Day 85

August 1, 2019

Yellowknife River

We broke camp at 5:45. Bugs were not bad. Morning was cool & pleasant. We paddled to the end of Rocky Lake and were met by a long steep waterfall and rapid. We portaged .3 miles on the river left side until reaching a calmer section of the set that we could put in at. We pulled up roughly a mile. It was slow-going, but not too bad. We reached another set, lining up the river right side, then ferrying across to the portage over a rocky boulder field. A bit sketchy as the rocks were treacherously loose. Quinn fell with the wannigan at one point. We pushed further ahead, lining or paddling when we could, until reaching a waterfall. We ate lunch and portaged over it. After another hour of paddling and lining, we reached the waterfall belowFishing lake at 2:30 pm.

Bram and I wanted to camp at the falls, as fishing had been what we considered a goal for the day. We got there much faster that anyone could have anticipated , and it seems everyone was still in “go mode”, as they pushed off into the lake before we had a chance to talk about it. We ate some nuts and pressed on for 45 min. until deciding we should cook dinner and then look for a campsite. This frustrated me, as I either wanted to camp and the waterfall or continue paddling for at least a couple hours longer. I voiced my frustrations, but definitely did it in a way that felt unfriendly, or perhaps hostile. Other group interactions devolved from there, but we got it worked out before cleaning our bowls.

We are absolutely crushing this section of the trip, as we have been this entire time. It really hit me today though that our time out here is coming to an end. It will be hard to slow down on the Coppermine. We have only so many more waterfalls left to camp beside, so few nights by the fire. It is amazing and saddening. My god, how fast it has gone!

I will cherish this trip forever. I hold all these men in the highest regard. I have loved everything about this enterprise. We have come so far. We have almost reached the Land of the Midnight Sun.


P.S. For how tough this trip is, we have had so few negative interactions with another. Others might not be able to get away from someone fast enough after 85 days, but for us it will be harder to separate.

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