A few notes about yesterday: It seems Imre was finally able convince the fishermen to take him out fishing. He spent 4 hours with them, pulling nets, catching salmon and listening to their stories. In the end the Natives grew to like Imre so much that they gave him “a year worth of smoked king salmon” from their own supplies. “Best smoked salmon in the world” – Imre raved.
The natives also told them about a black bear they shot a few days before. Imre and Peter got very low on their water supply but the Eskimos gave them some nice spring water. Father and son even had time to hide a geocache on the island for future travelers of the Yukon, and filled it with some practical camping gear.
Today they accomplished 28 miles. After that the wind picked up and paddling turned unsafe in the big waves. The river is over 5 miles wide in places. They are staying on an island with a lot of birds. Peter took some amazing pictures and we can’t wait to see them.
Imre and Peter are planning to leave the island around midnight to utilize the best weather. There are only 26 miles left until they reach the Yukon delta, marked by the city of Emmonak (pop. 767).
After Emmonak, there are 11 more miles to where the Yukon actually reaches the Bering Sea. It would be impossible to paddle back upriver to Emmonak, so father and son will try to hire someone who will carry them back on a motor boat. But that last 11 miles would just be “the cherry on the top”. Most of the (extremely few) travelers who accomplish paddling the entire Yukon River, call it an end in Emmonak.
The family back in California is often asked: “Do you worry about them?” – Of course we do! But as long as the tracker shows every 10 minutes that they are moving along, and every evening we get a “Check” sign, we are okay. Sometimes (maybe due to weather conditions) there is no track sign for 50 or even 90 minutes. Then… then we do worry, and are able to take a deep breath only when the next little orange mark finally shows up on the map.