You can follow my progress using my SPOT tracker, just like my other expeditions. Click on this link to access tracking. You will find my messages posted on my loveyourbigmuddy expedition page. My concern is power as i do not have my solar panel this time. SPOT takes batteries so i can keep it going. I will post messages using my satellite communicator. I should be back in Whitehorse in a couple weeks. I hope to work out kinks by then. Cheers all! Heading to Atlin in an hour so it may be a Monday splash. Going with the flow!!!
I arrived in Whitehorse yesterday, but nothing boring about the trip.
I will post here some of my Facebook “LoveYourBigMuddy Expedition” page posts because that is my main media for sharing.
Here we go…
I practiced packing in the kayak Tuesday morning. The foldable kayak is only 14′, three feet shorter than my other boat, Blue Moon. And, the owner who loaned it to me is a minimalist, of which i am NOT. I think i did pretty good for my practice run.
I made it in time to the airport for a burger before departure, but international search was cumbersome:
Air Canada would not let me on the plane b/c two minutes late because i was redirected through security for 3 ounces of water in my water bottle. I ‘missed’ my flight!! Let the adventure begin!! (I was actually quite ticked off!)
There’s my plane, six minutes past departure time, still sitting there, without me on it.
BUT THEN, as soon as i sat back down after photo-journaling the incident, they came and got me, something about couldn’t find my bags (4 of them, mind you!), and the plane had to be delayed. So, off i went, now quite polite, and slept all the way to Toronto.
Whew! Close call. Must’ve been angels on the wings…
The whole flight scheduled took 19 hours, three flights: St. Louis to Toronto to Vancouver (eight-hour layover) to Whitehorse. The flights were all wonderful, but best of all was the last segment to Whitehorse:
The magic is beginning to swirl around the expedition. I was blessed with another perfect flight on Canada Air AND a port-side seat looking west. We flew RIGHT OVER Atlin Lake, Llewelyn Glacier, and the Atlin River which is my exit stream off Atlin Lake. Oh, the thrill was incredible!!! Kid in a candy shop! WOW!
The source i am headed to is Llewelyn Glacier in the upper center of the photo. SO AWESOME!
Next Lake is Tagish, which was showing some signs of glacial waters.
I am camped now with a rental car and gathering the very lasy of my gear, trying not to accumulate too much. I picked up a new canister of Bear Spray, and a wool blend shirt for cold nights. I bought a burger and fries last night, YUM, and a Starbuck’s coffee this morning, YUM, after trying to get a shower in, but no darn hot water.
Feeling good now, at the library watching the river go by, Yukon River, that is, and squeezing in one last blog post. Earlier i sat by the river by camp and wrote this post:
The Great River Yukon making a couple twists and turns before presenting itself to the city of Whitehorse. Of course, there IS a paved path in a sweeping multi-mile loop up and down both sides of the river, with vista benches strategically placed, bicycles content to carry their happy riders, strollers with tiny passengers who are comforted by the babbling of their river sibling, dogs with swinging tails walking their obedient owners, joggers jogging, and walkers chatting.
Whitehorse is a hard-core river town in the middle of the Yukon wilderness. Life is ‘in’ the ‘outdoors’ (at least in the summer), as it should be. Strive to love what YOU do, inside and out, and do what you love.
Peace Out. Fasten your seat belts. We’re going on an adventure!!!
Lots to do, lots to do. Last day of school was last Thursday, so there was only so much I could do while school was in session. Teaching is an overtime job, with barely enough hours in the day. I have been taking care of a few major planning details over the last month, though.
I have activated my Inreach-Garmin satellite communicator. I will have lots of time in the airports during layovers to fuss with it. My flight to Whitehorse is 19 hours on three planes, so I am looking at a lot of down time. I have sent a test message to my Facebook Page so I am on my way to being prepared.
I have spent time twice in the last month assembling the Klepper T9 foldable kayak. I have a pretty good handle on it now. Today I will assemble one last time before leaving on Tuesday. I need to pack all my gear in little dry bags and figure out how everything will fit into the bowels of the boat. There are a lot of ribs to work around, making packing and unpacking a challenge in and of itself.
Big thanks again to Cascade Designs for allowing me continued access to their PRO Discount for all of their gear companies: MSR (they make my tent and stove), Thermarest (the best sleeping pads), and Seal Line (source of my new dry bags).
I have been dehydrating vegetables, fruit and jerky 24-7 this past week. A drying session can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours, so the assembly line must keep moving. I am trying to dry enough so that I can pack a bunch in my resupply box being mailed to the Yukon River Camp located where the Dalton Bridge crosses the river. I estimate it is a little under half way. Veggies, Knorr Sides, dry milk, coffee, dark chocolate are a few of the resupply items I’ll be mailing away.
EDDYLINE KAYAKS-I’m just saying, I wasn’t going to pursue corporate sponsorship for this expedition, but Eddyline Kayaks, they’ve supported me all the way. They are the sweet friendship every expeditioner should have with a company. We weren’t able to feasibly work out boat support, but paddles have been a key component of their contribution to my success. Carbon paddles are extremely important for me as the feather weight makes so much difference in my case (more about that at another time). I asked them for a new carbon paddle and, without hesitation, I was granted one.
Here is a map of two potential starting routes. I can paddle a loop (gold route) down to the glacier on Atlin Lake, or travel down behind Teresa Island (pink route) with maximum wind protection. I would backtrack to get out, so I’m partial to the loop (gold). The road goes right to Warren Bay and a campsite is located there. I will find someone in Whitehorse to shuttle my rental car back to town after dropping me off. I am welling up with excitement at the thought of this stunning section of the trip. Taking it slow and easy to absorb and enjoy the beauty will be my MO–method of operation. 🙂
Once I get back up to the top of Teresa Island, I will head down the Atlin River to begin the long journey to the Sea.
I have already had conversations with some Atlin locals. I intend to have more. If it were easy, everyone would do it. We’ve got ourselves an adventure here, folks! Climb aboard!
ONE MORE THING: My Atlin contact and now known as, Atlin Lake River Angel, Hans wrote in an email to me yesterday:
Good to hear from you!
Atlin Lake started opening up a few days ago – there is no longer ice from town all the way south as far as we can see. After next week it should be all melted and ready for any adventures.”
Music to my ears, Hans. Thanks so much!
ATLIN WEATHER FOR NEXT WEEK??? Sweet stuff…
Do what you love and love what you do. Until next time…
Don’t forget to follow along on my Facebook Page: LoveYourBigMuddy Expedition. And, I am going to try and post on Instagram, too, for my students who are following me. #loveyourbigmuddy