We hadn’t tipped the canoe. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. 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. After a tumultuous blur of barked instructions, paddling this way and that. So far so good. Manufacturer's Description: The Yukon grew out of paddler requests for a larger Dumoine with greater capacity. Check out our new to us "Swift" canoe! The amount of bureaucratic red tape required to gain access to many wilderness areas in the U.S. is staggering. I quashed any concerns about not feeling ready and reached for my paddle—it was too late for a panic attack. 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. 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. I carefully and quietly dipped my paddle into the water with the intention of putting some distance between us and him. Broad wings flapped mightily, whipping the still morning air, shrill cries filling the sound waves. 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. 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 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. 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. It is a true expedition canoe designed for wilderness conditions in the far north. 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. In many visits to the North we had seen black bears but never a grizzly (also known as the brown bear). 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. Weight: 79 lb. 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. 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. 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. Wilderness Adventures in British Columbia & Yukon since 1988 . The current slowed and instead of tight turns the curves became more meandering. 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 … It was that early struggle with the river that windy afternoon that taught us the most about the river. Bow / Stern Height: 23" / 20" I don't think … “The wind is kicking up pretty good swells,” said Steve, gesturing toward the water. 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 had a healthy respect for the unpredictable nature of these bruins but half-hoped we’d see one, preferably from a safe distance. I thought of the early explorers, the ones who came across the Bering land bridge. My thoughts wandered from the confines of the boat down the placid river and on to the Arctic Circle. (Royalex) You’ll spend the long, relaxed days of summer paddling, camping in tents and eating by the campfire under the midnight sun. Width: 37" 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. This gave new meaning to the phrase, “go with the flow” and we learned to do just that, letting the river be the guide. 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. By now we were in sync with the river. 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. A wide clearing provided ample room for our tent. It starts in Whitehorse and sees participants paddling day and night to reach … I put in a little more effort to straighten us out but to my dismay we still went in circles. Copyright © 2007-2020 CCR Inc. All rights reserved. The Yukon grew out of paddler requests for a larger Dumoine with greater capacity. Flotation chambers in both the bow and stern add buoyancy to ensure the Yukon … Moose tracks criss-crossed the sandy beach. Travel Canoe from Sea Eagle. 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. We cocked our heads this way and that, listening closely. The preferred engine for this model is a … 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. They, like most other wildlife we saw, never noticed our silent canoe freely slipping by—we were just part of the landscape. 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. During the winter of 1897–1898 the Klondike gold rushers crossed the Chilkoot Pass and reached the frozen lakes of the upper Yukon … 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. We bent down closer to the canoe and marveled at the sound miniscule grains of sand could produce. I grabbed the binoculars and the bulky blond bear came into sharp focus. 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. Fortunately we possessed a great deal of wilderness experience and an abundance of enthusiasm as we set off to explore the relatively uninhabited Yukon. 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. “It’s the sound of the glacial silt running under the fiberglass canoe,” I said. “Dig in!” Steve said. Centre Depth: 15" Originally published as Rolling Down the River-How the Yukon Can Transform a Traveller, p. 16 in Coast and Kayak Magazine (Fall 2012). 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. This slough might have looked similar when they first saw it for this land was fairly temperate, even in the last ice age. We progressed down the river. I stopped paddling and found myself looking upstream as the canoe found its own sweet spot, going backwards. 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 expedition travels … We fussed over the canoe, tying everything down and making sure everything was there– life jackets, sponge, bucket and paddles. No menacing signs, orientation sessions, forms, permits or imperatives got in our way. 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. 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. The first day Steve and I were in different places, he jovial and relaxed, while I worried about the unknown. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. 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. Off we went, full of energy, and perhaps some trepidation, as we embarked on a journey into the wilderness—true untamed wilderness. Other operators can give you advice, provide information and rent you the appropriate equipment for a clean and simple self-guided excursion. With virtually no instructions or regulations forthcoming we pushed off from the bank of the Yukon. 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. Like its smaller sister it has unprecedented white-water capability plus confidence building open water performance. It is an excellent choice for every kind of paddling, from local white-water rivers to offshore coastal waters. 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). Once we learned to let the boat turn with the force of the wind, we found we could easily right ourselves a little later. Capacity: 440-640 lb. 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. (Royalite) 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. Day 5 -16: The canoe trip down the 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. We were alone. 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. We paddled in a straight line. Prior to this our sole paddling experience had been a two-hour guided tour in inflatable kayaks on … Visitors can canoe an easy-going river with views of … Steve took his turn with the binoculars and began paddling as well. You’re a real river woman now,” said Steve with a smile. All Rights Reserved. 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. We spoke in hushed tones, our voices sounding unnaturally amplified, as we unconsciously became part of the quiet land. Eagles stood in trees in twos and threes, finding easy meals with the plentiful fish. We test it out on a very narrow river. YUKON RIVER GUIDED CANOEING “The Yukon River, our first choice for paddling into the past.” Canoe and Kayak Magazine. 