A wide clearing provided ample room for our tent. Flotation chambers in both the bow and stern add buoyancy to ensure the Yukon … 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. The water moved silently and unceasingly, careless to the activity of our preparations on the shore. Days 6-17: Canoeing and exploring the Yukon … We paddled in a straight line. Like its smaller sister it has unprecedented white-water capability plus confidence building open water performance. 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. Here is my account. The bear reared up and crashed into the bushes, his peace, and ours, dispelled, and that’s the last we saw of him. 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. 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. “What’s that sound?” I asked, hearing the hiss of white noise. 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. I lay back on the soft dry-bag filled with my gear and gazed up at the clearing sky, wispy clouds fading to blue. Swift Canoe & Kayak. We had no electronic gear with us. Moose tracks criss-crossed the sandy beach. 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. (Royalex) During the winter of 1897–1898 the Klondike gold rushers crossed the Chilkoot Pass and reached the frozen lakes of the upper Yukon … Weight: 69 lb. We hadn’t tipped the canoe. I saw the bow angle toward the right bank and paddled harder to correct the course, to no avail. As signs of civilization receded we noticed fewer houses, then finally none at all. One of the worst fire seasons in history hung over the Yukon … 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. Weight: 62 lb. Has a very good glide and is easy to keep up at cruising speed. “The wind is kicking up pretty good swells,” said Steve, gesturing toward the water. 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 have completely re-designed our Northern Canoe offering for 2019. Right away I could tell this was going to be a different kind of backcountry trip. For a truly classic Yukon journey, join a canoe or kayak trip on the Yukon River. Use without permission is prohibited. © 2016 Inga's Adventures. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. As we proceeded over the next few days a few rivers joined the Yukon and the character of the river changed. They, like most other wildlife we saw, never noticed our silent canoe freely slipping by—we were just part of the landscape. 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. All Rights Reserved. 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. Floating the Yukon - by raft, canoe, or powerboat - is a popular way to experience the grandeur of the river, rich with history. In 1989, the Swift Canoe Company began in the resin shack on the back of the AO property. We spoke in hushed tones, our voices sounding unnaturally amplified, as we unconsciously became part of the quiet land. The long daylight hours give us lots of time to enjoy the vast scenery! “The water was less than an inch away from flooding the canoe,” he said later, over a glass of wine, far downriver. seaeagle.com. The Yukon grew out of paddler requests for a larger Dumoine with greater capacity. The fine grains of rock resulting from the grinding action of the glaciers obscured the clarity of the river. 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. I don't think … 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. It is a true expedition canoe designed for wilderness conditions in the far north. With virtually no instructions or regulations forthcoming we pushed off from the bank of the Yukon. Letting go of my fears allowed me to embrace the ebb and flow of each day, fully absorbing each experience. Excelling in Fibreglass, Kevlar, Carbon. 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. The Yukon is one of a very few places where one can experience boundless wilderness. 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. Bow / Stern Height: 23" / 20" By now we were in sync with the river. 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 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. Centre Depth: 15" It starts in Whitehorse and sees participants paddling day and night to reach … Frequent visitors to our campsites included chattering red squirrels and squawking gray jays looking for a handout. 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. […]. 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. The expedition travels … For awhile we could hear comforting sounds of trucks from town trundling in the background, reminding us that civilization was near. 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 … 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. Broad wings flapped mightily, whipping the still morning air, shrill cries filling the sound waves. My thoughts wandered from the confines of the boat down the placid river and on to the Arctic Circle. The far northern reaches of the continent have long been a draw for me and Steve. 