Thursday, June 22, 2017

Solo Kayak Adventure Yukon Rive 2700 km

Solo Kayak Adventure Yukon Rive 2700 km

Solo kayak adventure on the Yukon River for 2,700 km for 3 months from the source lake in British Columbia, Canada to Grayling village, Alaska, USA.

   This is a real time daily progress reports that were posted everyday to my blog via a satellite communication during adventure.

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May 27, 2016
Big nuts

At Narita airport. I am not sure Delta will carry these big nuts tied by plastic tape.


Loving rubber boots fashion

I will wear rubber boots in the river, and I don't wanna carry any tiny extra goods. Therefore, the rubber boots, I am boarding into the international air plane with. How cool style! These days, I love this style, and I have never seen any single other guy who makes an awkward silence which wearing same fashions makes, haha.


May 28, 2016
Found Miso

   I found Miso, Japanese traditional food made from soybean,in Whitehorse. I was so happy to feel that I can live even if I am going to eat only this and rice.
  Miso will come into the Bennett Lake tomorrow.


May 29, 2016
Way to Bennett

I asked to Emily, Canoe People, an outfitter in Whitehorse, to  drive me and my kayak to  Carcross, although  my destination is Bennett, a historical abandoned town of Yukon Gold Rush where people started their raft trip along the Yukon River, because there is no way to go to there by car.
Jim drove me. We thought that the narrow gauge train might carry me and my kayak from Carcross to Bennett, and visited the visitor information center in Carcross. Jim gave me a big help with complicated exchange of words in English.
They started off their advise.
"Very strong wind always blows through the narrow and long Bennett Lake, and this strong wind makes very heigh wave."
"The sand banks around here are made by that strong wind carrying sand."
"Even local who has a big boat with engine never sails in that strong wind."
"The strong wind suddenly starts to blow and there are only few spots you can pull your kayak up for about 45 kilometer shore."
For several tens minutes, I thought that it should be better to give up to start from Bennett and then alternatively start from here Carcross, because her face was very serious.
Finally I decided that anyway I will go to Bennett if the train can bring me and my kayak, and then will observe carefully the wind of there. I already experienced same situation in the Columbia River Gorge, the starting point of my kayak expedition.
The second issue was my ton of equipment. The train does not run today Monday, are going to run tomorrow Tuesday. I can not carry those to camp ground by hand. I had to ask somebody near train station to keep those in their storage. Ron, Matthew Watson General Store, just in front of the station, accepted it in the nicest way.
And then, Daphne, Carcross Visitor Information Centre, called to the train office instead of me, and reserved it (I think nobody uses the train from Carcross to Bennett to kayak) very kindly.
In here, again, locals are giving me wonderful supports. I deeply thank them.

May 30, 2016
Ester taught dandelion leaf can eat

I met Ester Ouderkirk, Jim and Tom at camp ground in Carcross. She taught me that leaf of dandelion can eat. It will be precious food.

May 31, 2016
Bennett, starting point

I am at Bennett, the starting point of my expedition. The train of White Pass had a freight car and carried my kayak.
I am alone in the abandoned town and the Bennett Lake is so quiet and beautiful.
Now, it is 11:10 pm, an evening glow just starts.


June 1 2016, Day 1
Start paddling

Started I paddling to the Bering Sea this afternoon!
It was light rain. Snow caped mountains behind me were so beautiful. No body was on the Bennett Lake except birds.
After tens of minutes from I started, sunlight came and a tailwind blowing down mountains behind me became strong and white caped wave overtaken me.


June 2 2016, Day 2
Bennett Lake, Heaven

Here the Bennett Lake may be the most beautiful place for all the way of the Yukon River I will kayak.
Water looks and tastes like crystal... nobody lives but only glaciers are upstream from here.
Our planet is so beautiful as Heaven. I want to and may stay few days.


June 3 2016, Day 3
Life is amazing

I am not moving and staying in the same wonderful place, the Bennett Lake, today.
Since I could have a time to use a liquid fuel stove, I enjoyed first hot meal, rice and Miso!, and first hot drink, green tea.
I confirmed the stove works well. So far, only teared rubber boots is problem. I can not fix it by any means, using an adhesive and an duct tape. I admire, especially in outdoor activity like now I am doing, that, any things are being broken but only my body are being fixed. Life is amazing.


June 4 2016, Day 4
Never see the starlight

I fished an arctic grayling and ate. Its white-meat is delicious.
Although the sun downs behind mountains, the night never comes. I can not see the starlight.
Almost all daytime, the sky is bright with the Jun sunshine, and strong and cold wind blows from the direction of glaciers, today.


June 5 2016, Day 5
Across the Bennett Lake

I woke up at AM 3:00 to paddle in the early morning, because I thought that the wind blowing in the morning was less strong than the wind blowing in the afternoon. At day 2, a wind made around 2 feet, the maximum 3 feet waves.
It is almost white night, an evening glow and a red dawn sky for many hours are very beautiful.

I saw a beaver catching fish. She completely did not care me.

Today, finally I made it, across the Bennett Lake. Re-visiting the visitor center in Carcross, I was so happy that everybody in there was pleased with my success. And more, Dorothy kindly made a big effort to find my new rubber boots instead for my teared boots, and finally she gave me her rubber boots she found it in her house. What a kind person Dorothy is. In here also local person helped me. Thank you so much.

Tomorrow, I will attack the Windy Arm where the critical strong windy point a local person taught me.

June 6 2016, Day 6
Wesley and Terry

Paddling in the lake in the morning, suddenly somebody called my name "Ryota!" from a shore. I was very supprised. It was Wesley. By coincidence, I met again with Wesley and Terry who I met at last night by my tent in Carcross. We enjoy a cup of coffee and wonderful time in his cozy cabin built on the shore of the beautiful lake.

Windy Arm

I can not paddle across the Windy Arm, which is a critical point with strong wind blowing down from glaciers. Wind and wave tossed about my kayak and I totally could not control the kayak. I had to return. Now I am waiting the wind is going to be calm down, but nobody knows when, even local people.
In addition, more problem happens. The solar cell battery is almost broken by a bad contact. I can not fix it because it is not be able to be opened.

manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 7 2016, Day 7
Black wave

Wind stopped, and I could not see white-crested waves anymore. I started to paddle into the Windy Arm, which is the crossing point of a narrow long lake leading to glaciers and the lake leading to Carcross village, under dim light which I did not need a head light at PM 11:00.
It expected to be an easy way, but gradually wind and wave increased at middle of the lake.
Wind and wave were worse more and more. A shore is few miles away. It was just like a wild sea in the night.
Wind and wave came from behind and tossed about my kayak. Suddenly a big wave attacked the kayak from the back of right hand. The kayak leaned deeply to the right at just balanced angle between stableness and overturning. In my past experience, I was going to capsize in the same situation. I thought that "I am going to capsize...". I leaned the upper half of my body to the left of back. I escaped overturn by a hairsbreadth. And then the kayak leaned to the left in reaction. I struck an water surface by a paddle to stop the movement.
I did not wear neither a dry-suit nor a wet-suit.
"I am going to die in here..." I thought.
Repeatedly big wave attacked me. I was exhausted. I said to myself "concentrate, concentrate" and continued to paddle with all my power.
At AM 0:30 I stepped my foot on the solid earth again. I had fought with wind and black waves for one and half hour.
Before to take off my wet clothes, before to pitch the tent, I drunk a Yukon Gold local beer which was just leaved on the bottom of the kayak without being drunk.

manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 8 2016, Day 8

I paddled northward in the Tagish Lake.
Why I continue to paddle?
Because I am a life. Because, I am a human.
Yesterday's Windy Arm is still vivid in my memory.

