Trading Passions Expedition Journal Entry- Noatak River Portion- Day 9- 55kms
Another grizzly lay resting by the water and startled, jumped up and ran over the bank and into the tundra. At 49.8kms we pull into a tiny beach by some cliffs to scout out camping. An old set of antlers lay in the grass. Blueberries ran rampant here. As we tried to remember our task of finding some flat ground we were easily distracted by the berries and continuously stopping to pick and fill a bag. The bugs were horrendous and with nothing but the tufted up ground of the tundra we ran to our boats. Waving our hands wildly in the air (like we just don’t care) shooing the bugs. Diving into our boats I could see D ahead throwing water into the air trying anything to stop the cloud of bugs from following us. “Just paddle fast! We can out run them!” I jokingly yelled out. What we thought would be a beach was now flooded by the rising river and we carried on around the next bend, a big, beautiful beach. Still buggy and raining we set the tent up quick and stayed in our dry suites to eat dinner. The little flies we thought were just annoying turned out to be hungry man-eaters, taking chunks and leaving our hands with blood drips and welts. My knuckles have begun to split from continuously being wet. Lying in bed now I listen as the shore falls away into the river and I think what it will look like here in 20 years, or even just next, if I make it back, I will be paddling an entirely different river. Birds are singing me to sleep tonight as a funny wild chicken runs around. We want the trip to last long, but with this weather, we will continue our big days.
Until Tomorrow- Goodnight Neverland!