A tough…but necessary move
A few things to Report. In the overall, all is well.
Yesterday, (Tuesday) for medical reasons, Frank (he is ok) had to leave the expedition. We organized a plausible rendezvous point and a pick-up with two hunters from the area.
We had actually split earlier in the day, knowing that it was necessary for Richard and I to stay on schedule — to carry on, heading in a northwesterly direction. So we said our farewells, and it was only a few hours later that Frank was picked up from the trail, by Lionel and Clayton, and taken to Kugaaruk.
We did see the plane from Kugaaruk fly overhead today and we’re fairly sure Frank was on it and that he will be home to Vancouver in a day or two. We are very sorry to see him go.
Otherwise, we remain in fairly good shape, when all’s considered. Richard and I continue to press on. We had a great day today, though it was hard going at times. Breaking trail a lot of the way, we made our way across Pelly Bay and are now camped on the West side. Tomorrow, we head due West.
If I may, I will again share another excerpt (page 187) from Ken McGoogan’s book, Fatal Passage.
“ Both dog teams are tired, and the party made slow progress along a river to Simpson Lake. After a couple of days, the two Inuit men wanted to head home. See-u-ti-chu feared that wolverines might plunder the cash of muskox meat he had stored when he encountered the expedition. Rae paid the men well, repeated his promise regarding any relics, and said goodbye.”
We’ve seen very, very little wildlife on this trip, other than ravens, the wolverine on Committee Bay and an Arctic fox or two. No bears yet, although Clayton has alerted us to the fact that they are in the area, so we will just have to be extra vigilant and keep our eyes open to watch out for them.
We are continuing to press West, in Rae’s footsteps and who’s shoulders we are on. Simpson Lake, which I believe is named after the Hudson’s Bay Company, Governor, Sir George Simpson, represents a very significant part of this journey. Once we get into that lake system we will have a number of options, prompting us to make a choice as to which route West, running down the western side of the Boothia Peninsula, we should choose.
We definitely feel, that in some sense, we have turned a corner today by getting off the sea-ice of Pelly Bay as we get close to Simpson Lake. Looking at the charts and maps, it looks to be a clear route.
Again, we are very sorry to lose Frank! I’m sure we’ll hear from him in a couple of days.
Rations report: The food is lasting, but we have had to monitor ourselves a little bit the last couple of days. Coffees we have but they are going quickly, so coffee will need to be meted out carefully. Definitely not enough Snickers and Mars bars!
… in closing, Richard, rarely at a loss for words, wishes to point out the important fact that I had two dinners tonight. Huh…this coming from the man that normally has two or three breakfasts each day. The nerve!
[David and Richard]