I saw twenties gulls nesting on a rocky island. Chicks appeared and parents flew around me to warn.
About ten wild geese and twenty chicks walked along a shore for same direction of mine toward the wind. We traveled together for a while.
The kingdom of wild.
It impressed me greatly.

The kayak started to leak, 2 litters per hour, but I can not see any hole on the bottom of the kayak. To continue this journey, I have to repair now. How to find it?

The total paddled distance: 62 mi
manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 9 2016, Day 9
Lake is blue and vast

   I could find a small hole on the Kayak. When I landed the kayak on a shore, being chased by rolling waves in Windy Arm, the kayak should get hit a rock and make it. It can be fixed with a patch I have.
   However, fixing it in the open air, I could not spread an adhesive thin. In view of that the kayak are going to be driven too hard for three months and the patch are going to be applied a strong force, it will be wise judgement that not 24 hours but 3 days I am going to dry the adhesive for.
   Totally 4 days stagnation. Well, It is O.K. The sky is blue and vast, the lake is also blue and vast. A prairie dog friend came to see.

manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 10 2016, Day 10

   The night of the day before yesterday, I have pulled my kayak up the foot of a bridge in Tagish village, and found a campground at there by coincidence, where now I am staying. The first people I talked in there are Bev, Bruce , their daughter and husband. Bev and Bruce are making a long stay with their caravan. Bev said that "Pitch your tent by our caravan". So, I just did what she said.
   Bev is feeding me as if I am a real her son. She is always asking me that "Do you eat Udon soup?" "Dou you eat chicken?". Udon soup with soy sauce taste she made was so delicious. Her affection and her hot soup warm me.
   Bev is a daughter of the first nation. She taught me how to cook prairie dog, rabbit and wild duck as traditional food, tonight. A prairie dog is tender and delicious, she said.
   Even though my muscle increase than of first day, my fat decrease. It seems I have to eat more and more than what I imagined. I have to continue eating, but simultaneously I have to paddle. Eat more and move more.
manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 11 2016, Day 11
Brenda's birthday

   Brenda, Bev's daughter, invited me to her birthday supper at the cottage of Brenda and Ralph in the deep forest spreading around the Tagish Lake.
   It looked like that everybody are joying to live with feeling to connect with mother nature beyond just loving animals and plants. I would like to feel their feeling more deeply, together.

manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 12 2016, Day 12
Leakage stopped

   Waiting for three days for to dry adhesive, with which I putted a patch over the hole of my kayak, I test-drove the kayak on the lake. The leakage stopped. Since it is not a perfect repair, if the kayak hits the same place again into a rock, the patch might come off, but it should be the best what I can do now in the field. I hope it will work for three month. 

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June 13 2016, Day 13
Sharing breakfast with squirrel

This morning, I shared a breakfast with a squirrel.
He put his small hand on my hand, when he looked for rice. He ate a few bite, and then he went to patrol; otherwise he crammed his mouth with rice, and then climbed a tree to eat. He repeatedly came to eat.

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Sunset, sunrise, bonfire and quiet lake

The red sunset is changing into the red sunrise, without changing into the night, very slowly. In addition, a flame of a bonfire, and a quiet lake. I do not know more luxurious things than this.

Today, I enjoyed the Marsh Lake in a head wind.

Total distance: 69 mi
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June 14 2016, Day 14
Marsh lake

In the morning, I waited for rain to stop. In the afternoon, I could start paddling, but it was almost a head wind. So, today, I could paddle only 6 mi.
Now, thunder is sounding. From yesterday, it is foul weather.

I want to eat meet or fish. My body may need protein. I should try fishing on the kayak, but, so far, in perilous passes it was out of the question, and in lakes in head wind it was also impossible. Maybe I will be able to try fishing after passing all lakes. I passed Bennett Lake and Tagish Lake, and then now I am in Marsh Lake. The last one is Lake Laberge.

Total distance: 76 mi
manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 15 2016, Day 15

   It should be under a strong low pressure system. I started paddling without sea socks, since the surface of water was calm. Nevertheless, the wind was very changeable, and a head wind increased more than yesterday. I was buffeted by the waves without a time to escape. When I paddled the kayak for the same direction waves moving, it was really like I did surfboarding.

   Immobilized by a head wind, the paddling speed was able to be just around 0.5 mi/hour. Therefore, I pulled my kayak on a shore and pitched my tent to wait the wind to clam.

   In that shore, I met Elise going for a walk with the dogs. She invited me to her cozy house by the shore in a forest to have a cup of coffee, kindly. And then her friend Kristin drove me to get foods to a town, and then Elise and her partner Grant gave me hot dinner and hot shower.

Total Distance: 77 mi
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Wonderful midnight

What a wonderful midnight!

June 16 2016, Day 16
Yukon time

I am just waiting the wind to settle. I am just feeling the time flowing. Yukon time flows very slowly.

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The perfect world

The wind stoped.

I began rowing to the Marsh Lake at 11 pm. The glassy water surface reflecting the sunset and sunrise glows that seamlessly continued all night. I was surrounded by the spectacle of the earth.
The perfect world.
By the beautifulness that I have never seen, I was surprised, I was impressed, I was overwhelmed.

At 6:00 am. I reached at the north edge of the Marsh Lake successfully.

Total distance: 96 mi
manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 17 2016, Day 17
Heaven of wildlife

I met with Dave, a local guy fishing on a small boat. We enjoyed talking and then he gave me a 15 inch pike which he just fished, on the water.

I pitched my tent on the only sandy beach in a marsh. I baked the pike by a bonfire.

The quiet marsh. The heaven of wildlife. The songs of birds sounded across the marsh. beavers and gulls came to me.

manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 18 2016, Day 18

Surprisingly I saw around twenty beavers today. I had thought that beaver makes dam to stem a river stream, but they made just nests on a shore by timbers they logged.
Sometimes I was surprised by the sound of splash they made nearby, when I paddled the kayak.

