Noatak River, Alaska August 2015

From Nelson Walker Lake to Kotzebue

August 18, 2015

The mosquitoes and biting gnats continued to hit our tent for most of the night and then they were gone. The tent started flapping as the wind picked up. Turning on the marine radio much to our dismay the weather forecast for crossing was looking dismal.  We knew that we could make it to the mouth of the river, but crossing in our open boats was most likely not an option. We had hoped that perhaps our Danish friends had paddled in the night before, but as we neared the mouth of the river we saw their tent. We told them of the new weather forecast and that we were going to see if we could find a boat to come pick us up. We told them that it would be fine for them to join us.  We called Lavon who is the owner of Lavon’s Fish Camp. She said call her back in an hour and she would try to find us a boat. She had success and Matt appeared within the hour. Crossing the Sound on very confused seas made us glad that we were aboard his boat. Ron from the fish camp met us at the dock.  We loaded our gear in his truck, mailed our bear containers back to Bettles, changed our flight to leave tomorrow and then headed the three miles down the coast to the Fish Camp. Lavon and Gail were great hosts as they had prepared a great meal of lentil soup for us. We were able to dry our gear, make 6 bags at 50 pounds each and take warm showers. The wind continued to blow and the rain fell through out the night.  We were glad to be on this side of the bay and in a warm cabin.