Day 9, we awoke early and did some calling, no luck. Pop tarts, oatmeal, and coffee gave us some motivation to pack up camp and load the rafts for the 9th time. We were finally on the Yukon river, only 72 miles to go! We weren't on the Yukon for 30 minutes before we spotted a grizzer. The wind was perfect for a stalk so we parked the boats and made a plan. We got within range and was getting ready for a shot when out pops a little brown fur ball. Stalk over! We were close enough that we didn't want her any closer so we let her get a good visual, within seconds she was gone. Definitely got the excitement up and blood pumping!
Before the trip started we planned to stay at the historic Slaven's roadhouse and visit the coal creek dredge. We made the landing by noon, at the same time the park ranger stationed in the area was pulling up in his boat with his family. We got settled into the cabin and dressed to make the hike to the dredge.
The road house
After the 1 mile hike we made it to the dredge. We spent over and hour touring the inside and reading all the history about the dredge.
We spent the next 2 hours atop of the dredge glassing and calling for moose. Again, no luck. Our stomachs were telling us that it was time to get back to the cabin. We called and still hunted our way back. Once back we were greeted by a family of wolves across the river. Two adults and two pups, we howled and they replied. After a few minutes they moved on up river looking for their dinner. Unknowingly the park ranger's wife had made moose soup for us, and man it was nice to have a cooked meal! We sat and discussed our different life styles over dinner and truly enjoyed their company. His wife was making fur garments for their children and he told us trapping and hunting stories. After a dessert of popcorn and a card game with the 2 kids we called it a night.
Day 10, we woke to rain, again. After surveying the area and deciding that it was void of game we are some breakfast. We had a big decision to make. We only had an absolute max of 3 more days and we still had 60 miles of river to cover. After deliberation we decided that it would be safer if we pressed on and covered some more river miles instead of sticking around and hunting. The park ranger told us that there was another cabin about 20 miles downstream, so we made that our destination with hopes to have a run in with a moose. After 5 hours of floating we made the landing. We settled in then headed out for the evening hunt.
We found a great spot that overlooked a ton of real estate. We called and glassed all afternoon with no luck.
We called our way back to the cabin with hopes to have a bull in the front yard in the morning. Wishful thinking. The rain didn't let up, if anything it steadily rained harder.
Day 11, the weather did not give us much motivation as it was warm and rainy and I had caribou meat that was 6 days postmortem with unfavorable temperatures. As a group we decide to make a run for the truck back in circle. We had 40 river miles.
Our Yukon floatilla
We were averaging 4.5 mph if we stayed in the main current. After 9 hours we made it! There was a bittersweet feeling once we saw the boat ramp. It was bitter to know a grand adventure was coming to an end, and it was sweet to know we had a very successful grand adventure.
150 miles my ass!
Overall it was an incredible trip, everyone got along and pulled their own weight. The new guy Steve was great, he was an absolute beast on the mountain and always had a great attitude! I cannot wait to see what he does with all the footage! If anyone is interested in this trip I'd be more than happy to discuss more in private.