canoeing

My experience on the Beaver River

CPAWS Yukon has, for the second year in a row, organized a paddling trip on the Beaver River for the youth of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun.

Paddling in the Peel

In the early 1900s, when she was a teenager, Bobbi Rose Koe’s great-great-grandmother and her friend paddled a moose skin boat through the dangerous stretch of fast-flowing high water at Peel Canyon. More than 100 years later, Koe joined a group of five youth from First Nations in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories on an 18-day canoe trip. Along the way they passed through the treacherous Peel Canyon.

The perfect canoe paddle

There are many canoe paddles on the market today, made in many styles, of many materials. The key to buying one to fit you personally is appreciating the adventures you will be undertaking in your canoe. If I was to go kayaking, I certainly would only use the ultra light synthetic paddles, even though I …

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The history of the canoe

Back in the early 1970s I wrote a monthly outdoors column for an Ontario outdoors magazine. One evening, after a day spent hunting moose, we pulled the canoe up on the sandy shore of an island and started a small campfire a short distance from our tent. I was with my hunting buddy, Dan Thomey, the founding publisher …

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Just keep paddling

Carmen Gustafson is gearing up for her fourth Yukon River Quest. For those who are fond of stats, that means that by this year’s Canada Day long weekend she will have raced 2,860 km between Whitehorse and Dawson City. To the casual observer this probably sounds crazy, especially when you consider that those paddlers who …

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From passion to success

It’s been 20 years since Thomas de Jager first discovered the Yukon. Today, he runs his successful business Yukon Wide Adventures that gives locals and tourists the opportunity to enjoy the Yukon’s outdoors. Thomas, originally from Monheim, Germany first came as a tourist through Alaska and the Yukon in 1996. His parents were avid kayakers …

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An Unkindness of Ravens

It is easy to laugh at the antics of ravens. They are quirky, curious and yes, funny. A well-known title they carry among First Nations people is that of Trickster, known for their pranks and intelligence. They also carry darker histories, in literature and folklore: wise, feared, revered, portents of death. wreathed in mystery. I …

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The Week That Was…

The week began with my English friend finally making it with her CanaDream Camper – a one-month, one-woman journey from Calgary to Whitehorse. For the special occasion , to celebrate her arrival, we decided to head to Takhini Hot Springs; my first time. The boiling hot water is pleasant and it’s a pretty quiet Wednesday …

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I’m a Survivor

We fundraise in the community every year, to cover the team and recreational paddling expenses, so that participating in Paddlers Abreast is not an impediment to anyone. We do not receive government funding. Any donations above $20 is eligible for a charitable donation receipt. When we have a surplus, we donate money to Karen’s Fund, …

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Whisky and Cake

It’s 6 a.m. on a rainy morning just before Canada Day. In six hours I need to be ready to drive to Mayo, with three canoes on the roof and six days of breakfasts, dinners and desserts packed and labelled for the communal kitchen, and 17 days of lunches for me and my companion. Tomorrow …

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Camaraderie in a Canoe

Nine ladies in a voyageur canoe whose ages range from 23 to 62; 715 kilometres; paddling for Yukon Cancer Care Fund. Stix Together is a team of Whitehorse women participating in the 18th Annual Yukon River Quest. The race begins with a mass start at noon on Wednesday, June 29. Participants gather at the gazebo …

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Didee & Didoo: MY GYM

WHEN I MENTION MY GYM IT DOESN’T HAVE A BASKETBALL RIM. MY GYM IS THE GREAT OUTDOORS I SHARE IT WITH ANIMALS ON ALL FOURS. I SHARE MY GYM WITH THE BEAR WHERE THERE’S LOTS OF FRESH AIR. I SHARE MY GYM WITH THE PORCUPINE WHERE THERE’S LOTS OF SUNSHINE. I SHARE MY GYM WITH …

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Extraneous Bananas

When your friend blows into town, you hang onto your hat and lay on the groceries, especially the Stolichnaya Vodka, or “Stoli”, as he calls it. Your friend is a Martini drinker, and particular about his cocktail of choice. He likes a dry Martini, so the vermouth must be dispensed via a tiny spray bottle. …

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Missing the Mark

The Code is clear: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Ditto for jury rooms and  papal conclaves. Double ditto for hunting trips. But sometimes a story demands to override the Code. There were four guys that September weekend on the Mayo River. Discretion suggests  they remain unnamed. The only one with actual moose-hunting experience, …

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Doing the Squirrel-paddle

I couldn’t sleep the night before. Was it the roughly 10 night-shifts in a row I had pulled just prior to leaving, or was it the excitement to get on that river? I’m not a river paddler. I grew up in Ontario (which I realize has rivers) and am at home on lakes and nasty …

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Hiking the West Coast Trail

Gruelling. Gruelling is the word used to describe the West Coast Trail in the official online guidebook. The trail is a 75-kilometre backpacking trek, situated on the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island. It boasts equal parts beautiful, dense green rainforest sections, ocean cliffside views, mud bogs, old growth trees, waterfalls, and scenic ocean beach sections. …

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How to Dump

It was a Monday evening in June, before solstice. At nine o’clock, the sun was shining hot. Dallas-rae Gaven was reading in her bathhouse-cum-cabin on her parents’ property in Goring Creek. She was recovering from what she refers to as her ‘wrecking ball’ weekend — there had been a wedding in Dawson, and there was …

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Canoeing The Peel

Meet Gabriel Rivest, a Yukoner. Last summer, Rivest and five friends spent 63 days canoeing 1,500 kilometres through the six rivers in the Peel and Yukon Watersheds. He and the team brought 220 pounds of camera equipment on the trip and they are now producing a video about the experience. On February 24 Rivest will …

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Tatchun Lake is for Us Paddlers

Tatchun Lake Campground has 20 campsites and none of them are a pull through site; there is a boat launch and a cook shelter. That’s what you’ll find in the campsite guides. But how much does that really tell you? I can tell you that those campsites are some of the most untouched campsites I’ve …

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Eddy, My Friend

Canada was built via the canoe. It was once the main mode of transportation across the country; today, canoeing is a pastime, a sport, a fitness tool, a social event, an adrenaline-seeking tool, a vehicle to explore the wilderness and so much more. Canoes and canoeists are as varied as Yukon weather. If you have …

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Growlers: Not Just For Pirates

Canoeing to the DCMF? You are probably already concerned about the rattling of beer bottles in your canoe (to be safely consumed, of course, by your campfire and not while out on the water). We hear your pain. If drinking from a can doesn’t float your boat (i.e., lack of a good inhale upon drinking …

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(Ex)changing Paddling Gear

Perhaps you believe, as Kenneth Grahame suggests in his classic novel, The Wind in the Willows, that “there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” If so, you need to get yourself to this weekend’s first annual Paddle Swap in Whitehorse. “Members of the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club …

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Steely Determination: Racing the Yukon River Quest

There is a strong current heading north towards Dawson and it is not just that of the Yukon River. Sixty-nine teams are registered in this year’s Yukon River Quest with a voltage of energy in those paddling arms that will make that river sizzle. The mission statement of the Yukon River Paddling Association is “To …

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