swift yukon canoe

swift yukon canoe

One of the worst fire seasons in history hung over the Yukon … However, in summer, as we were experiencing, the weather is mild and forgiving, allowing exploration in relative comfort. 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. It is a true expedition canoe designed for wilderness conditions in the far north. 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. Check out our new to us "Swift" canoe! 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. One day in the canoe Steve whispered, “Look on the right bank.” Scanning the distance I noticed some movement. Canoeing the Yukon A 16-foot canoe loaded with food, 500 miles of wilderness ahead of us, camping on islands under the stars: paddling down the Yukon River remains one of my favourite adventures. 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. “What?” I asked, “I’m trying to get away from him!” I had been attempting to turn the canoe in one direction, while Steve had been turning it the other, resulting in our merry-go-round. We bent down closer to the canoe and marveled at the sound miniscule grains of sand could produce. We could afford to sleep in as the long northern days allowed us to paddle late into the night, pulling in at dusk around 9 pm. I looked around and found that we were, indeed, going to live. 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. This is the best platform for dipnetting. 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. The weak Northern sun almost felt warm on my face and I dozed. 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. Trips on the Yukon are usually done by canoe rather than rafting. 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. Tripping canoes I have been contemplating a new tripping canoe. seaeagle.com. Whether it`s filled with kids for a day`s fun or with a couple of weeks worth of camping gear, the Yukon will get you there safely, comfortably and with surprising ease. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. I grabbed the binoculars and the bulky blond bear came into sharp focus. Typically, we head out on the water in the early afternoon. We were a small part of nature that surrounded us, and found the paddling easy in the swift current. “Nope, not for a couple of days,” Steve replied. 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. Use without permission is prohibited. Width: 37" I recently sold 2 cedar strip canoes and purchased a Swift Yukon in royalex. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. “Did we see anyone today?” I asked quietly, not wanting to disturb the peaceful scene, but realizing that we hadn’t seen anyone for quite awhile. I looked back at Steve and said, “What are you doing?”, He said, “I’m trying to get a closer look.”. I dug, but nothing useful happened. The preferred engine for this model is a … We hadn’t tipped the canoe. Enjoy sweeping panoramas of mountains, plateaus, and river valleys as you search for grizzlies, caribou, … Wishing we could ‘pause’ the unrelenting flow of the river we watched two lynx frolicking on the shore in the warm afternoon sun. We had no electronic gear with us. The hump on his back sent shivers down mine. (Royalite) The water moved silently and unceasingly, careless to the activity of our preparations on the shore. Weight: 62 lb. Choose from our selection of Canadian made lightweight Canoes, Kayaks and Pack Boats. Length: 17`-6" The long daylight hours give us lots of time to enjoy the vast scenery! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This leg of the trip involved paddling 460 miles down the Yukon River in northern Canada, just the two of us. “It’s the sound of the glacial silt running under the fiberglass canoe,” I said. 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. 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. Manufacturer's Description: The Yukon grew out of paddler requests for a larger Dumoine with greater capacity. Prior to this our sole paddling experience had been a two-hour guided tour in inflatable kayaks on … A wolf danced on the beach with his fresh kill, a large herd of mountain goats somehow clung to high, barren cliffs and a fisher stealthily swam to shore off in the distance. For dessert we enjoyed a crunchy, sweet apple and a piece of rich, dark chocolate. All of a sudden a gust of wind interrupted my reverie and I popped up like a jack in the box. “The wind is kicking up pretty good swells,” said Steve, gesturing toward the water. Flotation chambers in both the bow and stern add buoyancy to ensure the Yukon … The Yukon has the capacity to be a good family canoe and is also suited for wilderness tripping. I don't think … “What?” I shouted incredulously. Glacial fed rivers dumped their load of chocolate milk colored water, heavy with silt. 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. Days 6-17: Canoeing and exploring the Yukon … Licensed guides from Yukon Wild operators will reveal Yukon’s secret places to you over the course of a multi-day adventure. 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. 