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. The original inflatable, all drop … The radius of the area is estimated to be about 22.71 kilometres … All of a sudden a gust of wind interrupted my reverie and I popped up like a jack in the box. I quashed any concerns about not feeling ready and reached for my paddle—it was too late for a panic attack. It is a true expedition canoe designed for wilderness conditions in the far north. So far so good. This is the best platform for dipnetting. Check out our new to us "Swift" canoe! The Hungry Spork: A Long Distance Hiker’s Guide to Meal Planning, Planning a Yukon River paddling trip | Inga's Adventures, Planning your Chilkoot Trail backpacking trip | Inga's Adventures, Exploring Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada | Inga's Adventures, California Backpacking Women Facebook Group, Erik the Black's Backpacking Blog/Sierra Maps, Unofficial Acclimatization Guideline for JMT Hikers, Let's Get TP Out of the Backcountry Facebook Group, Chilkoot Trail and Yukon River Facebook Group, Foster Calm Wilderness First Aid Training (CA. And we hadn’t even dumped the canoe, though we came very close. “Shhh,” we said to each other, wanting to prolong our surreptitious viewing. I thought of the early explorers, the ones who came across the Bering land bridge. YUKON RIVER GUIDED CANOEING “The Yukon River, our first choice for paddling into the past.” Canoe and Kayak Magazine. We were alone. Wilderness Adventures in British Columbia & Yukon since 1988 . I looked around and found that we were, indeed, going to live. Capacity: 440-640 lb. The current slowed and instead of tight turns the curves became more meandering. We test it out on a very narrow river. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. Over the last 31 years, Swift and AO have tested the latest in canoe technology using the AO rental fleet and … 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. 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. The Charley River demands more advanced skills, but … “It’s the sound of the glacial silt running under the fiberglass canoe,” I said. The first day Steve and I were in different places, he jovial and relaxed, while I worried about the unknown. 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. Not in the sense of ownership, but that, for the moment, we were an integral part of it. These are some of the best: Nova Prospector 17 Esquif Prospector 17 Wenonah Cascade Swift Dumoine Swift Yukon … 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. 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. 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. We had a healthy respect for the unpredictable nature of these bruins but half-hoped we’d see one, preferably from a safe distance. The amount of bureaucratic red tape required to gain access to many wilderness areas in the U.S. is staggering. We fussed over the canoe, tying everything down and making sure everything was there– life jackets, sponge, bucket and paddles. Choose from our selection of Canadian made lightweight Canoes, Kayaks and Pack Boats. 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. Fortunately we possessed a great deal of wilderness experience and an abundance of enthusiasm as we set off to explore the relatively uninhabited 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. Glacial fed rivers dumped their load of chocolate milk colored water, heavy with silt. 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. Gingerly we paddled to the center of the strong, seven mile-an-hour current and got our bearings. The Yukon River Quest is the world’s longest annual canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard race. Length: 17`-6" The boat started feeling precarious and visions of bodies and clothing scattering across the river propelled me to dig harder. The weak Northern sun almost felt warm on my face and I dozed. 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. Back in the early 1970s I wrote a monthly outdoors column for an Ontario outdoors magazine. “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. This leg of the trip involved paddling 460 miles down the Yukon River in northern Canada, just the two of us. Once we learned to let the boat turn with the force of the wind, we found we could easily right ourselves a little later. I recently sold 2 cedar strip canoes and purchased a Swift Yukon in royalex. “What?” I shouted incredulously. 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. Handles whitewater and tripping conditions well. The preferred engine for this model is a … The Yukon has the capacity to be a good family canoe and is also suited for wilderness tripping. […] Read a first-hand account of Canoeing the Yukon River. Learn how your comment data is processed. Enjoy sweeping panoramas of mountains, plateaus, and river valleys as you search for grizzlies, caribou, … At the end of that day, you should be able to steer a canoe on moving water, keep a straight course or get … After a tumultuous blur of barked instructions, paddling this way and that. 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. You’re a real river woman now,” said Steve with a smile. Steve took his turn with the binoculars and began paddling as well. Travel Canoe from Sea Eagle. (Expedition Kevlar) 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. Of course, if you have neither the time nor the dream of a far northern trip, the Yukon still has a lot to offer. Now we were in sync, as I gained confidence and we learned to work together, and with the river. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “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. 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. One evening, after a day spent hunting moose, we pulled the canoe up on the sandy shore of an island … The clear, swift water and the superb scenery of the coast mountains compete for your attention. As much as we tried to control the forces of nature, our puny efforts were no match. 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. 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. Suddenly I remembered a passage from an explorer’s account of the Yukon. I leaped confidently out of the canoe as we angled onto the beach, grabbed the bow line and hauled the canoe in. I slid into a reverie, warmed by the sun. Then, he says, “We gave the Cruiser more … SHOP SWIFT. Day 6: Begin canoe trip on Yukon. 