courtesy of Marla Charlie
This year wood was cut in March. Joseph does janitorial work at Chief Zzheh Gittlit School; this year he had two weeks off. As a family we quickly prepared our gear and headed up the Porcupine River to Blue Bluff. Blue Bluff is about 45 to 50 miles away, and takes about two to three hours by boat.
We left Old Crow with three adults, five dogs, and our essentials for camp.
What a trip!
It was so relaxing to be able to sit and do nothing, only keep the dogs quiet.
Once we were all settled in at camp, Joseph made many attempts to hunt. He managed to get three bull caribou. During our two weeks out we had rain, gusty wind, hail, and snow. We still did what our goals were to do.
The water level was coming up and Joseph quickly made a raft. He had help along the way and was already to raft the next day. To our surprise the water dropped. The skidoos, the sleigh, garbage, dog pots, etc, which were loaded onto the raft, had to come off and be replaced with some wood.
What a job!
But we stayed positive, and as a family we helped each other. We finally did it. The raft was now in deeper water, so it was time to reload it. Finally we were ready to go.
How exciting! We sat comfortably in the boat, which was now pushing the raft. Gavin, our grandson, relieved Joseph at the steering wheel and he was a pro! I’m so proud of him.
We dried the fowls while on the river, and on the shores of the Porcupine River, we saw hunters having fire, watching for caribou. Joseph told us of good hunting areas for moose, and where caribou usually cross. We pass many camps along the river, people in boats slowed down as they passed us, what an honoured respect. Mahse!
My grandson learned what he needs to know when boating the Porcupine River. Rafting is slow but we were prepared, so it was time to relax and enjoy our prepared lunch.
On the day we were rafting, amazingly the sky was a clear summer day, and there was no wind. What a blessing! We arrived in Old Crow at 10:00 p.m on September 8, 2014. It took eight hours.
As a wife, a mother, grandma and friend to many I think it’s a wonderful experience to be patient as the man of the house plans for winter for his family, and works his job to the best of his abilities. So we won’t need wood in the middle of January when Old Crow is cold and stormy.