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The Rare Experience

If anyone were to ask me about my proudest accomplishments, I’d say that one of them is moving from Fort Yukon to Circle on the Yukon River last summer. I’m not experienced with boats or with rivers, and on my first trip up river to Circle, I realized just how remote was the wilderness I was traveling through. I have learned that this is the most challenging section on the length of the Yukon. Between Circle and Fort Yukon, the river branches out into innumerable braids a mile wide and at times only inches deep while at other times focuses to overwhelming current at twenty feet deep. I kicked up plenty of rocks with the propeller by getting into water measured in single-digit inches. I loaded up the open boat with boxes and other belongings until the pile mounded so high I had to stand on a box to see over the top. I covered everything with a tarp and used duct tape to tie it all down. And it was this tarp blue mini barge that I pointed up river and back again in four day-long round trips – sometimes with a friend to help, other times alone. It was scary. I was terrified. Which made me that much more elated when I made it there and back again with everything having gone well. And now I can forever say that I’ve had the rare experience of moving with a boat on a river. People move all of the time: borrow a friend’s pickup and shuttle your stuff across town; rent a U-haul and get it all done in one trip. But this? Loading all of our stuff into a boat and pushing it up river through wilderness. It’s a story to tell.

I was reminded of this today as I put the boat back onto the river for the first time since the move last summer. I went up six miles above Circle and my lessons from last summer all came back to me. “Look where the water is coming from, and go there.” It’s different launching a boat onto a river with current, and landing it back on the trailer again to pull it out. From launching, to navigating the low water around gravel bars and riffles of one inch water, and pulling it back out of the water with the trailer, everything went well. I’m proud.

Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 11:54PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

Man, I miss those trips up the Yukon!
June 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBryan N

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