Break up

Spring break up was the most violent, dramatic and spectacular we’ve witnessed so far. And thank God it was, as all the other bush things I can tell you about are now commonplace. Everyone’s living in isolation, doing home haircuts, baking bread and frying up chilli and lemon basted squirrel legs (or maybe that’s still just us.)

We nearly missed it as we opened the beers too early on Sunday night. We’d heard a hissing, rushing sound all day. The noise swelled and dropped with the breeze and the water rose like mad, 10 feet or more, in a few hours.

Although the river ice still held fast, deep channels were running near the banks on either side, where tributaries and creeks pour melt water onto the frozen Yukon in great, tea-coloured torrents.

Late afternoon, I noticed a tongue of grey-blue, churning water rounding the bend above us, cutting an open channel down the river. It would run for a while then jam, and flood. Frustrated, it would gnaw at the river ice in a great, swirling whir…

Self Isolation - Tips from the bush

Can’t go to work? Not able to see friends or family, or get to the shops? Add in some sub-arctic scenery and you’re living our life. Welcome! So, what do you do when modern life is suddenly upended?

How about tanning that caribou hide that’s been sitting there since January? Weather’s warming so you’ll be pleased if you butcher the rest of your meat now and get it in the canner before it thaws.

Got a pile of logs sitting in the yard? Don’t wait til you need more firewood. Buck and split them now. Make a neat stack for next winter. Write a blog about it!

Most people live in a little house or flat somewhere urban or semi-urban, just like we used to, and so any advice I can give you is just plain fucking weird.