Total distance: 113 mi
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June 19 2016, Day 19

   I wend over the dam, which is the only dam in the Yukon River.
   Although I had an option to call an outfitter in Whitehorse, pay money and carry my kayak and gear by car, I just wanted to move by my own foot, and began to shoulder the kayak and walk along about one and half miles bypass.
   Just at that moment, I was spoken by Thomas from Germany riding a bicycle seeing my kayak. He told that he had paddled the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Circle and his dream was to paddle to the Bearing Sea. He helped me to carry the kayak and gear by hand. Thanks to Thomas, although I thought that It should be two days work to carry those, I could finish it just as one day work.

Total Distance: 121 mi
manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 20 2016, Day 20
Solar panel

   My solar panel is half-dead. It should be broken during three months paddling. So I ordered new one in Amazon Canada and it expected to deliver to Whitehorse from 14th - 17th Jun. However, although today is 20th Jun, it is still at customs in Canada. People living in Whitehorse told me that a delay of delivery is very usual and you may have to wait more 1 to 2 weeks. I was in open-mouthed surprise.
   A solar panel of other type does not work because I have modified it to waterproof.
   Because the winter of Alaska are going to come soon, I want to start paddling quickly. However, also I want to continue to post my progresses to blog and SNS.
   I am eagerly looking forward to my stuff will arrive, waiting in Whitehorse.

manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 21 2016, Day 21
Beaver under midnight sun

   I was gazing out on a beaver just before my eyes 3 feet for one hour as squatting on a pebbly shore just by my tent, and never got tired of it. He was eating leaves of a branch he gnawed and logged.
   It happened at 1 o'clock midnight. However, it was close to the midnight sun. So, we could see nocturnal animals without a light with the naked eye.
   He knew the sound with which I stepped on pebbles. I could touch hem if I stretched my arm. However he did not mind my existence.
   amazing experience it was.

manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 22 2016, Day 22
Transfer solar panel

   Still the solar panel I ordered is in customs of Canada.

   An idea came to me that I might be able to transfer the solar panel from Whitehorse to Dowson, last town in Canada along the Yukon River I am going to visit on the way. So, I went to the post office. And then they said that I could do.
   However a computer network of Canada Post did not work well and I could not go through a procedure. I will visit the post office again for procedure tomorrow.

manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 23 2016, Day 23
State of Canada Post

   I could go through a procedure to transfer the solar panel from Whitehorse to Dowson at the post office. I very hope the solar panel will arrive at Dowson before I will be at there.
   However, nonetheless, the Canada Post is going to go on strike at 1st July... Oh my God...

   In case that the solar panel are not going to be delivered to Dowson, I am considering to paddle to the Bering Sea without any electrical devices, a head light, GPS, communication device and etc. Like old days. Well, it is also wonderful adventure!

manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 24 2016, Day 24

Since I was asked to care Tatsuki, I paddled with him and instructed him. Travel is a mutual aid.

Total Distance: 134 mi
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June 25 2016, Day 25
Lake Laberge

Lake Laberge of emerald green, I paddled.
The wind was a weak tailwind and the lake was calm.

Total distance: 156 mi
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June 26 2016, Day 26

Tatsuki is cyclist who is traveling across North and South America, and now trying kayak from Whitehorse to Dowson while on his journey.
Lake Laberge is 31 mile in length and the place of strong wind and high wave, and is too dangerous for beginner to paddle by oneself. So, I can not leave him alone. I will paddle with him and teach, until finish paddling across the Lake Laberge.

Total distance: 170 mi
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June 27 2016, Day 27
Perfect evening on 60 degrees north latitude

I finished paddling across Lake Laberge.

Since strong wind and wave in the morning, I waited for those to calm down as slept in a tent, and then in the afternoon those decreased gradually.
Catching a wind and waves that pushed me from behind comfortably, I glided the kayak on the water. Smooth surfaced rocky mountains lined to the right.
When I reached around the end of the lake, the wind stopped completely; it was surrounded by a silence without even sound of leaves rubbed against each other, and I could see flowing pebbles through clear water of the lake. Just only, a song of bird, and a sound of that a bird dived into the water to catch a fish, sounded throughout the lake sparkling in sunlight and the forest of spruce like a soft carpet.
The perfect evening on a 60 degrees north latitude.

Total distance: 187 mi
manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

June 28 2016, Day 28
Time adjustment

Taking a day off for time adjustment, from paddling in the afternoon according to the wind of the lake, to paddling in the morning.

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June 29 2016, Day 29

Holy animal for the people living in here from the far past, raven, flew down to me.
He came to just by my foot. After we spend for a while together, he quite relaxed and preened beside me.
Although I served a piece of bread, his behavior looked like that, he had some intellectual will beyond just want of food and stayed close beside me. .
It was amazing experience.

Total Distance: 235 mi
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June 30 2016, Day 30

Since it rained from the morning to around 5 pm in the forest, I stopped moving. I spent like making fishing device.

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July 1 2016, Day 31
Morning mist

Bathed in the sunlight, the morning mist soared high into the sky. It was better by far than any morning mist I have seen to date.

Total distance: 283 mi
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July 2 2016, Day 32
Live and winding river

   A few hundred feet height of a brown cliff towered along the outer edge of the curved river. It even now keeps crumbling. A vast shallows, in which a small town could build, lay down inside it. I was letting myself drift in the live and winding river.

Total distance: 313 mi
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July 3 2016, Day 33
Meat block

Gotton a meat block, I pickled it with salt to preserve for a week.

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July 4 2016, Day 34
Soaking grayling into miso

When I pulled the kayak up on a shore to pitch the tent, I saw a creek flowing into the Yukon River. Attaching a spinner to a fishing rod and throwing it into a backwater, I caught an around 15 inch grayling.
I cut it by a scissors and then tried soaking it into miso to preserve.

I paddled though the rapid stream called Five Finger Rapid. It was easy way.

Total distance: 336 mi
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July 5 2016, Day 35
Enjoying the moments

At 8 am, I threw a lure in the same place where I had caught a grayling last night, and fished it again. This time, I tried drying it in the sun to preserve.
A grayling soaked into miso I made last night was quite delicious.

A chunk of beef I pickled with salt, I washed it with water to remove salt, and then, grilled it lightly and smoked it by a bonfire to preserve.

I think that a key to success of this adventure is not to paddle strenuously with the objective as the Bering Sea, but to concentrate and enjoy the moments that I am feeling now. This view also comes from the previous experience of paddling in the west coast of USA.
Furthermore, I think that it is the same for everything that happen in our life.

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July 6 2016, Day 36
Northern pike

Cumulonimbus covered the sky continuously since yesterday, and cold rain and wind prevented to kayak. However, in exchange for it, Al from Canada taught me the place where I could fish a northern pike and the knack, while we were fishing together on a canoe in there. No-rushing and waiting gave me the chance to acquire the good wisdom.

