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Tough Canoeing on Lake Bennett, Yukon

by Murray Lundberg

October 13, 2003

Lake Bennett, Yukon - October 12, 2003
Lake Bennett, Yukon - October 12, 2003
    My wolf-dog Kayla and I had a couple of "bush days" last week - Saturday was fabulous, yesterday was The Adventure From Hell. The lake went from mirror-calm as seen in the top photo to what looked like a stormy ocean (lower photo) in less than 10 minutes!! Lake Bennett is as notorious for blowing up like this as it is famous for its beauty, and is the main reason that boats aren't seen on it very often.

    My canoe and gear are all about 8 miles down the lake from my cabin now, not far from the Klondike-era grave that was the reason for the trip (click here for information about it). I've abandoned my canoe before, but this time, unfortunately, it's down the west side of the lake - very rugged country with lots of sheer cliffs right to the water's edge at high water levels such as we have now.

    At one point while making my way home last night (well after dark), I had to wade across the neck-deep glacier-fed Watson River! Yes, naked, with my clothes and $1,500 worth of electronics in a daypack held above my head! Praying that there were no holes a foot deeper! "Are we havin' fun yet, Kayla?" Her answer was a whine that sounded rather like "Dad, you're outa yer mind!"

    The really bad part, though, is that I (that's actually "we", Kayla dearest), have to go back down and get that stuff!     Next time I go down that side, I'm taking camping gear...

    A cool thing, though - I found what looks like a century-old trail (from a Klondike boat camp to Caribou Crossing?) and followed it for a couple of miles - it even had a rough bridge across one little creek. There's always a silver lining...

Photos are ©2003-2008 by Murray Lundberg