Bill Layman & Lynda Holland's 2002 canoe trip map
La Ronge to Arviat on Hudson Bay - 55 Days and 1000 miles.
Synopsis To Date   Complete Coverage   Map   Sponsors   Introduction
  Complete Coverage

Bill and Lynda are now considerably behind schedule and may not reach Arviat before August 10th or later.

The trip has begun / Day 1 Monday June 10, 2002 / Day 2 Tuesday June 11, 2002 / Day 3 Wednesday June 12, 2002 / Day 4 Thursday June 13, 2002 / Day 5 Friday June 14, 2002 / Day 6 Saturday June 15, 2002 / Day 7 Sunday June 16, 2002 / Day 8 Monday June 17, 2002 / Day 9 Monday June 18, 2002 / Day 10 Wednesday June 19, 2002 / Day 11 Thursday June 20, 2002 / Day 12 Friday June 21, 2002 / Day 13 Saturday June 22, 2002 / Day 14 Sunday June 23, 2002 / Day 15 Monday June 24, 2002 / Day 16 June 25, 2002 / Day 17 June 26, 2002 / Day 18 Thursday June 27, 2002 / Day 19 Friday June 28, 2002 / Day 20 Saturday June 29, 2002 / Day 21 Sunday June 30, 2002 / Day 22 Monday July 1, 2002 / Day 23 Tuesday July 2, 2002 / Day 24 Wednesday July 3, 2002 / Day 25 Thursday July 4, 2002 Day 26 Friday July 5, 2002 / Day 27 Saturday July 6, 2002 / Day 28 Sunday July 7, 2002 / Day 29 Monday July 8, 2002 / Day 30 Tuesday July 9, 2002 / Day 31 Wednesday July 10, 2002 / Day 32 Thursday July 11, 2002 / Day 33 Friday July 12, 2002 / Day 34 Saturday July 13, 2002 / Day 35 Sunday July 14, 2002 / Day 36 Monday July 15, 2002 / Day 37 Tuesday July 16, 2002 / Day 38 Wednesday July 17, 2002 / Day 39 Thursday July 18, 2002 / Day 40 Friday July 19, 2002 / Day 41 Saturday July 20, 2002 / Day 42 Sunday July 21, 2002 / Day 43 Monday July 22, 2002 / Day 44 Tuesday July 23, 2002 / Day 45 Wednesday July 24, 2002 / Day 46 Thursday July 25, 2002 / Day 47 Friday July 26, 2002 / Day 48 Saturday July 27 / Day 49 Sunday July 28, 2002 / Day 50 Monday July 29, 2002 / Day 51 Tuesday July 30, 2002 / Day 52 Wednesday July 31, 2002 / Day 53 Thursday August 1, 2002 / Day 54 Friday August 2, 2002 / Day 55 Saturday August 3, 2002 / Day 56 Sunday August 4, 2002 / Day 57 Monday August 5, 2002 / Day 58 Tuesday August 6, 2002 / Day 59 Wednesday August 7, 2002 / Day 60 Thursday August 8, 2002 / Day 61 Friday August 9, 2002 / Day 62 Saturday August 10, 2002 / Day 63 Sunday August 11, 2002 / Day 64 Monday August 12, 2002

  Route Map
  Synopsis & Expedition Sponsors
June 10, 2002 - The first leg of the journey begins with Bill portaging the canoe from his front door to the launch point on Lac La Ronge. It's a perfect day for a paddle and Bill and Tom put in almost 18 miles before setting up camp. Have a look at the aerial shots of the lake as well as the outline of the portage. From Lac La Ronge its on to Nistowiak Lake, passed Nistowiak Falls and the Churchill River. Bill references some of the extensive history as they pass sites on route. Complete Coverage  
  June 16, 2002 - Bill and Tom are introduced to a huge neighbour in the form of "Ted the Bear" who just wanders into their camp. Moving on to the Reindeer River, Bill recalls some of the well know groups and individuals who have traveled this route before. A slap-happy beaver along with several visitors from Pelican Narrows join Bill and Tom, then Ted is back for another cameo appearance.    
Several times Bill and Tom find themselves wind bound and Bill takes the opportunity to conjure up tales of others, such as P.G. Downes, who in the pasted had to wait out high winds in the same area.  
It's on passed Southend onto beautiful Reindeer Lake which will take them to the historic Swan Blondeau Portage. Complete Coverage
  June 22, 2002 - Forest fires and storms add some additional intrigue as Bill and Tom take advantage of a favorable wind to rig a sail for their travels on Reindeer Lake. They are approaching the Swan Blondeau Portage between Reindeer and Wollaston Lakes, first crossed by a European, David Thompson with his Chipewyan (Dene) guides, in 1796.
Pausing for a live CBC interview along the portage Bill reflects on the trappers and cat skinners that went before and the reputed difficulty of this portage. Passing the site of a Hudson's Bay Company trading post they make it to Wollaston Lake but not without losing their portage route at least once. With the smoke from the forest fires billowing in the distance they make it into Wollaston Post where Bill will say goodbye to Tom. Complete Coverage
  June 30, 2002 - Tom has completed the first leg of the journey and Lynda will now take over the bow position when she arrives in Wollaston Post. Bill is doing some environmental work and preparing for the next leg of the journey to Arviat.  
Flying from Wollaston to Stoney Rapids and Lake Athabasca, home of the famous Athabasca Sand Dunes, Bill reflects on the role mining has played, and continues to play in the north.
Complete Coverage
July 11, 2002 - Lynda has arrived in Wollaston Post and she and Bill are preparing to leave on the second leg of the journey. With a Dene send off from town, Bill and Lynda are over joyed at being back on the water. The first day sees them heading north on Wollaston Lake to pick up the Cochrane River. Bill and Lynda have had a couple of tough days including the difficult lining of the Bigstone Rapids followed by a tough run on the Caribou Rapids. Tomorrow should see them crossing into Manitoba above Lac Brochet and saying goodbye to the Cochrane.
Complete Coverage
The Original Bug Shirt Company
  July 14, 2002 - Bill and Lynda reached Bigstone Rapids last evening and decided to wait until morning before making a decision on how they want to proceed. In the morning they decide to line the rapids rather than run them or carry around them. The whole process proves very difficult and includes some mis-footings which end up with a swim, the arduous sawing through of several sweepers and a tough ferry to change to the opposite shore to avoid a very difficult section. At Caribou Rapids rapids they decide to run them but somehow get turned around backwards into the tongue, perhaps this is why they decide to line the next rapids they encounter. After runing several more rapids they pass into Manitoba on the Cochrane River. Lynda pushes to reach P G Downes "chain of little lakes" which has many artifacts which speak of the areas rich history. This region provides a dramatic change in scenery as well as much evidence of the past including a large Caribou corral.
Complete Coverage

