This leg of the trip involved paddling 460 miles down the Yukon River in northern Canada, just the two of us. “What’s that sound?” I asked, hearing the hiss of white noise. After slogging through the still waters of Lake Laberge, a very large widening of the river that causes the current to fade to nothing, in a drizzly rain, for 3 very long days we were more than thrilled to see the river again. This is the best platform for dipnetting. We weren’t moving fast, but the scenery was compelling, with dead quiet water and a high cliff dotted with swallows nests towering over us on the right. The far northern reaches of the continent have long been a draw for me and Steve. © 2016 Inga's Adventures. On the Thirty Mile River section, we will be introduced to the wonderful world of swift water with an extensive introduction and/or review of swift water techniques and safety. Like its … This massive freighter canoe is sufficient to push two hunters, two bull moose, and a heavy camp against rivers like the Yukon. The first night, when I realized how alone we were, I felt a rush of panic, but today, while it gave me pause, I relished the feeling that the river was ours. That still gave us enough time to set up camp, fire up the camp stove to boil water for our hot chocolate and re-hydrate our freeze-dried meals. All of a sudden a gust of wind interrupted my reverie and I popped up like a jack in the box. Use without permission is prohibited. Days 6-17: Canoeing and exploring the Yukon … From the narrow confines of the “30 Mile”, the river broadened to become braided with sandbars and tree covered islands. Both found the freedom of an unpopulated or later, sparsely populated land, and found much to celebrate and curse, for the ample natural resources of the land is tempered, not by excessive regulation, but by harsh living conditions in the long, dark winters. We’ve been to Alaska and the Yukon to hike, backpack, canoe and sightsee so many times that I’ve lost … Travel Canoe from Sea Eagle. Without even realizing it we had become one with the river, adapting to its rhythm, two more sojourners flowing downstream, harmonizing peacefully with the natural world. (Royalex) Here in the Yukon no one asked us if we had any paddling skills, knew where we would be day to day, or what we were doing. The Yukon is one of a very few places where one can experience boundless wilderness. We fussed over the canoe, tying everything down and making sure everything was there– life jackets, sponge, bucket and paddles. I leaned against the upside-down canoe with our last glass of wine and watched the river flow past, careless to the activity I knew we would find in Dawson City tomorrow. (Royalite) Exploring Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, Planning your Chilkoot Trail backpacking trip, A Northern Wilderness Adventure-Chilkoot Trail, The Hungry Spork: A Long Distance Hiker’s Guide to Meal Planning (book). Weight: 69 lb. Most trails begin with a welcoming sign followed by a lengthy list of what not to do. The hump on his back sent shivers down mine. We have completely re-designed our Northern Canoe offering for 2019. During the winter of 1897–1898 the Klondike gold rushers crossed the Chilkoot Pass and reached the frozen lakes of the upper Yukon … I slid into a reverie, warmed by the sun. Other operators can give you advice, provide information and rent you the appropriate equipment for a clean and simple self-guided excursion. The radius of the area is estimated to be about 22.71 kilometres … We paddled in a straight line. Once we learned to let the boat turn with the force of the wind, we found we could easily right ourselves a little later. The Yukon River Quest is the world’s longest annual canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard race. Neither of us paddled. Suddenly I remembered a passage from an explorer’s account of the Yukon. Exploring Yukon from the water is an unbeatable way to experience our wilderness, and offers opportunities for beginners and pros alike. We cocked our heads this way and that, listening closely. Steeped in heritage and acclaimed internationally for renowned canoe design and quality, Clipper Canoes has developed a reputation as being one of North America’s top-rated canoe manufacturers. “What?” I shouted incredulously. Flotation chambers in both the bow and stern add buoyancy to ensure the Yukon … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “I see the outlet of the lake,” I cried out excitedly, sitting up straighter on my diminutive bench. We spun around one more time, then straightened up the canoe and laughed about our different approaches, reflecting our personalities, Steve, ever advancing toward danger, while I tried to establish a small margin of safety. One of the worst fire seasons in history hung over the Yukon … The water whipped up tiny whitecaps that in the Pacific would be negligible, but seemed to take on considerable significance for our tiny craft. