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Showing posts from October, 2017

Ice

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That’s it. We’re out. Out of the water, out of time and, aside from the internet, out of contact with other humans.

We’re cut off until the river is frozen and we can snowmachine to town. Last year we didn’t have trail in until the end of January. Why the hell didn’t we buy more booze?

Two days after I wrote the last blog, a crust of ice formed at the shoreline and crept along the edge of our boat. We pulled the boat out straight away. By the following day, the river was filled with chunks of spinning ice and the eddy where it was moored had become a skating rink. We would have had to chop the hull out with an axe if we’d left it.


It took two days to get the bloody thing across the beach, up the bank, turned 180 degrees and pulled into its winter resting place with a handheld rope-puller, chain hoist, rollers and skids.

There are fiddly jobs to do like flushing the engine to remove silt- insert a hosepipe into the outboard, the manual says. Great, if you have a hosepipe, taps and r…

Army nuns on special ops

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(Yukon)
Snow! It still makes me gasp. Those first few flakes of the season drifting in the beam of my headlamp.

Never mind we were planning to go to town the next day, never mind we have no chains or winter tires for the truck, never mind it’s 7am, pitch black and Neil is fast asleep, “Neil! Guess what?”
He couldn’t.
“Snow!”
Neil can stand before the most wondrous sights nature has to offer and say “Oh that’s nice, shall we have a biscuit?” but even Neil said, dreamily, “Oh… snow!”

Will we still feel that flutter of excitement after 10 years here, I wonder? The year I don’t wake up and gasp at the first snow is the year we up sticks and shift to Thailand. We’ll be done with the Yukon.

This time last fall I remember temps going down to -20c. The river was bumping with ice chunks and we had the boat safely out. We’ve been blessed with a few weeks of extra boat travel this fall. We’ve made a late trip to town and are still out searching and calling for a moose. Season closes 31st Octob…

Canine Emergency

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(Yukon)
Our bend in the river is a windy spot. It’s about to get worse. We didn’t get a moose and so it will be a diet of dried beans for the winter. On the bright side, the wind blows the deep cold away so this will give new meaning to the term “man-made climate change.”

We missed our moose, the one we stood 30 feet away from but had no rifle. We aren’t seeing any tracks now so perhaps they have gone back up into the mountains? Lore has it that moose come down to rut when it gets cold. It didn’t get cold this year. 

Our lonesome moose lady calls are answered only by cackling ravens and furious squirrels. We haven’t given up, but it’s feeling unlikely.

We’ve tried our hand at fishing. We didn’t have line strong enough for salmon and so have improvised with parachute cord. 

They aren’t fooled. When we fished salmon previously we used a fishwheel, a huge home-made water wheel type contraption that scoops them out of the water and dumps them in handy boxes.

Our licences here only cover …