After a mid-day float plane pick-up at Big Horn Lake at the end of our Donjek route hike, pilot Jamie lands Carl, Adam and I back at Rocking Star Adventures, situated on the Kluane River at the north end of the big lake. Owners John and Sylvia Ostashek have been most wonderful in supporting my project with accommodations, meals and even flights. Because we are traveling in and out of the park in so many ways during my month here – skiing, hiking, canoeing, rafting – there is a real need to regroup, repack and reload after each section of the expedition. A shower now and then is also quite nice. Then there’s uploading photos to the website, backing up video footage and photos and so on. This is their second round of hospitality as we also spent a couple of days here after we came out of the ice fields.
To top it all off though, Sylvia’s favourite hobby seems to be cooking and baking. Fresh loaves of bread and buns, pies, banana bread muffins, roasts, casseroles, dinner rolls. To a few guys that have just come out of the wild after eating dehydrated meals, its a most amazing treat. The only bad part is that I’m starting to slim down after all the hard work out there in the field, and that may not last long here.
Evening comes around and we’re in the plane with John. We’re doing a filming tour over Kluane National Park, giving us a taste of what’s to come when we canoe Mush and Bates Lakes and raft down the Alsek River. What a treat to see these places from the air. This place is so huge. The footage we capture will be most helpful for the film I plan to create from the journey.
I keep busy all day again with more writing and photo editing until our last evening here is upon us before we move on. Tomorrow we leave the northern end of the Kluane valley to get set for canoeing. By then my brother Carl will be already be on his way home. It’s a shame he can’t stay longer, and I know he would love too. But life does not allow him more time so for now we head out with Jamie up river by boat, to where Kluane Lake open up a bit, and spend Carl’s final hours here casting for grayling on a most beautiful Yukon evening when the sky is filled with colour, and the feisty little swimmers tug on our lines.