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July 7 2016, Day 37

Al and his dog Zen, who both love a nature deeply, paddled the Yukon River for the next town Dowson. We together pitched tents in an island where porcupine inhabits.

Total distance: 397 mi
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July 8 2016, Day 38
Increasing river width

The quantity of water and the river width increase as I paddle. Since a shore becomes more distant, it becomes difficult to guess the kayak speed.

I think some people already have noticed, but, the link written at the end of this article is the map that shows a my current position and a trace of paddling. A human-figure-icon indicates the my current position. Clicking an icon or a small picture, which indicates a location, the article and the pictures written at that time will pop up.

Total distance: 419 mi
manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

July 9 2016, Day 39
Pair of mooses

I saw a pair of mooses entering into water and eating waterweed beside the place I pitched the tent. They might notice me but did not go away from me as they were around a hundred yard distance from me. They were majestic.

Recent three or four days, cumulonimbus clouds have developed and it has rained often. With an open sky where I could see the coming rain strings under the black clouds, I could escape those under the tent so far. However I have not been able to gain a paddling distance.

Total distance: 433 mi
manDisplay the current location and the tracking map

July 10 2016, Day 40
Hard rain

A cumulonimbus covered me. I could not find any shore to escape it. It thundered and hard rain attacked me paddling on the water for long time.
I was soaked and I realized that my Gore-tex ware top and bottom both lost its function. A vinyl raincoat should be better than those. It is not so old and I thought it was still working, but it seems that I have used it hardly. I have to do something.

Total distance: 467 mi
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July 11 2016, Day 41
White River

The White River joined the Yukon River. At the border line where two waters mixed, the brown water of the White River boiled up in the deep green water of the Yukon River as a cumulonimbus. Where two big rivers join, we can see the earth activity.

Total distance: 499 mi

July 12 2016, Day 42
Rising of river

For the last a week or so, it has been rain. A big tree with freshly green leaves and soil held by its root lay down on shallows in the middle of the river.
As the fate of a solo kayak with a folding kayak, I am leaving the kayak at the edge of the water and am tying the kayak to a shore by rope while camping. So, when I waked up, I saw that my kayak had left the shore and floated in the eddy, since the water level of this great river with around one mile river width had risen.
It might be an effect of global warming.

Total distance: 549 mi

July 13 2016, Day 43

I have arrived at Dawson City. Here is the final town along the Yukon River, and from here to the ocean there are small first nation villages.

Total distance: 574 mi

July 14 2016, Day 44
Value of telling

   I could get a rain coat instead of the damaged Gor-tex wear in here, a small town for a tourism, Dawson City.
   And also, I could get a new solar battery panel instead of a half-dead one, which I asked to transfer from Whitehorse to here.    So, I can continue to challenge this adventure!
   Since I could get a new solar panel, I summarize this paddling from start to now. I have used around two hours to post a my progress via a satellite daily. I have lost one-third of paddling time, and it means that I have lost one-third of paddling distance. In this pace, it should be difficult to arrive to the Bering Sea before when the winter is going to come to Alaska.
   So, I have arranged the order of priority.
   I should be the only one who program a original server, and post progresses in real time daily via the satellite to Facebook, blog and Twitter. On the other hand, honestly, I am feeling a stress to use electronic devices although I am in the deep nature and want to feel it.
   From the point of view of feeling, I want to be intent on paddling and want to go the Bering Sea straight. However, it is a issue of a balance. Because I am doing the original attempt this time, I think that, even if this paddling is going to be separated into two sections and the second half is going to execute other year, to continue this posting still has a value, and it is more worth than to discontinue this posting and to concentrate paddling.
   "The value of telling".

July 15 2016, Day 45
Fixing, modifying

   Going to the post office to receive the solar panel, and fixing and modifying various; I am always fixing and modifying something, haha!

July 16 2016, Day 46
Reducing weight and capacity

   I resupplyed foods, and cut off surplus equipments to reduce weight and capacity.
   Tomorrow, I may leave this town. Next one is a crossing a national border by the river. I will leave Canada and enter the United States.

July 17 2016, Day 47
Black bear

I paddled 50 miles in the continuous rain without any place to rest, eat and wear more clothes. At 11 pm, finally the rain stopped and I pulled the kayak to a pebbly shore to wear clothes.

A black bear was there just 60 feet ahead, when I had finished wearing clothes and lifted my head. He was interested me and got closer and closer to me. I was without wearing a bear spray, even a knife.
I lifted both hand high and moved those left and right to show my body bigger, talked to him and walked backward slowly, keeping to face him. Nevertheless, he continued to approach me.
For two minutes or so, I walked backward and was keeping the distance. And then, the bear came by the kayak. He started to sniff my water proof bag containing my clothes, but soon he lost interest in it and started to approach me again.
I had to show him that I am more strong than him. So, I try to jump while lifting and moving both hand. This time, he was surprised and turned back into the wood.

Total distance: 625 mi

July 18 2016, Day 48
Crossing national border by kayak

   I crossed the national border and have entered into the United States by KAYAK! There is no gate and no fence, just flags of both countries. I enjoyed that new experience without paddling and just being flowed slowly. This border crossing is one of milestones.
   During this two days, cloud is hanging low over and it is raining. It drains bodily strength to keep paddling as getting cold rain drops blown by the head wind in the face.

Total distance: 678 mi

July 19 2016, Day 49
Calling to immigration office

   I have gotten a permission to enter the United States.
   Since there is not a gate control at the Canada-U.S.A. border along the river, if I will do nothing I will be an illegal immigrant. So, at Eagle, the first village we see along the Yukon River after that border, I called to the immigration office.
   I found the direct telephone which was simply put on an outside wall of a laundry. For five minutes or so, an immigration officer asked me some questions, and gave me the permission.

July 20 2016, Day 50
Breathing of our planet

It was sunny day, although it had been rain when I had dismantled a tent in the morning. It was first fine weather in many days.
However, a head wind was very strong, and paddling to move the kayak forward and to control the kayak was so heavy.
Although a day without wind or rain is seldom, I could accept it, because when I was paddling in the vast earth I could feel that a circulation of the atmosphere is a breathing of the our planet.

Total distance: 728 mi

July 21 2016, Day 51
Rather nice weather

Although it was rain when I took down a tent in the morning, it was cloudy sky and an occasional light rain when I was paddling by day. A head wind did not blow today. It was rather nice weather.
Today I paddled also 50 miles.

Total distance: 779 mi

July 22 2016, Day 52
Brown water

Although a lot of silt floated in the river water and it was muddy that I was not be able to see through to the underwater of 1 inch below, its shining brown texture under the sun light was so beautiful.
I am using that brown water to boil rice without filtering, but it is still delicious without earth-smelling. Not contaminated with any artificial something, it is harmless if we just boil it. The rice cooked by the water of the Yukon River, it sounds nice.