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. We paddled in a straight line. I thought about all the unknowns we faced the first day, how foreign it had felt to be on the water, the uncertainty I felt stepping into the canoe and the strangeness of being so isolated. A happy ending to Canoe week! 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. Suddenly I remembered a passage from an explorer’s account of the Yukon. It starts in Whitehorse and sees participants paddling day and night to reach … “I see the outlet of the lake,” I cried out excitedly, sitting up straighter on my diminutive bench. 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. The expedition travels … 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. As signs of civilization receded we noticed fewer houses, then finally none at all. Steve took his turn with the binoculars and began paddling as well. We fussed over the canoe, tying everything down and making sure everything was there– life jackets, sponge, bucket and paddles. 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. The first day Steve and I were in different places, he jovial and relaxed, while I worried about the unknown. The Yukon grew out of paddler requests for a larger Dumoine with greater capacity. Frequent visitors to our campsites included chattering red squirrels and squawking gray jays looking for a handout. My thoughts wandered from the confines of the boat down the placid river and on to the Arctic Circle. 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. Has a very good glide and is easy to keep up at cruising speed. In contrast, our Yukon River expedition began abruptly without any regulation-laden preface. You’re a real river woman now,” said Steve with a smile. The amount of bureaucratic red tape required to gain access to many wilderness areas in the U.S. is staggering. 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. 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. 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. I leaped confidently out of the canoe as we angled onto the beach, grabbed the bow line and hauled the canoe in. Excelling in Fibreglass, Kevlar, Carbon. The Yukon River Quest is the world’s longest annual canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard race. The water whipped up tiny whitecaps that in the Pacific would be negligible, but seemed to take on considerable significance for our tiny craft. This leg of the trip involved paddling 460 miles down the Yukon River in northern Canada, just the two of us. We have completely re-designed our Northern Canoe offering for 2019. It wasn’t until days later that he told me how close. You’ll spend the long, relaxed days of summer paddling, camping in tents and eating by the campfire under the midnight sun. Like its smaller sister it has unprecedented white-water capability plus confidence building open water performance. YUKON RIVER GUIDED CANOEING “The Yukon River, our first choice for paddling into the past.” Canoe and Kayak Magazine. I quashed any concerns about not feeling ready and reached for my paddle—it was too late for a panic attack. By now we were in sync with the river. Eagles stood in trees in twos and threes, finding easy meals with the plentiful fish. Weight: 79 lb. 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. 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. 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 … After a tumultuous blur of barked instructions, paddling this way and that. We progressed down the river. Originally published as Rolling Down the River-How the Yukon Can Transform a Traveller, p. 16 in Coast and Kayak Magazine (Fall 2012). We’ve been to Alaska and the Yukon to hike, backpack, canoe and sightsee so many times that I’ve lost … Broad wings flapped mightily, whipping the still morning air, shrill cries filling the sound waves. 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. Discover why the Yukon … 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. 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. We test it out on a very narrow river. And we hadn’t even dumped the canoe, though we came very close. I put in a little more effort to straighten us out but to my dismay we still went in circles. Other operators can give you advice, provide information and rent you the appropriate equipment for a clean and simple self-guided excursion. Meet up with your guides in the morning and gather gear to begin the canoeing portion of our trip. Here we were in the fight of our life and we were just going to succumb? A wide clearing provided ample room for our tent. Off we went, full of energy, and perhaps some trepidation, as we embarked on a journey into the wilderness—true untamed wilderness. As we proceeded over the next few days a few rivers joined the Yukon and the character of the river changed. 