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. 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. As signs of civilization receded we noticed fewer houses, then finally none at all. […] Read a first-hand account of Canoeing the Yukon River. The Charley River demands more advanced skills, but … Weight: 62 lb. In 1989, the Swift Canoe Company began in the resin shack on the back of the AO property. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. We have completely re-designed our Northern Canoe offering for 2019. The water moved silently and unceasingly, careless to the activity of our preparations on the shore. 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. This leg of the trip involved paddling 460 miles down the Yukon River in northern Canada, just the two of us. Licensed guides from Yukon Wild operators will reveal Yukon’s secret places to you over the course of a multi-day adventure. 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. The long daylight hours give us lots of time to enjoy the vast scenery! “Shhh,” we said to each other, wanting to prolong our surreptitious viewing. 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. Has a very good glide and is easy to keep up at cruising speed. Not in the sense of ownership, but that, for the moment, we were an integral part of it. 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. Like its … The hump on his back sent shivers down mine. Frequent visitors to our campsites included chattering red squirrels and squawking gray jays looking for a handout. Then, he says, “We gave the Cruiser more … One evening, after a day spent hunting moose, we pulled the canoe up on the sandy shore of an island … This massive freighter canoe is sufficient to push two hunters, two bull moose, and a heavy camp against rivers like the Yukon. At the end of that day, you should be able to steer a canoe on moving water, keep a straight course or get … Introducing more models brought over from our Swift canoe line, as well as some new lightweight laminates and options, the … Discover why the Yukon … However, in summer, as we were experiencing, the weather is mild and forgiving, allowing exploration in relative comfort. 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. Swift Canoe & Kayak. As much as we tried to control the forces of nature, our puny efforts were no match. I dug, but nothing useful happened. seaeagle.com. Here is my account. Neither of us paddled. “What’s that sound?” I asked, hearing the hiss of white noise. Days 6-17: Canoeing and exploring the Yukon … The Yukon has the capacity to be a good family canoe and is also suited for wilderness tripping. “It would have been bad,” he said in his dry, laconic style. 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. Now we were in sync, as I gained confidence and we learned to work together, and with the river. We saw no one and heard nothing but our own voices, the water dripping off our oars and the cries of the eagles. This leg of the trip involved paddling 460 miles down the Yukon River in northern Canada, just the two of us. One good thing about the largely roadless Yukon is that we couldn’t get lost on the river. “Yeah, there you go. For awhile we could hear comforting sounds of trucks from town trundling in the background, reminding us that civilization was near. The radius of the area is estimated to be about 22.71 kilometres … I looked around and found that we were, indeed, going to live. I twisted and turned to get a look at Steve. I leaped confidently out of the canoe as we angled onto the beach, grabbed the bow line and hauled the canoe in. The Yukon is one of a very few places where one can experience boundless wilderness. We’ve been to Alaska and the Yukon to hike, backpack, canoe and sightsee so many times that I’ve lost … Here we were in the fight of our life and we were just going to succumb? “Nope, not for a couple of days,” Steve replied. Steve, spotter extraordinaire, made the sighting, again on the right bank. 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. © 2016 Inga's Adventures. Wishing we could ‘pause’ the unrelenting flow of the river we watched two lynx frolicking on the shore in the warm afternoon sun. These are some of the best: Nova Prospector 17 Esquif Prospector 17 Wenonah Cascade Swift Dumoine Swift Yukon … One of the worst fire seasons in history hung over the Yukon … I couldn’t figure out why were spinning around–after so many days paddling together we had mastered synchronizing our strokes. And we hadn’t even dumped the canoe, though we came very close. 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. Glacial fed rivers dumped their load of chocolate milk colored water, heavy with silt. The far northern reaches of the continent have long been a draw for me and Steve. The clear, swift water and the superb scenery of the coast mountains compete for your attention. Learn how your comment data is processed. Excelling in Fibreglass, Kevlar, Carbon. Overview This trip encompasses some of the most remote and beautiful landscapes on Earth. “I see the outlet of the lake,” I cried out excitedly, sitting up straighter on my diminutive bench. Over the last 31 years, Swift and AO have tested the latest in canoe technology using the AO rental fleet and … It is a true expedition canoe designed for wilderness conditions in the far north. Our wildlife count for the day stood at wolf-1, beaver-2, mountain goat-30, human-0. 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. I saw the bow angle toward the right bank and paddled harder to correct the course, to no avail. Gingerly we paddled to the center of the strong, seven mile-an-hour current and got our bearings. The bear reared up and crashed into the bushes, his peace, and ours, dispelled, and that’s the last we saw of him. I run a canoe … I looked back at Steve and said, “What are you doing?”, He said, “I’m trying to get a closer look.”. Exploring Yukon from the water is an unbeatable way to experience our wilderness, and offers opportunities for beginners and pros alike. 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. A happy ending to Canoe week! “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. We had no electronic gear with us. Letting go of my fears allowed me to embrace the ebb and flow of each day, fully absorbing each experience. Axis of the region, the silt-laden Yukon here flows constricted and swift … Meet up with your guides in the morning and gather gear to begin the canoeing portion of our trip. This is the best platform for dipnetting. […]. Weight: 69 lb. The original inflatable, all drop … Yukon … we have completely re-designed our northern canoe offering for 2019 re a river... Capability plus confidence building open water performance is one of a sudden a gust of wind interrupted my and... Kind of backcountry trip grabbed the bow angle toward the right bank and paddled to... Off to explore the relatively uninhabited Yukon fading to blue prolong our surreptitious viewing AO property for larger... Also known as the brown bear ) just part of the water open water performance our heads this and. 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