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September 01, 2008

Takhini Paddle II

When I was on Mount Sumanik on Saturday, I was struck by how quickly the leaves have changed colour. Fall has arrived.

On Sunday, Norris and I decided to go for an afternoon paddle down the Takhini River to enjoy the sunshine and the colours.

Norris readies the canoe at the Takhini River Campground. For some reason, it always smells like dead fish there.

Downstream of the Takhini River Campground.

Like my last trip down the Takhini, the water was fast. With a good, stiff wind at our backs, the going was even faster. This time, since I didn't need to keep an eye on Jade, I was able to snap a few pictures.
To port or to starboard? We skirt a small island in the river.

Fall colours.

Big mountains and fast water.

Around one bend, we saw an eagle sitting on a small log that was hung-up on a gravel bar. We tried to sneak closer, but it took off before we could get any good shots of it.

An eagle sits on the river.

We also saw a flock of mergansers, making their way up the river. They seemed totally unconcerned with our presence.

Mergansers.

A "fleet" of mergansers.

Not far downstream of the mergansers, we started noticing huge red salmon in the clear, clear water. It's astounding to think that they have come all the way up the Yukon River, and then the Takhini River, to spawn. It's even more amazing to think that they haven't eaten the for entire journey. Regrettably, I didn't get any pictures of the salmon because the river carried us quickly past them.

Sandy bluffs along the river.

More fall colours and fresh snow on the mountain tops.

At a big bend in the river.

A spectrum of fall colours up the mountain side.

Just upstream of the "Gums of Death" rapids, we pulled into a little backwater. We paddled to the end, looking at beaver slides and bright orange algae and the amazing views of the mountains.
Snow-kissed peaks as seen from calmer waters.

Exploring a little backwater.

Near the end of the channel.

Orange stuff.

Paddling out of the backwater.

Every time I'm at the "Gums of Death", I forget to take pictures. This time I made sure I took pictures. The rapids weren't the wildest I've seen them, but they did look like fun. Still, we didn't run them, opting to portage instead. If I were with Fawn and she wasn't seven months pregnant, I would have run them with her but I haven't done a lot of paddling with Norris so we decided to play it safe and stay dry.

Haystack.

A bouncy bit of whitewater.

Churning.

The start of the rapids.

Calmer, yet rockier, waters.

Norris and Nanuq play on the shore.

Ripples on the shore.

A fancy rock.

Norris and Nanuq at the "Gums of Death".

After the rapids, we pulled into "Booty Bay" to look for salvage from vessels that met unfortunate fates in the rapids. There was nothing left to plunder, so we paddled to the end of the bay instead. A couple of jackfish lurked around our canoe, seeming unconcerned with our presence.

Deep in "Booty Bay"

We paddled a little easier after exploring the bay, enjoying the peace and quiet. It's so nice to get away from all the Whitehorse noises and just listen to the wind in the trees and the water lapping against the shore.
Shadowy stripes on a distant mountain.

Norris, enjoying the afternoon sun.

After we got back to the pullout, I unlocked my bike (which I had stashed there earlier) and rode the 15kms back to the campground. With a big smile on his face, Nanuq ran the whole way alongside me and plunged into the river when we arrived at the car. Not a single car passed us going into the campground, so I was glad that I hadn't counted on hitchhiking.

The biggest adventure of the day wasn't the paddle or the bike ride, however. It was when I got home and plugged the camera's memory card into the card reader. None of the pictures I took were there! They had been, somehow, replaced by the pictures from my hike up Sumanik! Tragedy!

Fortunately, I found a cure. When you reformat a memory card, it isn't really reformatted. I found a nice little piece of software that recovered all of my lost pictures and even some from further back. It's only because of the software that I was able to share these pictures with you today. I hope you enjoyed them but, really, there's nothing like getting out to enjoy the fall colours in real life.

I hope you enjoy that even more.

4 comments:

Nemmy said...

Yay!! You found your pictures!! Glad your climbing shoes are working out, too. :)

Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

Awesome pictures!

Dooner said...

Those are some amazing pictures! I've gotta make it out to the Yukon one of these days.

Meandering Michael said...

Hi dooner, thanks for dropping by!

Taking pictures didn't require any amount of skill; with amazing scenery like that, it only takes a little bit of pointing and clicking.

I'm looking forward to seeing some more of your pictures around Iqaluit - it's been ten years since I was there last!