Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Big Salmon River

Well, we left the potatoes and carrots to fend for themselves, turned on the electric fence and set off for a canoe trip on the Big Salmon River. I pretty much could have worn my toasty outfit motorboat for the first week on the river as well because it was that cold:

So here's my confession: while I'm an experienced flatwater kayaker, whitewater strikes fear in my heart. Especially when sitting in a canoe instead of a kayak, and even more especially with our nervous ninny of a dog in the canoe. I have had no whitewater experience before this trip, and the most difficult section of the Big Salmon (a class II river) happens to be right at the beginning - a logjam that somebody had cut an opening through with a chainsaw, making for a keyhole chute flanked by pointy branches. We got stuck for interminable seconds on a submerged log, zigzagged our way past the sprinkling of more pointy branches (all the while shouting at the dog to lie down), and I was almost ready to quit. But after repeated assurances by my boyfriend that this was the worst part, I got back into the boat. And - he was right!

The rest was more like this:

The landscape was different every day, and so was the always translucent river, serving up riffles and waves over boulders, sandbanks, almost stagnant sleepy stretches and parts where you can see the water actually flows downhill.

As the weather warmed, out came the horseflies in numbers that not only drove our dog wild, but us as well. We ended up sweating many an afternoon away in the tent, out of reach of the flies.

A more pleasant sight was this lynx, stalking a couple of birds along shore:

Even though our dog was thoroughly fed up with canoeing by the time we reached the Yukon River and hanging half his body over the gunwale every 30 seconds, we managed to make it to Carmacks without getting wet.

We got home just in time to save the potatoes and carrots from shrivelling up and are now gearing up for winter: it's almost moose hunting time.
And, having landed a book deal with a large German publisher, I have a novel to write!