RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

RubiKon Quest 2012: Travels To Kirkman Creek - Days 11 & 12 on the Yukon River

Days 11 & 12: July 7th & 8th, 2012
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”
~ Jack London
We left Fort Selkirk refeshed and yet, our boats felt like slugs on the river. I think our arms were just a bit fatigued at this point, despite the layover at Fort Selkirk. It was a great day to paddle for sure, the current carried us along quite well and we enjoyed it immensely.
Lori Leaving Fort Selkirk.
Arriving at Menzie's (~35 miles down stream) where the Selwyn river joins the Yukon. Another abandond wood camp, police post and telegraph station.
The fallen in cabin made for some nice photos and fun.
Hmmm.... I wonder, with a little bit of work, this fixer-upper would make for a great honeymoon cottage. Now, if I can just get rid myself of these millions of little black flies.
"Hi dear. Let me step inside. The bugs should be less severe on the inside."
Later, the wind and the rain came up and we found a great camp to take refuge. The only problem was that is was up on a high bank, making it difficult to egress the kayaks. Later that evening, the sun came out and we sunbathed in the buff in the midst of warm susnhine. Yes, being all alone in the wilderness has it advantages. Just be careful as you may get a bug bite in places that could cause discomfort or a curious squirrel may mistake you for a dead animal while you sleep and start gnawing on you... Don't ask me how I know :-)
The next day it was off to Coffee Creek. An area notorious for grizzly bears according to local first nations people we talked with. In fact, in 2008 a couple of Germans were attacked in this area. The grizzly killed one of them. The area to south of the mountains is a like a large swamp with lots of moose.
The area is beautiful to paddle through with steeps cliffs coming right down to the river's edge.
A nice break on one of the exposed islands.
Moose tracks.
Back on the river... awe the beauty. Warm weather, clear skies and a gentle flowing river to push one along.
GrizzLee and his boat.
Looking upstream form where we just paddled.
Another island break.
The water was high and landings were hard to find on the islands. We had to stop ocassionally to take bio breaks and stretch our legs. It wasn't alwasy easy. Sometimes we'd sink to our ankles in mud before we could stand straight out of the boat. Once out, we had to keep moving, otherwise we'd sink and possibly disappear into the river muck for eternity. 
Off to Kirkman creek.
Kirkman creek had a groomed campsite and camping for $7/person per night. It is an oasis in teh wilderness. Kirkman creek is also an important stop off the Yukon River Quest. Racers are required to have a 3 hour layover here before the final leg to Dawson. It probably took the raccers less than 10 hours to paddle to Dawson City from here (150 plus miles). It would take us 4 more days!
A picnic table...We were living good now.
The last thing anyone would expect on a remote river trip, especially one as remote as the Yukon River, is a steak dinner. Yet, at a creekside cabin Linda Taylor and her daughter make some real fine grub for river travellers. I won't say that it isn't expensive, but steak, hamburgers, baked bread, homemade root beer... all out here in the wild... yeah, I'll buy it.
One happy camper.
Here I am enjoying s BBQ steak, potatoes, cooked carrots and a fresh garden salad. Lori had a hamburger. No dehydrated food for us tonight. All in deluxe accomodations... river views in enclosed gazeabol complete with screen to keep out the mosquitoes. Look at that sun drenched smiling face. You can't beat that. Priceless!!!

We had a threat of rain all day. We went to bed early, but really couldn't sleep because we still couldn't cope with the midnight sunshine which plays havoc with one's sleep patterns.

Read about our previous days on the river here:

Up the next day to paddle beyond the White River, Stewart River, Henderson Creek (Home of Jack London's little cabin) and little did we know, massive flooding and few campsites and BUGS!!!.... Read on. The adventure was going to ramp up a notch.  

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