Bill Layman & Lynda Holland's 2001 trip, on the
Dubawnt River in the North West Territories & Nunavut.

Tuesday July 03 / Wednesday July 04 / Thursday July 05 / Friday July 06 / Saturday July 07 /
Sunday July 08 / Monday July 09 / Tuesday July 10 / Wednesday July 11 / Thursday July 12 /
Friday July 13 / Saturday July 14 / Sunday July 15 / Monday July 16 / Tuesday July 17 /
Wednesday July 18 / Thursday July 19 / Friday July 20 / Saturday July 21 / Sunday July 22 /
Monday July 23 / Tuesday July 24 / Wednesday July 25 / Thursday July 26 / Friday July 27 /
Saturday July 28 / Sunday July 29 / Monday July 30 / Tuesday July 31 / Wednesday August 1
Thursday August 2 / Friday August 3 / Saturday August 4 / Sunday August 5 / Monday August 6 /
Tuesday August 7 / Wednesday August 8

Monday August 6
Last night, just minutes after sending my e-mail, we spotted 2 young male caribou along the edge of the river. They ran along side us till they were about a half mile ahead, then leapt into the river to try to get across to the other side. Wen they saw us approaching again, they started back-paddling like crazy. When they got back to their starting point, they ran along side us again. Not the sharpest pencils in the box, don't ya know.
Later, we saw another gorgeous mature male. We stopped at 9:30 and camped within a half mile of two Inuit canvas tents that we had spotted up river. It was so cold that we put the Coleman Peak into a pot then put it into the vestibule of the tent for 10 minutes. We luxuriated in the warmth.

Just as we were getting ready to get going, a jet ranger helicopter flew over. It was the regional biologist doing caribou work and he told me, via radio, that the Qamanirjuag Herd is still south of Rankin Inlet, and that locally, there are groups of males in the 20 to 30 to 40 range.

The north shore of Shultz Lake is a spectacular series of high multi-coloured bedrock hills, surrounded by coarse rock gravel beaches, with green lichen encrusted boulders higher up. It's clear skies but no bugs. What a bonus. It is decidedly fall weather right now, with bright sun and freezing cold air. I have on Lifa and a wind shell and I'm still chilly.

Two sandhill cranes just walked up and are croaking on the hill behind us.

We started off with a bit of a head wind but finished up almost dead calm and covered 2 miles. Only a hurricane-force south east wind would stop us from getting off Shultz Lake and onto the river tomorrow. I hope we can run the Aleksektok rapids like last year. I really don't want to do the one-mile portage.

I hate to say it, but it's starting to sink in that the trip is beginning to end. I have already made a series of phone calls to airlines and Baker Lake lodge, so I guess tonight we'll have to start fantasizing about next year's trip.

Tuesday August 7
Hello again, from the Aleksektok rapids.
Reality bites big time, again today. The trip is coming to a close and there are phone calls that have to be made - airlines, railroad, travel agents, hotels. Every time I call, I get either an answering machine or, 'your call is important to us.' All this at $1.99 a minute, even for the 1-800 numbers.
I finally found out that the the trains are booked so we can't get a sleeping unit. We are ending up in coach. Do you know how hard it is to sleep on a train chair that doesn't work?

By the way, we're on the final stretch of the river. The sun is out and life is ok. At least for another day it's ok. I need a reintroduction to complex scheduling and what is perceived to be the real world.

We did 40 odd miles to a small creek that we jacuzzied in last year but this year it's just too darn cold.

25 miles to go to Baker.

  Wednesday August 8

Here we are in Baker Lake, staying at the Baker Lake Lodge, the best place to stay here by a mile. The shower and clean clothes were a thril for sure. (we had sent clothes to the post office.)

Next stop, the Northern, were I eat a bag of nacho chips and wash it all down with a Coke Classic. We're now awaiting our KFC. Yes, they have Kentucky Fried Chicken up here.

Linda stopped at the RCMP and closed the trip note. They couldn't find our trip plan... that is, they couldn't find it until they realized that, because we've been here so many times in the last few years, we have our own special personal file.

Well folks.... that's about it. It was a slice doing this via PALM and GLOBALSTAR and I hope a few of you got a kick out of it. With any luck we'll do this again next year when we'll be paddling to Nueltin Lake country from Wollaston Lake, see you then!

The end.

Dubawnt River Map & Trip Outline


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