Day 30: Grayling and Anvik 53 mi

Dear Reader, we have received both envelopes with the SD cards with over 250 pictures and videos. Please check back on previous posts, day #24 and earlier. We replaced the general pictures (2014 photos or internet downloads) with photos we just received.

Two years ago Imre attempted to kayak the Yukon River all by himself. He started in Whitehorse. He was right at this point, in Grayling (pop. 174) where (after battling with storms for several days) he spent two days having nothing else to do than keep checking the weather forecast and visit with the locals. As the storm did not seem to stop, he decided to give up and fly home. He gifted some of his gear to them and in return they took him to the local airport, then back to the village when it turned out that the plane could not take off in the storm. They gave him accommodation for a night.

Now he revisited the same village. It was a bit emotional for Imre to be in Grayling again. Some of the people he remembered recognized him. Others have passed away since.

Peter and Imre are already counting the miles back. There are only 320 miles to go, but this will be the hardest section. The river is on average 1 mile wide here, and even lighter winds can stir waves that are several feet high.

“The strategy is always changing” – Imre explained. “These days we paddle whenever the weather is good, but never more than 14 cycles a day.” (1 cycle = 45 min. paddling, 15 min. rest still on the water.)  “7 hours of sleep minimum.” They also make sure that they rather select a safe-looking island sooner, rather than stay at a place that is not safe or overwork themselves in search of a good one. They always try to stay on islands. They see too many bears on the shores.

Tonight they stayed in Anvik (pop. 87). The local washateria (laundromat) has a shower, which was enough to make Peter happy.


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