Wednesday, August 31, 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.



 ここグレイリング村でこのセクションを区切り、再度この村を訪れ海まで漕ぐことにした。 3ヶ月、2千6百キロメートル、別の人生を過ごしたような旅が、夏と共に終わり、新たな季節がいま始まった。

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Nice northerly wind


Day 90

   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.




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Monday, August 29, 2016

Warm-hearted people


Day 89

   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.




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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Water level is sticking at high


Day 88

   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.




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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Elderly lady told


Day 87

   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.




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Friday, August 26, 2016

Rising river


Day 86

   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





 総距離: 2599キロメートル

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Innumerable driftwoods


Day 85

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





総距離: 2,536キロメートル

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The river is still rising


Day 84

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.





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Monday, August 22, 2016

Waiting for weather to improve


Day 83

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.





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River was rough

Day 82

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




総距離: 2,484キロメートル

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Wait and see

Day 81

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.



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Friday, August 19, 2016

Enjoying bonfire


Day 80

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





総距離: 2,447キロメートル

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

High waves


Day 79

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






総距離: 2,416キロメートル

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sky and water became one


Day 78

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




 総距離: 2,403キロメートル

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Koyukuk River joined


Day 77

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




総距離: 2,347キロメートル

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Jon Korta


Day 76

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






総距離: 2,290キロメートル

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Great river makes high wave


Day 75

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



 総距離: 2,267キロメートル

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Came on slider!


Day 74

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




総距離: 2,215キロメートル

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No space to pitch tent


Day 73

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




総距離: 2,155キロメートル

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Happiness to live


Day 72

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



総距離: 2,076キロメートル

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The world where only the sky


Day 71

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







総距離: 2,045キロメートル

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tent zipper became to be not closed


Day 70

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.



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Smoked salmon and zipper problem


Day 69

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




総距離: 1,996キロメートル

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lucky day


Day 68

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



総距離: 1,948キロメートル

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Huge animal walked by tent side

Day 67

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



総距離: 1,902キロメートル
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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Protecting the earth


Day 66

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





総距離: 1,847キロメートル

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