I have arrived at Circle, a small village of 100 population.

I am very looking forward to paddle into the Arctic Circle soon.

Total distance: 833 mi

July 23 2016, Day 53
Losing position and time in light

Passing Circle and entering into Yukon Flats, the situation of the river changed entirely.
The rive width became infinite, and an infinite number of islands filled the river. The stream branched as meshes of a net, and it was difficult to distinguish the main stream and effluents. Hills disappeared, and only a water and woods on flat and thin islands spread on the horizon. Sunlight and reflected light by ripples filled the space surrounding me. I lost my position and speed in space, just floated in space. Losing a position and a speed meant losing a time. Everything lost a relative reference.
I lost an interest in a map, a watch and a kayak speed, and just floated in the light.

The zip of the entrance of the tent was worn down and became not functioning any more. It is the critical problem to survive in the cold and rain in Alaska. It seems that I can not fix it, and there will be no town to purchase it along the river. It might be all up with me.

Total distance: 858 mi

July 24 2016, Day 54
Fixing tent

The zipper of the entrance of the tent had broken down and it had not closed, from the last night. Therefore I tried to fix it, and finally I was able to change the sliding piece to the spare with a cheap multi-tool bought at Wal-Mart.
So, happily I can paddle more farther.

Last night and tonight, I have pitched my tent on islands. Less chance to encounter with bear and less mosquito there are.

Total distance: 881 mi

July 25 2016, Day 55
The Arctic Circle

Have I entered into the Arctic Circle! I have crossed north latitude 66 degrees 33 minutes. It is my first experience to paddle into the Arctic Circle and even to set foot on. It is not a national border line that humankind has drawn selfishly but the line that nature draws with the positional relationship of the earth and the sun, and it makes me being more delighted.
The midnight sun has still been and I have never seen the stars.

Total distance: 908 mi

July 26 2016, Day 56
Living together with Yukon River

Visiting Fort Yukon village, U.S.A., to re-supply food, I met Joyce Ward and Ida Tizya by chance, who are cousins of Shirley Lord; Shirley is who I had met in Carcross, Canada, where is more upstream from the Yukon River. Moreover, Ida Tizya lives in Old Crow, Canada, where is along one of the tributary of the Yukon River, and she well knows Bev Bingham, whose native place is Old Crow, and her family, who had become my friends at Tagish, Canada, where is more upstream from the Yukon River. What a small world.
People of first nation live together with the Yukon River, regardless of countries as Canada and U.S.A.

Total distance: 919 mi

July 27 2016, Day 57
Yukon Flat

Yukon Flat is an amazing place. The main stream winds in the vast river, which looks like a lake, although we can not see it directly, like that an air stream winds in the vast sky although we can not see it directly. A river flows in a river. An invisible water way is in the water.
I have to distinguish the main stream to avoid shallows. If I get stranded in the shallows and the angle against the water current is unsuitable, my folding sea kayak will bends easily. However, it is not easy because the transparency of the river is less than one inch and I can not see the shallows.
I am imagining the line of main stream in the extensive water with intuition acquired in other rivers, and I am paddling through that line.

Total distance: 948 mi

July 28 2016, Day 58
Notes of violin in Arctic Circle

I listened the notes of a violin in the Arctic Circle.
Floating the kayak on the Yukon River, I played the album of Kaito Ikeda. Melody came out from the space which only the sky, water and the horizon were there.
I do not know more luxurious way of listening.

Total distance: 981 mi

July 29 2016, Day 59
Storm from Siberia

A storm coming from Siberia has hit me today. When I started paddling it was just light rain, but rain, wind and wave began to appear soon. Those increased gradually, and then, to control the kayak became difficult and it was dangerous situation. So I pulled the kayak up on an island and waited until it passes.
It is early storm and the storm season should come to Alaska.

Total distance: 998 mi

July 30 2016, Day 60
New experience

The floor of the tent loses a water proof function and rain starts to come into the tent through it. The tent fly gets damage by ultraviolet rays and starts to be torn when it was stretched. Um... I wonder if I can survive the fall storm coming from the Bering Sea with this situation.
I think that I still have room for figuring out, say, to repair with a duct-tape or someting.

It is going to be my new experience, that I have to consider deterioration of materials of all equipments and have to change those in more short replacement cycle than I imagined, when I do a long term expedition and drive those hard.

I am waiting the storm to leave. It is the first time in many days to keep stay at same place, and I hope that it becomes a nice rest for my body although my mind is seeing ahead.

July 31 2016, Day 61
Halfway point

Because if I cared about rain or wind I could not advance, I have taken a decision to paddle in rain and wind except that to paddle is impossible. So, today, although the storm wind did not calm down yet, I started to paddle.
It was clear sky. However, a strong head wind swept the kayak away and I used my all strength to only steer the bow to the direction of travel.
So, I am dog-tired today. But before lie down, I have to repair the tent for next rain, and write today's progress in Japanese and English.

I have paddled one thousand miles! According to calculations, it is the halfway point. How huge the Yukon River is! I feel that I have spent all my life on the river. It means this is my second life.

Total distance 1,023 mi

August 1 2016, Day 62
The earth

If somebody asks me "where are you live", now, I will answer with a straight face, "the earth".

Total distance: 1,048 mi

August 2 2016, Day 63
Ending of Yukon Flat

I had seen only a woody horizon on the boundary between the sky and water, but mountains has became appeared in the distance. Yukon Flat continued for few weeks is closing in the edge.

Total distance: 1,082 mi

August 3 2016, Day 64

I stopped at Stevens Village, first nation village, population is only 20 - 30, for re-supply of food, and then visited a kind of a meeting place. There was no grocery store, but Deborah George and her daughter Sarah Smoke, who I met there and lived in that land from generation to generation, shared rice, spaghetti and noodle. Moreover, Deborah asked me whether I was hungry or not, and backed home to make spaghetti and coffee for me.
She told me that she was educated to be kind to a traveler from her mother, and for generations.
It was just two or three hours visit, but their warmth gave me a energy for next one paddle.

Total distance: 1,096 mi

August 4 2016, Day 65
Great plain has ended

A great plain has ended, a horizon has disappeared, and hills have come back to both riversides. The river width considerably has decreased to less than a mile.

The foggy river was beautiful.

Temperature is dropping drastically. A wind has become chilly, and I need a down jacket in the mornings and evenings.

Total distance: 1,120 mi

August 5 2016, Day 66
Protecting the earth

When I started expedition, I said that the one of the reason to do this was for "protecting the earth". I still think in here Alaska that it stands to reason.
To protect the earth, we have to understand the nature and a human being.
We can understand the nature, if we will step foot in a forest.
We can understand a human being, if we will understand oneself. And then, we can understand oneself, if we will enter into the nature deeply alone, face emotions of loneliness, fear,and joy and recognize oneself who watch thoes.