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. I looked around and found that we were, indeed, going to live. The Charley River demands more advanced skills, but … It wasn’t until days later that he told me how close. The fine grains of rock resulting from the grinding action of the glaciers obscured the clarity of the river. I contemplated the number of people that might be between me and the North Pole—not many based on the official count of 0.17 persons per square mile. Price: $1,649-$1,999. We quickly set up our kitchen on a makeshift table constructed by previous tenants, laying out the last treats I had saved, including Jiffy-Pop popcorn to bring to life over the fire, and a treasured can of juicy peaches to enjoy with our last supper, Chicken a la King with a side of sliced carrots. The amount of bureaucratic red tape required to gain access to many wilderness areas in the U.S. is staggering. I thought of the early explorers, the ones who came across the Bering land bridge. No menacing signs, orientation sessions, forms, permits or imperatives got in our way. I quashed any concerns about not feeling ready and reached for my paddle—it was too late for a panic attack. This slough might have looked similar when they first saw it for this land was fairly temperate, even in the last ice age. The clear, swift water and the superb scenery of the coast mountains compete for your attention. Capacity: 440-640 lb. As much as we tried to control the forces of nature, our puny efforts were no match. “It would have been bad,” he said in his dry, laconic style. Steve took his turn with the binoculars and began paddling as well. We test it out on a very narrow river. I run a canoe … Letting go of my fears allowed me to embrace the ebb and flow of each day, fully absorbing each experience. Prior to this our sole paddling experience had been a two-hour guided tour in inflatable kayaks on the Dart River in New Zealand and some quiet afternoons canoeing on Green Lake in Whistler. We practically flew down the “30 Mile” section, said to be the most beautiful part of the entire river, with crystal clear blue-green water magnifying the pebbles below, fat grayling and arctic char swimming evasively under the boat, and thick stands of spruce lining the banks along the narrowed waterway, so close we could easily cross from bank to bank with a couple of strong paddles. All Rights Reserved. The current in much of the Yukon is swift, but there are only 2 sets of rapids, and both are short, and not particularly difficult. Overview This trip encompasses some of the most remote and beautiful landscapes on Earth. Introducing more models brought over from our Swift canoe line, as well as some new lightweight laminates and options, the … The mist lifted to display the remains of the SS Evelyn, one of the 250 sternwheelers that used to ply these waters, and we eagerly beached the canoe to explore the area. One afternoon the sun was out and we were drawn into a side slough, the main current far away on the other side of an island. We hadn’t tipped the canoe. These are some of the best: Nova Prospector 17 Esquif Prospector 17 Wenonah Cascade Swift Dumoine Swift Yukon … Wilderness Adventures in British Columbia & Yukon since 1988 . We poked around the first of many abandoned cabins we would discover along the way, marveling at the small size and rough interior, though outfitted with glass window panes to allow light to penetrate. However, in summer, as we were experiencing, the weather is mild and forgiving, allowing exploration in relative comfort. Excelling in Fibreglass, Kevlar, Carbon. Much later, in the late 1800’s, the first hardy gold seekers would have floated down this same stretch, seeing the granite domes of the hills and the island in the river, filled with a sense of wonder after leaving their domesticated farms and gritty cities in search of fortune and adventure. Trips on the Yukon are usually done by canoe rather than rafting. The next day, after a filling breakfast of instant oatmeal, a cup of hot tea, orange-flavored Tang, and a slice of salami, we paddled north, toward the Arctic Circle. Axis of the region, the silt-laden Yukon here flows constricted and swift … Discover why the Yukon … The Yukon has the capacity to be a good family canoe and is also suited for wilderness tripping. They, like most other wildlife we saw, never noticed our silent canoe freely slipping by—we were just part of the landscape. Typically, we head out on the water in the early afternoon. “Have a good time, see you at the other end,” said the outfitter cheerily with a wave after wheeling our well-stocked canoe to the riverbank on a dolly. Handles whitewater and tripping conditions well. On our last full day we pulled in earlier than usual to avoid civilization for one more night and savor our last evening on the river. