda wearing it. Its hard to get a lifejacket that fits a woman but Lynda wore hers all day for warmth and said it fits just great and is very comfortable. I have the same one and agree that it is a keeper. My MEC jacket is up for sale when I get back.
On the topic of comfortable, if you don't have a Crazy Creek chair you have to get one. We went for near a decade without them. Then Lynda sat in one. The rest is history. At the end of a long day, it is a blessed relief on the back I can tell you. The minimalists in the crowd can use it to sleep on. We use 3/4 light Thermarest and pop the chair flat and use it under our feet on cold nights.
to Arviat Trip Map
Here are the Sponsors & 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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