Noatak River, Alaska August 2015

From Nelson Walker Lake to Kotzebue

August 6, 2015

Last night was cold! During the night, as we exited to take our ritual midnight pee, we noticed that our gear and tent fly was covered with frost. I (Donna) looked forward to getting up in the morning and putting on warmer clothes and having a hot drink.  Finally morning came and off to the kitchen I went. As I finished lighting the stove I scoped the area for bears and quickly noticed that a rather large one was heading my way. The bear was focused on eating berries and was continuing in my direction. A loud hey bear yell got Don out of the tent.  Fortunately the bear heard the yell also , got up on two feet and decided to go the other direction.  With my heart pounding I headed off to use the shovel. Nothing like a close bear encounter to get the digestive juices going. As we finished eating our breakfast, we noticed that we were very much into 'bear aware mode'. Not too far from where we camped there was another lake that can be used for a float plane take out. We decided to check it out and not only did we find the lake, but also the mother lode of blueberries. Our favorite trail food has become fresh blueberries mixed with nuts. Our bodies are becoming in tune with the feel of the paddle. It feels good to be on a long river expedition.

Mile traveled 24