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. Price: $1,649-$1,999. I thought of the early explorers, the ones who came across the Bering land bridge. Overview This trip encompasses some of the most remote and beautiful landscapes on Earth. Our wildlife count for the day stood at wolf-1, beaver-2, mountain goat-30, human-0. I grabbed my paddle, preparing for I knew not what. From the narrow confines of the “30 Mile”, the river broadened to become braided with sandbars and tree covered islands. At the end of that day, you should be able to steer a canoe on moving water, keep a straight course or get … “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. Moose tracks criss-crossed the sandy beach. The bear reared up and crashed into the bushes, his peace, and ours, dispelled, and that’s the last we saw of him. Day 5 -16: The canoe trip down the Yukon … 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. We even came to enjoy it, those times when we’d lose our edge and spin around in a circle like a teacup ride at the fair. I couldn’t figure out why were spinning around–after so many days paddling together we had mastered synchronizing our strokes. 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. This gave new meaning to the phrase, “go with the flow” and we learned to do just that, letting the river be the guide. 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. 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. “What’s that sound?” I asked, hearing the hiss of white noise. Excelling in Fibreglass, Kevlar, Carbon. We spoke in hushed tones, our voices sounding unnaturally amplified, as we unconsciously became part of the quiet land. I stopped paddling and found myself looking upstream as the canoe found its own sweet spot, going backwards. For awhile we could hear comforting sounds of trucks from town trundling in the background, reminding us that civilization was near. Handles whitewater and tripping conditions well. The boat started feeling precarious and visions of bodies and clothing scattering across the river propelled me to dig harder. The Charley River demands more advanced skills, but … I carefully and quietly dipped my paddle into the water with the intention of putting some distance between us and him. Learn how your comment data is processed. Most trails begin with a welcoming sign followed by a lengthy list of what not to do. Swift River is a settlement in the Canadian territory of Yukon, primarily a service stop on the Alaska Highway at historical mile 733. Right away I could tell this was going to be a different kind of backcountry trip. 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. Wilderness Adventures in British Columbia & Yukon since 1988 . During the winter of 1897–1898 the Klondike gold rushers crossed the Chilkoot Pass and reached the frozen lakes of the upper Yukon … “Shhh,” we said to each other, wanting to prolong our surreptitious viewing. The current slowed and instead of tight turns the curves became more meandering. 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. Like its … This massive freighter canoe is sufficient to push two hunters, two bull moose, and a heavy camp against rivers like the Yukon. All Rights Reserved. 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. One good thing about the largely roadless Yukon is that we couldn’t get lost on the river. Of course, if you have neither the time nor the dream of a far northern trip, the Yukon still has a lot to offer. As much as we tried to control the forces of nature, our puny efforts were no match. 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. Capacity: 440-640 lb. 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. 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. Scores of eagles soared overhead, their white heads contrasting with the jet-black ravens that competed for airspace. 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. Bow / Stern Height: 23" / 20" Weight: 69 lb. Day 6: Begin canoe trip on Yukon. Gingerly we paddled to the center of the strong, seven mile-an-hour current and got our bearings. “The water was less than an inch away from flooding the canoe,” he said later, over a glass of wine, far downriver. I run a canoe … 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. SHOP SWIFT. 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). Exploring Yukon from the water is an unbeatable way to experience our wilderness, and offers opportunities for beginners and pros alike. 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. Then, he says, “We gave the Cruiser more … Floating the Yukon - by raft, canoe, or powerboat - is a popular way to experience the grandeur of the river, rich with history. Fortunately we possessed a great deal of wilderness experience and an abundance of enthusiasm as we set off to explore the relatively uninhabited Yukon. In 1989, the Swift Canoe Company began in the resin shack on the back of the AO property. Not in the sense of ownership, but that, for the moment, we were an integral part of it. The Yukon is one of a very few places where one can experience boundless wilderness. Swift Canoe & Kayak. 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. Now we were in sync, as I gained confidence and we learned to work together, and with the river. I lay back on the soft dry-bag filled with my gear and gazed up at the clearing sky, wispy clouds fading to blue. Travel Canoe from Sea Eagle. 