Since this section does not have any island, I have pitched my tent on the shore connecting to the mainland. There was the sound of snapping twigs in the forest beside my tent. Crowding mosquitoes indicates that a lot of animals are here. To guard, I made a spear with a paddle and a knife and put it bedside.

Total distance; 1,154 mi

August 6 2016, Day 67
Huge animal walked by tent side

4:30 AM, I woke up by the sound that a some huge animal walked about. It was doing something just by my tent side. I thought it was a bear or a moose due to a sign of its hugeness. After few minutes, breathing hard through the nose, it entered into the river with a loud splash and then went through by my tent side.
I could not open the zipper of the tent to confirm that figure in order to avoid surprising it and then being attacked.
There was no footprint of it on the pebbly shore. I searched around, found a footprint of hoof 150 feet away and not found a footprint of a bear. It is not a direct evidence but I think it was moose.

Bears all have their own personality. A bear spray is useless to be attacked by bear when I am in a tent. Um, entering alone into Alaska, I need a gun...

Total distance: 1,189 mi

August 7 2016, Day 68
Lucky day

It was partly light behind wind. Today was lucky day.
I paddled past a rapid where some rocks appeared at the middle of the river. Those rocks are not enough high to easily find from far away.

Total distance: 1,218 mi

August 8 2016, Day 69
Smoked salmon and zipper problem

I purchased two smoked salmons from a parson of the first nation, which had been just fished by him in the Yukon River and was smoked in a smoke house as food for his family and dogs for long winter.
It should be the best preserved food for this kayak trip, which is also very delicious and includes good nutrition.

The zipper of the tent fly has gradually become not being closed, although I had changed the slider before departure. It is only a matter of time to become totally unclosed. The tent can not prevent a rain without it. The spare slider was already used to fix the entrance of the tent. So, there is no hope of fixing it. Um... how can I do. I am wondering that it will be work until the village, Galena for the present.

Total distance: 1248 mi

August 9 2016, Day 70
Tent zipper became to be not closed

A person of the village gave me pliers he used for free. This kindness of villages of the first nation should be the soul from generation to generation in the Yukon River. The zipper of the fly of the tent became not to be closed completely. So, I tried to squash the slider of the zipper with that pliers, and then It has become to be closed again. However, with this rough work, I do not know that how long the zipper will work well. It might become not to be closed soon, or it might well work for some time. It is fearful to think that the tent will be broken in a wilderness and it will be rain.

August 10 2016, Day 71
The world where only the sky

A wind stopped. Although a water of the Yukon River was flowing, the surface of the water became a big mirror reflecting the sky. The another world changed into the another world further. The world, where only the sky and a water was there, changed the world, where only the sky was there.

After joining the Tanana River, the river has changed again. The quantity of water has increased, and the river width has become close to a mile. The great river has changed into the great river further.

People of the village had given me moose and salmon. To avoid to spoil, I have to eat hurry. Tonight I ate only salmon, and then tomorrow morning I will eat only the rest of salmon. As for moose, tomorrow night I will eat only it.
Three of person had given me foods with a word "Good luck".

Total distance: 1,278 mi

August 11 2016, Day 72
Happiness to live

Today also I have not been engulfed by the great river, today also I have not fallen prey to a beast, today also I could eat a food, today also I could avoid rain and wind to sleep, today also I feel happy that I could live for a day.

Total distance: 1,298 mi

August 12 2016, Day 73
No space to pitch tent

There is no space to pitch the tent, on the island, and on the mainland. Furthermore, it is difficult even to find a place to pull up kayak on a shore. Searching a lot, finally I found a tiny damp ground. Since there was no space to pull up the kayak above a water, I just moored the kayak floating on the water by rope. Pulling stuffs out from kayak was difficult, a dinner was only bread and dry salmon.

The zipper of the tent fly that I had squashed the slider of it already became not to be closed. I squashed it again. I do not know how long this repetition will work.

Total distance: 1,347 mi

August 13 2016, Day 74
Came on slider!

Came on slider! You can work still. Please close the zipper of the tent fly a little longer and protect me from rain and wind!

I paddled also today on the a mile width great river silently.

Total distance: 1,384 mi

August 14 2016, Day 75
Great river makes high wave

Since the Yukon River is now a great river more than one mile width, a wind, which if I was on the ground I just thought "there is a wind coming up and a small branch is swayed" and not thought "it is strong", made a wave on the river's surface that swayed my kayak as a leaf.

The weather changed between cloudy, rainy, sunny and windy with bewildering speed.

Total distance: 1,417 mi

August 15 2016, Day 76
Jon Korta

Jon Korta, living in Galena village, lent me his tent kindly. I am carrying it as the spare tent. If my tent, which I made emergency repairs, will be completely broken, I will use his tent. I am thankful although it is restricting the kayak space for food, because the tent is very important tool and I have to discontinue this expedition if it will be broken.

Today's breakfast was delicious moose noodle.

Total distance: 1,431 mi

August 16 2016, Day 77
Koyukuk River joined

The Koyukuk River, the third largest tributary, joined and the river width increased more. And then, the Yukon River changed his direction from the west to the south.

Total distnace: 1,467 mi

August 17 2016, Day 78
Sky and water became one

The Yukon River has started to flow straight. The sky was cloudless and a calm water surface was a mirror reflecting the sky. So, I could not distinguish the sky from the water on the horizon. The horizon disappeared. The sky and the water became one. All spaces surrounding me joined and became one universe.

This morning, the temperature dropped to 5 degrees Celsius.

Total distnace: 1,502 mi

August 18 2016, Day 79
High waves

When I started paddling, southerly head wind already blew. The wind gradually increased, and I started to use a sea anchor halfway. Going for 6 miles for 3 hours, the wind became stronger furthermore, and the landscape changed to make wind and wave strong. White caped waves became high dangerously. I tried to paddle along the shore closely to escape from high waves, but a strong eddy prevented to paddle to downstream. Very luckily, at just there, an abandoned old cabin was. So I will sleep tonight in it.
Gradually a situation of lower Yukon River is appearing. There are many place where if a wind blows a wave becomes high dangerously, but shores for escape are very rare. From here to the mouth, I might have to abandon paddling when a wind blows.

Total distance: 1,510 mi

August 19 2016, Day 80
Enjoying bonfire

Tonight's camp site is excellent. Because ton of driftwoods are scattered, I can enjoy bonfire as much as I wish.

Since yesterday, a southerly head wind blew a whole day, and waves were high. The paddle was heavy as I stirred mud. I could paddle at a speed of only human walking, and although I overworked my body I could paddle for only 19 miles.

