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Down the Yukon river

Magyar Krónika, augusztus 26.

Hi everyone,

I am now back in Whitehorse after an amazing 12 day canoe/hiking trip down the Yukon river.
For one who has never canoed in her life, apart from canoeing 101 with Linda at Eva's cottage 1 week before leaving for out west, I can truly say that it was fabulous!
Wilderness camping is for me: choosing an island to stop at, a spruce grove to camp under, being able to make campfires to perk the coffee in the morning...quite the luxury! Granted all my clothes smelled of smoke by the second day (ergo few mosquitoes), swimming in the Yukon River was quite the experience. The water is not clear but filled with a very fine silt formed over many millenia...sounded like champagne bubbles as the canoe glided through the water. Also made for a spa treatment every time I went for a swim.
The group was an interesting one. I went once again with Sea to sky expeditions as they were offering a back to back package: Chilkoot, 2 day turn around, and then canoeing on the Yukon river. We were only 6 in total, 3 canoes, which is ideal! Our guides were Tom, from the Chilkoot, and Mark, the owner of the company. Roy, the retired veterinarian from Whistler was also on the trip (he had been my tent partner from the Chilkoot) and a couple from Victoria BC : Caroline and Sandy. All seasoned canoeists...so I was very much out of my league! Hopefully I rose to the occasion.

Had some great animal sightings: Peregrine falcons, Bald eagles, lots of beautiful black bears along the shore line and many caribou and moose prints and skat (animal poop) that was very fresh but unfortunately they were too shy to show themselves.

I did have one very close encounter with a mature bear at one campsite: I came to store my sunscreen in a bear proof barrel before turning in for the night, Tom & Mark were sitting on a log playing crib, Sandy & Caroline were reading on the beach and Roy was in the tent when a mmouvement caught my eye and I was within 15 feet of a large mature bear standing on his two hind legs facing me! He was so close I could see the texture of the boar hairs on his neck!! Apparently I said: "We have a visitor" (I don't remember this) and the guides went into full bear-mode: shooing, clanging pots, bear spray in hand.  He lumbered slowly and reluctantly a few paces back and then ambled into the woods. Obviously not the time to take pictures!! So unfortunately no photo documentation of the event.

Otherwise temperature was typical for the season: cold at night (long johns and tuques in my sleeping bag) a few misty mornings and a bit of rain but also some gorgeous sunny afternoons. A few lovely sunsets but unfortunately no Northern Lights...

Back to reality Monday morning as I catch the red-eye from Vancouver to Montreal, theoretically landing at 7:30 am to be at work for 9 am...should be interesting!

Thank-you all for your encouraging emails,

See you soon

Andrea de Gosztonyi

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