Noatak River, Alaska August 2015

From Nelson Walker Lake to Kotzebue

August 11, 2015

 The sun greeted us this morning with brightness and warmth. On the water by 9, it was a short paddle to the tusk site. Using Alan’s map, Don located the tusk weaved between several alder bushes.The fossilized tusk was huge and heavy. It was interesting thinking about the animal that had lost its tusk. After doing the photo ops we returned it to its site awaiting the next informed paddlers. The sun continues to warm up the air allowing us to remove a layer. Finally a day where even my feet feel toasty. The river has dropped about a foot and is running clear again. Don sees something moving along the shore, as we approach a small black wolf cub stands and stretches. He watches us for several moments before sauntering into the brush. Further down the river we see our first cub. Mom is fishing and successfully snags a salmon. They share the fish until she notices us and decides to head up to the top of the ridge. Several times during her accent she stops to look at us. The fireweed along the shores is ready to send forth its seeds, probably meaning that winter will soon be approaching. A jet flew over today, the first one we have seen since starting our trip.  We find a nice gravel bar that unfortunately is covered with bear tracks, however as we are seeing more salmon we doubt that we will find a gravel bar without tracks.  A sunny day provides us with the opportunity to organize our food for the next 10 days. Some gusts of wind encourage us to secure the Alley Pak.

Miles traveled 30 miles.