Shopping For Canoe Trip Down The Yukon.
Following a year or two of contemplating, I find myself in Pacific North West preparing for a canoe trip down the Yukon River. Brother in law Ted had a few days work ahead before we pulled out leaving me to the shopping. Aware of, but unfamiliar with problems we may encounter led me listening to the advice of a bemused owner of a small General Store. I mentioned that someone in our group wasn’t keen on a high DEET content in the insect repellent. His reply, ‘if you are going to the ‘Yukon’ this repellent here, (100% DEET), is for those that are serious about mosquitoes’. ‘However that one over there is for the non believers’. I heard him well, after which I focused on common sense things.
Three Americans, two New Zealanders finally pull into Whitehorse, and picked up two canoes. One of them being a large twenty footer that we two New Zealanders, who had proven at earlier trials to be not very canoe savvy, saw as being a much safer prospect, so made an early claim. Obviously the larger canoe carried three people plus most of the heavier and bulky gear. A guy on the bank commented, ‘be taking a little more beer if I was you’. We looked at each other and agreed we could fit a little more on.
Fish caught on the way with the aid of local knowledge, along with mushrooms picked here and there provided pleasant diet changes. Having never been so far north or south latitude before, things were noticeably different. Nights, although were increasing by fifteen minutes of per day, were only five hours long. The day time temperature was much higher than I would have ever imagined. There was zero twilight so our campsite and tent had to be sorted before the five minute change over from light to dark.
Two bears had left their muddy footprints in our canoes one night. Two New Zealanders were delighted they were content with that experience and didn’t wish to extend their adventures further, believing our flimsy tent would have been rather inadequate protection. Looking back, that trip over eight days was one of the best things I have done. As always the adventure and camaraderie with friends and family achieving common interests wins out.