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. “Yeah, there you go. Over the last 31 years, Swift and AO have tested the latest in canoe technology using the AO rental fleet and … The long daylight hours give us lots of time to enjoy the vast scenery! Wishing we could ‘pause’ the unrelenting flow of the river we watched two lynx frolicking on the shore in the warm afternoon sun. YUKON RIVER GUIDED CANOEING “The Yukon River, our first choice for paddling into the past.” Canoe and Kayak Magazine. I considered the lessons of mastery and acceptance the river patiently taught me, leading me from my fear of the unknown to the self-reliance I gained. Length: 17`-6" Swift Canoe & Kayak owner Bill Swift says the genesis for the Cruiser’s shape started with one of Yost’s earlier marathon racing canoes, the Sawyer Shockwave. A happy ending to Canoe week! “Dig in!” Steve said. With a slight rocker (see "Canoes, Deconstructed"), this canoe is beginner-friendly, slipping gracefully in and out of eddies and proving stable even with a light load. So far so good. The preferred engine for this model is a … I gazed at the swift current in the middle of the broad river, which suddenly seemed to be moving faster than it had before, then at the towering clay riverbank topped with stunted spruce trees on the other side, and wondered what I was getting myself into. Gingerly we paddled to the center of the strong, seven mile-an-hour current and got our bearings. seaeagle.com. We were living one of our dreams, to follow the Klondike Gold Rush path from Alaska to the Yukon, re-tracing the steps of the hardy, or fool-hardy, Argonauts of the late 1800s. Eagles stood in trees in twos and threes, finding easy meals with the plentiful fish. I couldn’t figure out why were spinning around–after so many days paddling together we had mastered synchronizing our strokes. I leaped confidently out of the canoe as we angled onto the beach, grabbed the bow line and hauled the canoe in. Meet up with your guides in the morning and gather gear to begin the canoeing portion of our trip. Over the last 15 years Steve and I developed a fascination with the history of Northern settlers, from the ancient crossing of the Bering land bridge that landed the first aboriginal people 20,000 years ago, to the gold seekers a century ago. My thoughts wandered from the confines of the boat down the placid river and on to the Arctic Circle. The current slowed and instead of tight turns the curves became more meandering. We were alone. Weight: 79 lb. We saw no one and heard nothing but our own voices, the water dripping off our oars and the cries of the eagles. A wave of sadness swept over me as the realization sank in that it was over, knowing that river likely had many more lessons to share that couldn’t be rushed, but rather, had to be experienced as circumstances unfolded. I grabbed my paddle, preparing for I knew not what. And we hadn’t even dumped the canoe, though we came very close. Then, he says, “We gave the Cruiser more … In contrast, our Yukon River expedition began abruptly without any regulation-laden preface. This leg of the trip involved paddling 460 miles down the Yukon River in northern Canada, just the two of us. We spoke in hushed tones, our voices sounding unnaturally amplified, as we unconsciously became part of the quiet land. We stuffed our clothing and supplies into large dry bags, and pushed our freeze dried food, fresh fruits and vegetables, and bottles of wine (all too few) into the food barrel. “Shhh,” we said to each other, wanting to prolong our surreptitious viewing. Moose tracks criss-crossed the sandy beach. We had a healthy respect for the unpredictable nature of these bruins but half-hoped we’d see one, preferably from a safe distance. Frequent visitors to our campsites included chattering red squirrels and squawking gray jays looking for a handout. The Yukon integrates a remarkable balance of performance characteristics to suit northern paddling conditions. Broad wings flapped mightily, whipping the still morning air, shrill cries filling the sound waves. It is an excellent choice for every kind of paddling, from local white-water rivers to offshore coastal waters. You’re a real river woman now,” said Steve with a smile. At the end of that day, you should be able to steer a canoe on moving water, keep a straight course or get … After eating a quick lunch of pita bread stuffed with canned chicken and cabbage we piled back in the canoe with renewed vigor, now appreciating the swift current that looked so ominous the first day. I thought about the hundreds of miles more that the river still must course before it spread out into countless braids of water streaming into the Bering Sea, free, yet confined to its banks, and what a small speck we were in this vast land. Here is my account. Check out our new to us "Swift" canoe! Weight: 62 lb. Though forever changed by the discovery of gold, the landscape does not suffer the pressures of being loved to death like so many of the National Parks in the U.S., partly due to the remoteness of the land, partly due to less developed tourism infrastructure. We had no electronic gear with us. Scores of eagles soared overhead, their white heads contrasting with the jet-black ravens that competed for airspace. I don't think … Prior to this our sole paddling experience had been a two-hour guided tour in inflatable kayaks on … We were a small part of nature that surrounded us, and found the paddling easy in the swift current. “The water was less than an inch away from flooding the canoe,” he said later, over a glass of wine, far downriver. Putting all our learnings to use that day we stopped at a side creek to get clear