|Bill Layman & Lynda Holland's
2001 trip, on the
Dubawnt River in the North West Territories & Nunavut.
Tuesday July 03 / Wednesday July 04 / Thursday
/ Friday July 06 / Saturday
|The shorelines here are
mostly burned and coming back thick with birch. Just
before the portage there is a gorgeous high rocky
promontory that looks like a mountain. We arrived at the
portage at 10:00, aided by a red plastic gas jug hung in
a tree, left, no doubt, by a winter hunter from Black
I figure the portage at 1750 double paces = about 2.7 kms = 1.6 miles. It takes 3 round trips to move our mountain. And here's a note for you gear freaks ... a large barrel crammed with dry food with a Northface VE 25 on top carries easier with an Ostrom Deluxe harness than a small barrel with a Black Feather harness. As well, Lynda has fallen in love with the Nanabijou pack (spelling?) that we have fitted our kitchen into. Looks like the Ostroms are gonna' get a cheque outta me at trip's end.
We stage everything at the 2/3 mark where a trail to the east leads to Goo Tue, a small pond that is sacred to the Dene as a lake with healing properties. They still take water from it and the old and sick swear by it. We leave a kerchief ... a piece of clothing is to be left in respect ... drink some water and carry on.
Finally finish by 4:00 and have to quit paddling by 5:00 since there is a huge West wind and rain. Nice camp spot, though, so it is fine to be stopped. Besides, the muscles are aching. Only 12 miles of the trip eaten up today ... but we did walk about 10 miles. Did I mention that Lynda took to singing "Marching to Pretoria" and "The Howdy Doody Song" to keep up the pace? Has she finally lost her mind from living with me so long? Tune in next week to see!
Talked to a Single Otter today from Obre Lake Lodge. The pilot said he would drink a cold beer for us tonight.... DAMN him anyway.
Lynda says I wimpered too much today and calls me a grumpus because I wouldn't sing.
|Saturday July 07 2001
And on the one topic all canoeists can seem to spend hours discussing ... FOOD. Last night was a sort of leftover soup stew and was tasty, but for dessert there was Lemon Poppy seed cake courtesy of Bear Creek Country Kitchens.
It is a real no brainer to bake with an Outback Oven. Lynda gave me a lecture when I told her I wanted to try baking a few years ago, but now she seems to have grown quite used to homemade pizza, spinach parmesan bread, and all manner of cakes. Strange how she complains no longer, is it not? But then, cake in bed seems to work wonders for most people's attitudes.
The wind shifted around to straight North last night and blew in cold air and rain showers. The fact we will be plowing head on into the wind, combined with the rain and some real sore portage muscles (note to self: skip this training on the job stategy and do some pre trip training next year) keep us in bed, each of us pretending to be asleep as we see how long we can delay the inevitable. My bladder gives out at 10:00 am and we get into the water by 11:30.
Slow going today with the wind in our faces. Camp spots are few and far between and we could have (and should have) gone further, but at 5:00 pm when a flat table top lichen covered spot shows up, we grab it even though we have only gone 14 miles.
Tried half heartedly to catch a pike for supper but we will have to settle for spaghetti and spinach parmesan bread with vanilla pudding for dessert. Life is sure tough n'est ce pas?
Last night we forgot to bring the bailing jug to the tent with us. Those in the know realize this is a crisis (bailing jug = pee jug, after all) when the mosquitoes are so thick that they sound like rain against the tent fly. I am sure I lost a liter of blood as I dashed out at 1:00 pm to relieve myself.
|We are within miles of Wholdai (this means pike in Dene) Lake and have taken a route to the north and east that is seldom used as most people head straight north and over the portage at the north end of Flett Lake.|
|Dubawnt River Map & Trip Outline|
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