Total distance: 1,529 mi

August 20 2016, Day 81
Wait and see

It has begun to rain from last night. To be turning the weather bad, and to be added a rain to a wind and waves, it supposed that the risk will be high further in this area. In addition, I do not grasp the situation of here yet. So, today I will not move, and will wait-and-see.

August 21 2016, Day 82
River was rough

The river was rough with waves, a southerly head wind and a rain. Being drifted by the wind and the waves, I could paddle at a speed of only a half of human walking here and there. I had no time to rest my hand due to continuously being drifted by the wind and the waves, and I got wet under a rain coat. I had wanted to stop paddling but I could not find any shore to pitch the tent since probably the rise of the river covered those, and it forced me to continue paddling a whole day. Even so, I could make progress only 22 miles.
In the lower Yukon, where, from the place the river changes the direction of travel from the west to the south, to the mouth, it seems too hard to paddling in a rain or a wind.

As expected, finally, the zipper of the tent fly has become not to be closed. It looks like that an emergency repair squashing the slider by pliers will work only few days. Therefore, thanks to Jon, I have changed the tent to his tent I borrowed. It is a great help in the spell of rainy weather.

Total distance: 1,553 mi

August 22 2016, Day 83
Waiting for weather to improve

I am waiting for the weather to improve in the tent.
It is quiet. Sounds only I can hear are the sound a rain hits the tent, the sound leaves sway by a wind, the sound of a turbulent flow of a water along a shore, the sound bird flaps wings and of its song, the sound of hum of an insect and the sound a shore crumbles in the distance.

The river is rising every day. It is 4 inches per day from last night. Since the river width is more than one mile, I wonder how much rain is gathering into.
It has been rain continuously last three days, so the river might has risen around 1 foot surprisingly meanwhile.
On the water surface, huge black driftwoods are flowing one after another.

According to the locals at villages along the Yukon River I have paddled through, and my experience, this year it is too much rain and it is too little mosquitoes.

August 23 2016, Day 84
The river is still rising

The river is still rising, and it has increased 8 inches for last two days. Sounds of shores eroded and falling down a water like a cannon can be heard a few times in a single hour.
However a quantity of precipitation might be decreaseing.

It has rained a great deal this year, the river has risen, and most of shores that a tent can be pitched have been submerged. Since most of shores have been covered with driftwoods washed up along the edge of the water, the kayak has not been able to land there. In addition, from September, the storm season will start and the river will rise more then. It is impossible without stay in the tent on the shore to paddle and move forward on the river, so I am considering the second leg will end at next village Grayling.

I need more three days to paddle to the Grayling, so I have to find tenting possible shores somewhere and stay two nights. Therefore now I am considering the timing when I should leave here, whether the water level will increase or decrease while waiting.

August 24 2016, Day 85
Innumerable driftwoods

Innumerable driftwoods are floating on the river. I threaded my way through driftwoods. I have never seen such a scene although I already have spent on this river for 3 months from June.
Those driftwoods are not a fresh driftwood which has just now fallen down from a shore and still has leaves, but are an aged driftwood for several years fading to black color. The driftwoods that had been washed up on a shore may have started to flow again. The peak of a water level of the Yukon River is at first June when thawing, but these driftwoods mean that the water level of now is exceeding of fist June?
Today also I did not come across a space where I can pitch the tent on both shores and islands. Tonight I have pulled up my kayak on somebody's fish camp.
Nuts, it is last only 400 miles to the sea...

Total distance: 1,585 mi

August 25 2016, Day 86
Rising river

   Although the rain has stopped, the river is still continued swelling this morning. Surely it is not related to the weather of here, since the rain fallen on the area of Alaska and the area of Yukon Territory is gathering into here after few weeks traveling.
   In this extremely high water level a sleeping space and a space to evacuate from wave, wind and rain are all submerged, and first nation's fish camp are seems to be almost just nearby their villages. It is going to be just thoughtless gambling to paddle further in this situation, however I have considered many times. So I will wait until the volume of water is going to down, in the next village Grayling.
   As expected, while I was not being able to find any tiny place to pitch the tent, I have paddled for 39 miles and have arrived at Grayling.
   Total distance: 1,624 mi

August 26 2016, Day 87
Elderly lady told

   According to the village people, as I surmised, this water level of the river is same as the level of the spring thaw, which was usually the peak value of this river. The beach beside the village is submerged totally, which normally we could see in there.
   A elderly lady told me that, it was her first experience to see that the water rose to this level in this season, and she was surprised at this very unusual situation. Many people have worried about the climatic changes resulting from the global warming.

   Today also the water level is increasing a inch per day.

August 27 2016, Day 88
Water level is sticking at high

   The water level is sticking at the high.
   I am considering methods to start now paddling without waiting until the water level are going to down.
   Can I expect a beach for pitching the tent further from here? No. Because pebbles or sand or mud that was carried for a flooded season should make a beach, the beach should not appear above the water at the present moment flooded, mechaninally.
   Can I spend few nights on sand and gravel by landslide on a mountain surface along a shore? No. I can not have a good idea to pitch the tent on a thirties degree slope for few nights. Will I dig and level the ground? No. I am using a borrowed dome tent for three person, not a tent for single person. Moreover, according to my experience along this river so far, there should be not a margin space to pitch the tent above the water line of when the water will rise.
   Can I sleep on the kayak mooring at a shore? No. It will not become for escaping from waves, a wind and a rain. Moreover, a driftwood might hit me.
   There is a possibility that a creek has a beach. Will I paddle upstream and pitch the tent? No. A rapid stream by rising water should prevent me from paddling upstream.
   So far, it seems to have more possibility to wait for the water level to down.

August 28 2016, Day 89
Warm-hearted people

   During the days waiting for the water level to down, in Grayling village, many local people came to my tent, treated me and gave me foods. What warmhearted people they are...
   A half dried king salmon was extremely delicious, moose which was hunted just few hours ago and was cooked by bonfire by them for me was also so delicious, and strips of dry king salmon and potatoes of a kitchen garden were also so delicious.
   Finally the water level started to decrease a little.

August 29 2016, Day 90
Nice northerly wind

   The water level is down phase from yesterday, but it is still a inch per day and its pace does not increase. I think that the slow pace of decrease is very natural, because almost all basin of the Yukon River is unrelated to concrete and a water sucked by the ground as a sponge should be gradually flowing out the river.
   Today, a nice northerly wind is blowing.

August 30 2016, Day 91

   An aurora danced in the night sky. A wind from the Arctic Circle started blow. The seasons of Alaska have turned as turn over the leaves of a book.