water, collected our beaver wood from a log jam, paddled expertly from side to side to catch the fastest current, and were rewarded with one of the best campsites of the entire two week trip at Ogilvie Island. For dessert we enjoyed a crunchy, sweet apple and a piece of rich, dark chocolate. As long as we stayed far enough from shore that we didn’t get entangled with brush and downed trees we were safe from danger. Off we went, full of energy, and perhaps some trepidation, as we embarked on a journey into the wilderness—true untamed wilderness. By using this site, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions as described in this, Lady Evelyn River/Maple Mountain/Sugar Lake Loop, Opasatika/Missinaibi/Moose Rivers from Highway 11. Swift River is a settlement in the Canadian territory of Yukon, primarily a service stop on the Alaska Highway at historical mile 733. Swift canoe, Dumoine in Royalex plastic, 16' 8" long.New this was a $1600 boat- Swift still makes this, but not in the plastic.Asking $800, open to offers.From online; asymetrical design, can … We bent down closer to the canoe and marveled at the sound miniscule grains of sand could produce. Our eagle count dropped from dozens in a day to one or two per day, but the venerable raven, held in great esteem by northern aboriginal people, was ubiquitous. The expedition travels … I saw the bow angle toward the right bank and paddled harder to correct the course, to no avail. The boat started feeling precarious and visions of bodies and clothing scattering across the river propelled me to dig harder. I waited for last minute instructions about government regulations or life-saving tips but the outfitter had turned away and was walking toward the street, whistling happily. One evening we were greeted by a great spray of water from a beaver tail as we pulled onto a sandbar and were serenaded by the sound of tails slapping long into the night. By now we were in sync with the river. I stepped resolutely into the bow of the canoe making sure not to tip it, glancing back at my husband, Steve, who looked gleeful and carefree as we pushed off from the muddy beach in the middle of the small town of Whitehorse, a town bisected by the Yukon River. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. With the sun hanging low in the sky Steve stared across the river to the shore wistfully and casually said, “What about the Teslin River?” and I knew it wasn’t over–we would be back one day. We progressed down the river. Enjoy sweeping panoramas of mountains, plateaus, and river valleys as you search for grizzlies, caribou, … We learned that the morning rains often gave way to clear skies so we’d just snuggle into our sleeping bags when we heard the pitter- patter of raindrops. I stopped paddling and found myself looking upstream as the canoe found its own sweet spot, going backwards. The Yukon grew out of paddler requests for a larger Dumoine with greater capacity. A gentle rain during the night taught us a valuable lesson, filling the canoe with puddles of water, and after that we turned the canoe over each evening so the interior would stay dry. Now we were in sync, as I gained confidence and we learned to work together, and with the river. Has a very good glide and is easy to keep up at cruising speed. Tripping canoes I have been contemplating a new tripping canoe. Day 5 -16: The canoe trip down the Yukon … That evening we found an obvious campsite with little trouble and feasted on our fresh food, starting with appetizers of sharp cheese and peppery salami, then supplemented our reconstituted  freeze dried meal of Beef Stroganoff with a salad of cabbage, crisp carrots and piquant radishes smothered with ranch dressing, and washed it all down with a glass of Pinot Noir. “It’s the sound of the glacial silt running under the fiberglass canoe,” I said. Steve, spotter extraordinaire, made the sighting, again on the right bank. The water moved silently and unceasingly, careless to the activity of our preparations on the shore. This gave new meaning to the phrase, “go with the flow” and we learned to do just that, letting the river be the guide. One lay on his back, paws up in the air, while the other batted mischievously at him and nuzzled his playmate, just like my housecats at home. The 8-day canoe trip down the Yukon from Whitehorse to Carmacks is specially tailored for visitors who like to travel far away from tourist routes, following the trail of the old history. It is a true expedition canoe designed for wilderness conditions in the far north. The river began a series of tight “S” curves, challenging us to find the sweet spot, that place where wind, water and paddle align to propel us forward smoothly. Deep in Interior Alaska, the great Yukon River strikes through bluffs and mountains of an ancient landscape to unmask rocks whose histories reach back a billion years to life's beginnings on Earth. Locals are necessarily self-sufficient in the North and they presume that if you need information you’ll ask for it, otherwise the assumption is that you know what you’re doing and can take care of yourself. 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