Noatak River, Alaska August 2015

From Nelson Walker Lake to Kotzebue

August 9, 2015

Mileage is a little hard to calculate as we meander so much during the day and take numerous channels.  The night was cold and when we got up to pee we noticed there was a layer of ice on the canoe barrel. I (Donna) did not think twice about using my extra down sleeping bag. It was the perfect solution to add to my Marmot bag and I felt enveloped by warmth.  A breakfast of blueberry pancakes topped with rhubarb and applesauce earned a 5 star rating. As we left camp this morning, thoughts of Okak bend was on our mind. It is supposedly the last major rapids of this section. With the right water level it has the reputation of being challenging.  Not so today, as we approached the rapids it was quite obvious that there was a good route.  Don who was paddling in the bow did not even take on any water.  Another bird who is not appreciating our paddling is the Rough Legged Hawk. They scold us quite loudly as we paddle by their nests. The water is a bit muddy with all the rain so we have been getting water from side streams.  Lunch stop is a favorite as todays menu included blueberry trail mix, Kale soup, humus with bagel chips, cheese, almond butter and ziback bread. Stopping at 4:30 today allowed time to bake bread. Don volunteered to keep the dough warm while he snoozed. Since we didn’t think it was wise for both of us to sleep, I stayed on bear watch. There was wind from the North today. The weather is unsettled. We decide that we need to paddle every day so not any layover days for us.

Miles traveled 31