Yukon River Quest - Page 13
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6.30.09
I slept in this morning, then took off into a beautiful sunny morning.  I reached the village of
Nulato about 10:00.  I had to ask several people for directions before I found the well-
hidden Laundromat, but I was able to use the phone and clean up a bit.

As I was walking back to the boat, I saw that one of the houses had an “open” sign hanging
above the door, and went in to check it out.  It was a restaurant!  I was able to get a very
unexpected cheeseburger, fries, and Pepsi.  It made my day!

I paddled on down a wide slow moving river.  The fastest water is in the middle, and it now
takes me about 10 minutes to get to shore.  The weather stayed great until 6:30 when the
wind picked up and it started raining.  I saw a decent campsite and took it in spite of some
fresh bear tracks.  The weather cleared up quickly and I wish I’d kept going, but I’m tired of
getting nailed by bad weather.  I’d rather get some extra sleep than set up camp in the rain.  
I hope the bear stays away tonight.
6.28.09
Today we paddled into the town of Ruby.  Ruby turned out to be a great town, probably the
last since Eagle.  Today was Sunday, but I’d made arrangements with the postmaster to let
us pick up our mail.  All we needed to do was call her when we got into town.  Unfortunately,
it was Sunday and every place that had a phone was closed.

We flagged down the first person we saw and he told us one of the locals had a little
convenience store in his basement.  If he wasn’t home, there was a bed and breakfast with
a phone a few blocks away.  We found the owner of the basement store and were able to
buy a few much-needed Pepsi’s and use the phone.  It was 11:00 and Katie, the
postmaster, was headed to church, but she said she’d be happy to let us in at 1:00.

We headed to the B and B to see if we could get a meal while we were waiting.  The owner
cooked us a wonderful breakfast, and we were both able to get a much-needed shower.  
The cost for a meal and a shower in Ruby - $20 – a great deal in Alaska!

We walked back down to the boat launch and Katie pulled up with our packages.  There
aren’t many towns that would happen in.  We chatted with the friendly locals as we loaded
the boats and hit the water just in time for the afternoon windstorm.

Quinton stopped on an island to wait for it to blow over, and I kept paddling.  I set up camp
on a nice sandbar where he should spot me, but he hasn’t been by yet.  I’ll see him in town
tomorrow if he doesn’t make it this far tonight.

Today there was a total of zero minutes of sunshine.  This cloudy, cold and windy weather
is really getting to me.  There’s nothing I can do about it, so I try not to let it get me down, but
man, I could use a nice sunny day.
6.29.09
Quinton never did show up last night.  I guess he probably fell asleep on the island while
waiting for the wind to blow itself out.  I paddled a few hours into the town of Galena.  I found
the post office and store and walked back to the boat to see if Quinton would show up.  I
waited nearly an hour, but he didn’t pass by.  He’s flying out of Galena tomorrow, so I guess
I won’t see him again.  I have his contact information, so I’ll be sure to get in touch when I
get done with the river.

It was raining this morning, but the sun did come out for 41 minutes after lunch.  The wind
stayed calm all day and it was warm enough in the afternoon to take off my jacket.  It was
the nicest day I’ve had in quite a while.

I’ve been running hard and it’s been catching up to me today.  I wanted to stop for the day
around 4:00.  I passed a nice sand bar at 3:00 and knew I should stop.  It was 7:00 before I
found a decent spot on an island.  I’ll sleep in tomorrow.  I want to keep moving all the time,
but my body can only take so much abuse.

It’s lonely in camp without Quinton to talk to, but I only have 500 miles of river left.  With good
weather, I’ll be done in 10 days or less.  10 days isn’t very long and I know I can stay
focused.  The best of the river is behind me now, and I’m only on the water to finish, but I’ll
finish.
7.01.09
No bears last night, but the mosquitoes reached biblical proportions!  My tent was covered
pee bottle in the tent, but I didn’t bring any extra blood with me, so I couldn’t venture out into
the swarm.  Needless to say, I broke camp in record time this morning and hurried out on
the water with a cloud of mosquitoes in hot pursuit.

I camped just above the town of Kaltag last night and pulled up to the boat ramp just after
7:00 am.  I walked into town hoping to use a phone and get some water, but no one was up
yet.  The only sign of life was a stray dog that followed me through the empty streets.  Rural
Alaskans aren’t like rural Iowans.  They don’t usually roll out of bed until about 10:00.  I left
the stray dog at the boat ramp and headed out to cover some miles.

This section of river is big and lonely.  The land is getting flatter and I can see forever.  It
makes it seem like I’m standing still.  I spent the day watching a big mountain with snow on
top grow imperceptibly closer.  I can see it from camp.  It’s pretty, but I bet it’s still 20 or 30
miles away.  A jet passed overhead and I imagined seeing a brown ribbon of water cutting
through an ocean of trees.  It made me lonely.

The weather has been great all day.  I’m so thankful the rain has stopped for now.  I was
able to clean up in the river and wash my clothes tonight.  I’ve been very aware of my
hygiene for a few days now, but it’s been raining when I want to wash up.  I’m still
absolutely filthy by civilized standards, but I feel a lot better.

I’ve been trying to estimate how much time I have left on the river.  Right now, I figure 8 days,
but I need to do some accurate mapping in the tent tonight so I know what I’m dealing with.
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  Message from Adam's Spotter

I'm OK!
ESN:0-7348115
Latitude:64.3647
Longitude:-158.6922
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:07/01/2009 02:38:42 (GMT)
Here's where I am.

I'm OK!
ESN:0-7348115
Latitude:64.8606
Longitude:-157.8543
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/30/2009 02:26:44 (GMT)
Here's where I am.
  Message from Adam's Spotter
 
I'm OK!
ESN:0-7348115
Latitude:64.6381
Longitude:-156.6332
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/29/2009 04:03:18 (GMT)
Here's where I am.
  Message from Adam's Spotter

I'm OK!
ESN:0-7348115
Latitude:64.8804
Longitude:-155.0438
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/28/2009 04:29:49 (GMT)
Here's where I am.


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