From Sled Lake to Stark Lake – Northwest Territories, Canada

18th July

We encountered our first real portage after a couple of kilometers of canoeing. Leaving Eileen Lake and entering Eileen River, the river floated beautifully and went into a slow floating left turn. From there the terrain got steeper, with slopes on each side. Climbing the left side, we avoided the rocky and wooded area down by the river, though it was rough on our backs and legs. The terrain on the top was barren and gave us a good view over the river. We could see the river ahead of us, and all the way to the end of the rapids, about a kilometer further down. In the heather on top of the slope, there ran a small track that made the portaging easier. The area is visited rarely by human feet, so the track must have been made by the moving of caribou and muskox.

Sundays (this being a Sunday) was our day for using the satellite phone and call our beloved ones. We tried to keep the phone calls as short as possible, because of the high cost (25 kr / $ 4 pr min), but trying to narrow down the experiences of one week into a couple of minutes was not easy. On the other hand, using the phone, kind of took some of the feeling of being alone in the wild away, and might also contributed to us trying to keep it in the bottom of the backpack for as long as possible.

7,5 kilometers had been canoed when Eileen River widened to a small nameless lake, and an island perfect for our evening camp welcomed us.

Fish caught:

Bernt: 3,2

Håvard: 2,8

Total: 31,5

Eileen Lake had just turned into Eileen River, and we encountered our first real portage.

Eileen Lake had just turned into Eileen River, and we encountered our first real portage.

Rapids in Eileen River

Rapids in Eileen River

Bernt and Linc taking a rest

Bernt and Linc taking a rest

Rapids

Rapids

We don’t have many videos of us carry gear in front of the camera… First you have to set up the camera, pick up your gear, go around and then in front of the lens to get filmed. Then head back again to pick up the camera. Hopefully you got the shot right the first time…

After a kilometer of portaging we were past the rapids and the river again ran lazy ahead.

After a kilometer of portaging we were past the rapids and the river again ran lazy ahead.

We needed to carry the gear in three innings. That meant we had to walk the distance five times. So one kilometere of portageing, became five walking back and forth - Emptying our backpacks, and filling them up again twice. The last inning we carried the canoe.

We needed to carry the gear in three innings. That meant we had to walk the distance five times. So one kilometer of portaging, became five walking back and forth - Emptying our backpacks, and filling them up again twice. The last inning we carried the canoe.

....and loading into the canoe again.

....and loading into the canoe again.

Linc ready to board.

Linc ready to board.

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