The Porcupine River 2003 - Vermette Lake, NWT to Stony Rapids, SK
Day 1 - Thursday June 26, 2003, Day 2 - Friday June 27, 2003, Day 3 - Saturday June 28, 2003
Day 4 - Sunday June 29, 2003, Day 5 - Monday June 30, 2003, Day 6 - Tuesday July 1, 2003
Day 7 - Wednesday July 2, 2003, Day 8 - Thursday July 3, 2003, Day 9 - Friday July4, 2003
Day 10 - Saturday July 5, 2003, Day 11 - Sunday July 6, 2003 , Day 12 - Monday July 7, 2003
Day 13 - Tuesday July 8, 2003, Day 14 - Wednesday July 9, 2003, Day 15 - Thursday July 10 Day 16 - Friday July 11, 2003, Day 17 - Saturday July 12, 2003, Day 18 - Sunday July 13, 2003
Day 19 - Monday July 14, 2003, Day 20 - Tuesday July 15, 2003, Day 21 - Wednesday July 16,

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Map made by Adrien Hounjet, Junior Tech II - KCDC

Bill Layman and Lynda Holland’s 2003 Canoe Trip

I was really tired by the time I got off the water last year. And for the first time ever I didn’t have a sniff of a plan for another trip. Then sometime in January I got this idea to find a partner to go from La Ronge to Wollaston (the same way as last year), then on to Stony Rapids by the Fond du Lac River. Then Lynda could fly up and we could charter up to Selwyn Lake and start off on the Dubawnt River, portage over to the Kazan River, and finish in Baker Lake.

Well that was my idea. And just as I was mid-way into the planning I got a phone call from my son Zane and his sweetheart Tamaris. Seems they are coming home from Switzerland, where he is diamond drilling, to get married. And when did he pick to get married? You got it, one of the only three week periods of the year that could really put a hold on any arctic canoe plans - July 26! All I can say is that he must be as dense as his dad, although somehow that doesn’t leave me looking very good does it? Anyway the plans have changed and we will have a riot at the wedding.

So instead we are going to go to Stony Rapids by truck about July 01. From there we will fly out to Vermette Lake (just below Rennie Lake), then work our way back toward Black Lake paddling through Firedrake, Wholdaia, and Selwyn Lakes, and finishing on the Porcupine River. 325 odd miles in about 20 days (there are lots of portages). The trip is such, that if it looks like we won’t be on time for the wedding, we can call for a float plane to get us to the festivities. Say what’s the etiquette involved with a float plane necessitated by a wedding? Can I bill the extra cost to Zane? Or as he says, perhaps everyone could send me a dollar for the stories I will write and that way I can pay for the plane and a Burger King whopper when I hit the big city?

This trip, although short compared to the last few ones we have done, will be filled with history. Lynda is just finishing her next book entitled "They Will Have Our Words; The Dene Elders Project Volume II" and the elders from Stony Rapids, Fond du Lac and Black Lake who were interviewed in the late 1970’s lived, hunted and trapped in the area we will be moving through. As well, the area was filled with white trapper’s in the 1930’s and we have copies of a whole series of spectacular Black and White images that Neil Mackaskill let us copy, that I am sure the folks at Out-There will want to post on the site.

And what do you think the odds are that the first trip I outlined above isn’t on the drawing board for next summer? I’m asking Tom (my partner from last year), right here and right now to do the first leg with me. I mean how can you go wrong with a 27 year old man who can run full marathons? And at my 53, his young muscles are a bonus to have along I can tell you. Anyone who knows him, email him and tell him I’m counting on him.

That’s it for now. But feel free to tune in sometime in early July. And lets see if we can start an "email tree" for this trip. Tell a friend, to tell a friend, to tell a friend, to log on and lets see what we can pull off.

Click Here for Bill's Audio archive on

Bill Layman & Lynda Holland's 2002 Canoe Expedition
Bill & Lynda's 2001 Canoe Trip on the Dubawnt River

Canoe Gear For The Subarctic by Bill Layman

On Wednesday July 9, Wings over Canada filmed a segment for the show with Bill & Lynda on Selwyn Lake near Selwyn Lake Lodge. For more information on the lodge, the show and broadcast schedules visit thier websites by following the links.