July 19, 2002 - Having crossed the Kasmere Portage they end the day camping at Graves Lake. A Dene graveyard lies above them which is reference by P G Downs. After a visit and some thoughts about Downs take on the site, they paddle to a new tourist camp in the area. Bill makes an interesting offer to the kids that will follow through this area by canoe later this summer. He then recounts some of the areas rich history as they follow the four portages into the Putahow River and the camp at Eskimo Charlie's, one of the norths colourful charecters. After a series of rapids which they either portaged, lined, ran or some combination of these Bill and Lynda have reached Nueltin Lake. Along the way they stopped at a cairn where they left a note six years earlier, promising to return.
Complete Coverage

Wednesday July 24, 2002 - Bill and Lynda are now at Simon's Point on the southend of Nueltin Lake. Passing by "Indian Camp Island" Bill notes this is the "Sleeping Island" from the PG Downes'
book. After several portages is only one (with any luck) left before they join the free running Thlewiaza. Again Bill elaborates on some of the fascinating history which this area has a wealth of. Throughout this section they are greeted by spectacular scenery and have the chance to view a wide range of wildlife including a close up of an artic wolf.
Complete Coverage

Saturday July 27, 2002 - About 2/3 of the distance covered they are camped in an area of legend. The remains of a Hudson's Bay Company trading posts, landmarks named after northern legends, tales of caribou hunts are all pointed out and related by Bill as they wait out the weather. Seven days of bad weather and ferocious storms still have Bill and Lynda pinned. The only bright spot during the ordeal are the sighting of several caribou which wandered by the camp. Finally the weather lets up a little and Bill and Lynda are back on the water and have now reached the entrance to the river where they say goodbye to Nueltin Lake.
Complete Coverage

Monday August 5, 2002 - Things are looking a little better in respect to the weather. Caribou are appearing everywhere and providing some of the highlights of thier day. Back on the river Bill and Lynda are challenged by wild rapids, some of which they run, some they line and some they portage. Bill describes some of the interesting natural features and the forces that act upon them and continously change the landscape. Within 90 miles of Hudson's Bay and trips end, they see a Ranger Seal, the first sightning of what should prove to me many as the salt water begins to mix with the fresh water of the river.
Complete Coverage

Saturday August 10, 2002 - Mixed weather including storms are slowing Bill and Lyndas progress. Tundra swans and caribou join them as they make there way across Ranger Seal Lake. Back on the river they catch up with a group of young women from Manito-Wish Camp in Minnesota. Bill and Lynda are having mixed feelings now with only 15 miles left to the Bay and trip's end. Bill and Lynda have arrived in Arviat so it's goodbye until next year's expedition.
Complete Coverage



Looking for more information on Canoeing in Canada then check out our Canoe Section & Links
Out-There's Canoeing in Canada
Out-There's Canoe Links

If you want some GREAT reading about the area we plan to go to, find the following two books at your library.

Sleeping Island, P.G. Downes, Western Producer Prairie Books, ISBN 0-88833-256-4.

When the Foxes Ran, Gerry Dunning, self-published.

Toward Magnetic North, The Oberholtzer Foundation, ISBN, 0-970318-0-2

The "Oberholtzer" book is a must have, you can get a copy by contacting Jean Replinger at 507-532-5097 (

Live text edited by Joan Eyolfson Cadham, freelance writer/editor, Foam Lake Saskatchewan.

Bill also has regular radio interviews via his Globalstar satellite phone through CBC Saskatchewan and MBC (Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation). Archives of some of these interviews along with trip coverage is available at the KCDC site.


Bill will be communicating
with us from the north, via a
GLOBALSTAR satellite
phone, linked by a
SOCKETCOM cable, to a
handheld "Pocket PC"


  Coppermine River, Northwest Territories - by Bill Layman
Dubawnt River - Map & Trip Outline. Bill Layman and Lynda Holland's 2001 trip on the Dubawnt River Northwest Territories & Nunavut.
Dubawnt River - Paddling the Dubawnt - A General Guide to the River - by Bill Layman
Fond du Lac River, Saskatchewan - by Bill Layman
Kazan River, Nunavut - by Bill Layman
Thelon River, Northwest Territories/Nunavut - by Bill Layman
Thlewiaza River, Manitoba/Nunavut - by Bill Layman

Canoe Gear For The Subarctic - by Bill Layman
Check out Bill Layman's bio - with other Trips & Stories by Bill



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