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 saw no one and heard nothing but our own voices, the water dripping off our oars and the cries of the eagles. Eagles stood in trees in twos and threes, finding easy meals with the plentiful fish. Typically, we head out on the water in the early afternoon. Off we went, full of energy, and perhaps some trepidation, as we embarked on a journey into the wilderness—true untamed wilderness. Like its … “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. A happy ending to Canoe week! I twisted and turned to get a look at Steve. Visitors can canoe an easy-going river with views of … 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. Wonderful all around canoe. 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. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I looked back at Steve and said, “What are you doing?”, He said, “I’m trying to get a closer look.”. This leg of the trip involved paddling 460 miles down the Yukon River in northern Canada, just the two of us. 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. Exploring Yukon from the water is an unbeatable way to experience our wilderness, and offers opportunities for beginners and pros alike. We’ve been to Alaska and the Yukon to hike, backpack, canoe and sightsee so many times that I’ve lost … Neither of us paddled. “Nope, not for a couple of days,” Steve replied. Introducing more models brought over from our Swift canoe line, as well as some new lightweight laminates and options, the … This slough might have looked similar when they first saw it for this land was fairly temperate, even in the last ice age. Day 5 -16: The canoe trip down the Yukon … Copyright © 2007-2020 CCR Inc. All rights reserved. After dinner we sorted our gear on the beach and pulled the canoe out of the water so it wouldn’t float away. 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. Scores of eagles soared overhead, their white heads contrasting with the jet-black ravens that competed for airspace. You’ll spend the long, relaxed days of summer paddling, camping in tents and eating by the campfire under the midnight sun. Our wildlife count for the day stood at wolf-1, beaver-2, mountain goat-30, human-0. In contrast, our Yukon River expedition began abruptly without any regulation-laden preface. From the narrow confines of the “30 Mile”, the river broadened to become braided with sandbars and tree covered islands. This gave new meaning to the phrase, “go with the flow” and we learned to do just that, letting the river be the guide. 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. It was that early struggle with the river that windy afternoon that taught us the most about the river. However, in summer, as we were experiencing, the weather is mild and forgiving, allowing exploration in relative comfort. For dessert we enjoyed a crunchy, sweet apple and a piece of rich, dark chocolate. In many visits to the North we had seen black bears but never a grizzly (also known as the brown bear). I stopped paddling and found myself looking upstream as the canoe found its own sweet spot, going backwards. It wasn’t until days later that he told me how close. “I see the outlet of the lake,” I cried out excitedly, sitting up straighter on my diminutive bench. We cocked our heads this way and that, listening closely. Steve, spotter extraordinaire, made the sighting, again on the right bank. I carefully and quietly dipped my paddle into the water with the intention of putting some distance between us and him. I grabbed the binoculars and the bulky blond bear came into sharp focus. Price: $1,649-$1,999. Here we were in the fight of our life and we were just going to succumb? I put in a little more effort to straighten us out but to my dismay we still went in circles. 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). I grabbed my paddle, preparing for I knew not what. “Yeah, there you go. 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 couldn’t figure out why were spinning around–after so many days paddling together we had mastered synchronizing our strokes. We bent down closer to the canoe and marveled at the sound miniscule grains of sand could produce. Originally published as Rolling Down the River-How the Yukon Can Transform a Traveller, p. 16 in Coast and Kayak Magazine (Fall 2012). 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. 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. It is an excellent choice for every kind of paddling, from local white-water rivers to offshore coastal waters. The Yukon integrates a remarkable balance of performance characteristics to suit northern paddling conditions. The water whipped up tiny whitecaps that in the Pacific would be negligible, but seemed to take on considerable significance for our tiny craft. No menacing signs, orientation sessions, forms, permits or imperatives got in our way. One good thing about the largely roadless Yukon is that we couldn’t get lost on the river. 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. Axis of the region, the silt-laden Yukon here flows constricted and swift … 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. 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. T float away tumultuous blur of barked instructions, paddling this way and.... Become braided with sandbars and tree covered islands to suit northern paddling conditions miles... 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