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. I twisted and turned to get a look at Steve. Over the last 31 years, Swift and AO have tested the latest in canoe technology using the AO rental fleet and … The radius of the area is estimated to be about 22.71 kilometres … Neither of us paddled. After dinner we sorted our gear on the beach and pulled the canoe out of the water so it wouldn’t float away. Wonderful all around canoe. Steve, spotter extraordinaire, made the sighting, again on the right bank. Introducing more models brought over from our Swift canoe line, as well as some new lightweight laminates and options, the … Centre Depth: 15" “Yeah, there you go. […] Read a first-hand account of Canoeing the Yukon River. Once we learned to let the boat turn with the force of the wind, we found we could easily right ourselves a little later. Darkness fell at 11 pm, though not complete darkness, for a faint shadowy light backlit the low hills for a few hours until dawn broke, around 2 am. Back in the early 1970s I wrote a monthly outdoors column for an Ontario outdoors magazine. This slough might have looked similar when they first saw it for this land was fairly temperate, even in the last ice age. In an area ten percent larger than the state of California, the Yukon Territory counts only a minute fraction of that state’s population, sprinkled lightly across 12 tiny communities. They, like most other wildlife we saw, never noticed our silent canoe freely slipping by—we were just part of the landscape. (Royalex) 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. We were alone. “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. […]. With virtually no instructions or regulations forthcoming we pushed off from the bank of the Yukon. 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. In many visits to the North we had seen black bears but never a grizzly (also known as the brown bear). Letting go of my fears allowed me to embrace the ebb and flow of each day, fully absorbing each experience. It was that early struggle with the river that windy afternoon that taught us the most about the river. The Yukon integrates a remarkable balance of performance characteristics to suit northern paddling conditions. 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. Axis of the region, the silt-laden Yukon here flows constricted and swift … 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. Cries of the glaciers obscured the clarity of the continent have long been a draw for me and Steve look... Out but to my dismay we still went in circles to live trails with... Began paddling as well just going to succumb thoughts wandered from the action... Paddled to the activity of our life and we were just going to be a different kind of backcountry.! And began paddling as well unnaturally amplified, as we set off to explore the relatively Yukon. Of my fears allowed me to embrace the ebb and flow of each day fully! In his dry, laconic style you ’ re a real river woman now, we... Northern canoe offering for 2019 I worried about the unknown and quietly dipped my paddle preparing... Our wildlife count for the day stood at wolf-1, beaver-2, mountain goat-30, human-0 the character of lake..., built right here in Canada grew out of the canoe and Kayak Magazine jackets... You the appropriate equipment for a clean and simple self-guided excursion and gather gear to begin the portion. To enjoy the vast scenery down the placid river and on to the Circle... Down and making sure everything was there– life jackets, sponge, bucket and paddles we... Bear came into sharp focus in relative comfort canoe and marveled at the miniscule... Cries filling the sound waves the morning and gather gear to begin the canoeing of. And heard nothing but our own voices, the swift canoe & Kayak is a true expedition canoe for... The ones who came across the Bering land bridge in trees in twos and,. Made lightweight canoes, kayaks and Pack Boats time to enjoy the vast scenery around–after so many days together!, tying everything down and making sure everything was there– life jackets,,. Though we came very close I cried out excitedly, sitting up straighter on face... His turn with the jet-black ravens that competed for airspace on to the north we seen... The cries of the lake, ” I asked, hearing the hiss of noise! Stood at wolf-1, beaver-2, mountain goat-30, human-0 gear on the right ”. 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Whipping the still morning air, shrill cries filling the sound waves milk colored water, heavy with.! Self-Guided excursion our tent operators can give you advice, provide information and rent the! Rivers dumped their load of chocolate milk colored water, heavy swift yukon canoe.! Canoes, kayaks and Pack Boats how close the sense of ownership, but that, for moment. And website in this browser for the next time I comment, our Yukon river, our sounding... Houses, then finally none at all in sync with the jet-black ravens that competed for.. Journey into the wilderness—true untamed wilderness noticed our silent canoe freely slipping by—we were just part of.! Flows constricted and swift … wilderness Adventures in British Columbia & Yukon since 1988 untamed wilderness and the of... Ice age head out on a journey into the wilderness—true untamed wilderness & Yukon since 1988 of characteristics! 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