Yukon River Quest - Page 5
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6.12.09
Today was a long day.  I ended up paddling over a hundred miles.  It looked like rain when I
left Fort Selkirk, and sure enough, after a half hour on the water, it started raining.  I always
get depressed when I have to be out in the rain.  Today I spent most of my time wishing I
was home with Kelly.  The world is still beautiful even in the rain.  The mountains were
veiled in fog with mist rising from them.  I tried to focus on that, but mostly I felt blue.

I p[addled hard all day and didn’t even stop for lunch.  I just ate trail mix and granola bars in
the boat.  It finally quit raining in the late afternoon and I wanted to camp, but there was no
place to stop due to the high water.  I finally found a muddy spot 20 miles down stream.  My
mileage for today is 103.  The water did drop about 3 inches last night.  If it goes down
another four feet, my life will be a lot easier.

A bowling ball-sized rock dropped off a cliff into the water in front of me today.  It wasn’t a
close call, but now I’m worried about paddling right by the cliffs.  I’m trying to play it safe and
keep a little distance between myself and the rock walls.

I passed several cabins today that had people living in them, and I also saw a few
motorboats tied up along the shore.  It’s good to know I’m not the only one out here.
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From there, I paddled a few more hours to Fort Selkirk.  This is a turn of the century ghost
town that has been restored for paddlers to visit, and was my favorite stop so far.  It’s
amazing!  There are about 20 old buildings that are all unlocked to explore.  I’ve spent
about two hours wandering, but it’s getting late and rain is moving through, so I had to
stop.  I still have more exploring to do before I leave tomorrow.  This is a great place and
there’s nobody to watch over it.  I really hope nobody ever decides to destroy it.
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6.13.09
It rained most of the night and into the morning.  When the rain finally let up, I packed up my
wet stuff, put on my wet clothes, and headed out.  It wasn’t long before it started raining
again.  I tried to stay up beat, but it wasn’t easy in the lousy weather.

Several large rivers joined the Yukon today.  The biggest was the White, and it’s getting to
be a really big river.  The channel braids through hundreds of islands, but navigation is
easy since I have really good maps.  Things are going to get tougher after Circle, Alaska.  I
have to rely on fairly lousy maps from there on out.

I set up camp on a snowy creek just outside of the town of Dawson.  It’s raining again and I’
m glad to be in my sleeping bag.  I’ll spend all day in Dawson tomorrow.  At the rate I’m
going, I’ll arrive at my next stop, Eagle, Alaska, on Saturday afternoon.  I have mail waiting
there and the post office will be closed.  Dawson is a decent sized town, so I’ll spend my
day off there.  Hopefully, it won’t be raining.
6.14.09
I slept in due to rain, but got a late morning start when the sun made a brief appearance.  I
paddled into Dawson which used to be a big shipping and mining town, but now survives
by relieving tourists of their money.  I had an overpriced breakfast at a small café, then set
off to do a toe shot.  There’s a bar in town that puts a severed human toe in a shot glass,
then fills it with your favorite adult beverage.  You do the shot, kiss the tow, and you’re done.  
I found the bar, but it was closed.  That’s when I realized it was Sunday, not Friday, so I set
out for Eagle.

Shortly after I set out, it started pouring and kept pouring for about an hour.  I paddled on
through the rain, but I’m really sick of being wet.
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Phone message from Adam, Sunday, June 14 - 12:37 pm
I can finally phone the U.S. because I'm in Dawson right now.  The water's moving awfully fast and the river is bank full, so it's hard to
find a place to camp.  There are lots of pretty sights. The last three days it's been rainy and foggy, and the river right now is as big as
the Mississippi.  I'm two days from Eagle where I'll mail something.

The current is going 7 or 8 mph, so it's impossible to paddle upstream.  The hardest part is getting to a campsite because you have to
judge when to shoot for the campsite, and if you misjudge, you have to try the next one.

I've seen moose tracks and bear poop, but no moose and no bear.  One of the neatest things right now is that there are old cabins
and steamships to see.  They are unlocked and full of artifacts, but you can only get there by water.  Signs say that First Nations Indian
families are available to give tours, but there was no one around when I was there.
The rain had stopped and the sun was once again trying to peek through when a cruise
ship came around the bend headed upstream at a pretty good clip.  This wasn’t a huge
ocean ship, but it was a big boat.  I headed to the inside of the bend since commercial
traffic usually goes outside where the water is deeper.  The ship came right at me and cut
and the water is way too cold for that, so I just smiled and waved.

I stopped early tonight and set up camp before another wave of rain.  I found a shotgun in
some debris from the spring ice jams.  It’s a bolt action Mossberg 12 ga.  It’s a little rusty
and doesn’t work, but I want to keep it.  I have no way of legally getting it home, so I’ll just
prop it up on shore where someone will find it.

When the ice broke this spring on the Yukon it all went at once, and it caused a lot of
damage.  The town of Eagle, my next stop, was nearly wiped out.  There are big trees
knocked over by the ice 12 feet above the water.  It must have been something to see.  I cant
wait to get to Eagle and ask what it was like.
  Message from Adam's Spotter

I'm OK!
ESN:0-7348115
Latitude:64.0152
Longitude:-139.5695
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/14/2009 00:44:57 (GMT)
Here's where I am.
  Message from Adam's Spotter

I'm OK!
ESN:0-7348115
Latitude:63.0865
Longitude:-139.4805
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/13/2009 00:56:43 (GMT)
Here's where I am.
   Message from Adam's Spotter

I'm OK!
ESN:0-7348115
Latitude:62.7761
Longitude:-137.393
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/12/2009 02:09:39 (GMT)
Here's where I am.

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