   The pace of decrease of the water level remains slow as one inch a day, and the beach is still submerged. And, if I will start as it is, I will arrive the Bering Sea at end of September; A winter season will come.
   It should exceed a borderline between adventure and reckless.
   I decide to divide this leg in here Grayling village, and will revisit this village to paddle to the Bering Sea. Three months, 1,600 miles, the journey, as it were that I spent another life, ended with the summer, and then new season started now.

August 31 2016
Silver salmon

From Grayling village

   I went to the creek at the edge of the village, which flows into the Yukon River, with Douglas.
   At first I fished a silver salmon. And then, a grayling and a humpback whitefish.
   Without a tug for some time, I changed a spinner from an orange one to a green one. After several casting, I got a very strong tug on the line. A pink body danced on the water surface. I dragged it up on the shore by force.
   It was a 27 inches silver salmon, and it was the biggest fish I have caught in my life.

september 1 2016

From Grayling village

   At the same creek at the same bridge where I had fished 27 inches silver salmon, this time I fished a 21 inches grayling that I have never seen such a surprisingly big grayling as. In Canada I had been not satisfied to eat without two grayling per one meal, but it was too big to eat for one meal and I had to divide it into two meals. Further it was more delicious.
   Grayling, the name of this village, is originated in this grayling at this creek.
   What an abundant ecosystem Grayling village has. Being able to catch plenty of and a lot of various fishes, it is evidence that the whole ecosystem is plenty. 


september 2 2016
Important key to coming world

From Grayling village

   Grayling is a small village of the first nation. Its population is only 174, and there is no road connecting to the outside. A visitor to this village, where is not a tourist resort, is rare. So, I am a total stranger coming by kayak suddenly.
   Douglas came to me and offered me, like that, a room. Edna,Douglas and David have welcomed me into their Deacon's house.
   Now I have a bed and a room, and they are feeding me.
   Moreover, they will keep my kayak and gear until I will back here to paddle from this village to the Bering Sea as the next leg at next season, kindly.
   What a warm heart to other people, which exceeds a mere kindness, they have. It should something an important key to the coming world.

september 4 2016
My kayak been kept by Deacons

From Grayling village

   I am tidying up the kayak and gear which the Deacon family kindly will keep in their shed for next paddling from Grayling village to the Bering Sea.
   Because the kayak can be taken apart and be stuffed into a nylon sack, I can load it into an airplane. However it is highly probable that the kayak will get damaged by a rough handling at an airport. In fact, although that nylon sack is made from a thick nylon fabric, it got damaged and had a lot of hole when I carried the kayak from U.S. to Japan at last time. Therefore, it  has much value that my kayak will be kept by them and I could avoid risks while carrying it back to Japan this time and carrying it to Alaska next time.


september 6 2016
Language of first nation's

From Grayling village

   Edna has eight dogs.
   She speaks to only a hairy and white dog by their own language, first nation's language, since it was a puppy. Therefore, the dog can not understand the word when children call it as "come on". The dog comes close to only when she calls it as "on". The dog is one of successores, only a few in the village now, to the their own language.

september 7 2016


From Grayling village

   A child brought a liver of moose hunted by a somebody of village to Edna's house. Because it was in a large ziplock bag, I thought Edna was given a whole liver at first, but it shared out among all villagers. I can not image how huge the liver was, and how huge the moose was.
   We ate a steak of this fresh liver. It was very delicious. I am not sure of the reason why it is so delicious, because it is fresh, or because it is wild, or because it is moose, or because it satisfies all of those.
   In the village, whoever gets salmon or moose, everybody help to process it and it is shared with everybody, from generation to generation. Probably, this custom is with a belief "we will share things with everyone that mother nature has shared with us". And also, to a visitor from other villages, and to me from other country. Probably, it is not "I will give my things to other that I got in my property".    

september 8 2016
Four wheel buggy

From Grayling village

   This village does not have any road connecting with the outside world. Therefore there is no necessary to what we called car except carrying heavy load. The village people are using a four wheel buggy for moving within the village. Everybody from children to elderly are using it. To learn to drive it is easy with a semi-automatic transmission and a four-wheel drive for a mud. They use it not only for moving themselves but use it to trail a small trailer and a boat trailer.  

september 10 2016
Blueberry picking

From Grayling village

   We went up a hill behind Grayling to an altitude of 1,500 - 2,000 feet or so. Spruce and birch ended at the such low place already and we crossed the tree line. Although I have not experienced the cold of Alaska yet, I recognized it anew that here is the northernmost place Alaska. 
   Only bushes and mosses covered the hill. Deep purple and black blueberries, deep red cranberries, orange leaves of autumn, green leaves, and pure white moss. The hill was covered with an abundance of the colors.
   The air was clear. The refreshing fragrance like of spruce sap flowed in a limpid air. I had never had such delicious air. 
   I picked a handful of blueberries, removed thin stems and tossed those into my mouth. It was sweet and tart taste of the wild.

september 16 2016

From Grayling village 

   Edna has a radio installed above a kitchen. Not only her house but other houses also have it. 
   It is a general calling to tell that the only grocery store in the village will open. It is a general calling to tell that a school will have a explanatory meeting for parents and they want people to come. It is communications when a mail airplane takes off and lands. It is ordinary communications with a handy radio being carried by a villager going hunting, is a rescue request when a villager can not back to home because his snowmobile breaks down or etc. It is communications reaching from neighboring villages to which we can go by only a boat or a snowmobile. It is not a general calling but a conversation between individuals. Et cetera. 
   A telephone is merely a connection between individuals, but a radio connects plural peoples simultaneously. It leads a sense of unity which is as if whole villagers live together under one roof. Especially it may give a peace of mind to elderlies who need a effort to walk in a cold winter which becomes -40 Fahrenheit degrees occasionally.  

september 17 2016
Edna's house

From Grayling village

   This is Edna's house I am staying with. Her late husband built this log house at the late 1960s, after the whole Holikachuk village had moved to new field where now Grayling village lies on.
   A wood stove is installed at the center of a living room.

september 19 2016
Smoke house

From Grayling villabge 

   Strips of salmon hanged in Edna's smoke house. It is a very important traditional food for village. 
   I very love the half dry, two days dried, salmon. Once I have started to eat it, I can not stop eating. 
   They say that Grayling is the best place, not so far and not so close from the ocean, to fish salmons which have delicious plenty fat. Actually it is so delicious. 

september 20 2016
Chopping wood

From Grayling village

   Temperature is decreasing quickly, and we are making a fire in the wood stove night and day. I have gotten a new job of chopping wood for the stove.

september 21 2016
One moose leg

From Grayling village

   I walked a dark road to the house, pulled the door, entered into the gloomy entrance, and then was very surprised at one huge leg protruding in front of my nose.
   It is the one leg of a moose.
   Villagers share the games they hunted to the respectable elderly.

september 22 2016
Frying Grayling to Aniak

I am frying from Grayling to Aniak. Impenetrable wetlands are stretching out.

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