joined the Horton that afternoon to find it about 30 feet wide and
running quickly. A put-in further upstream might have been possible, yet
we were within 10 miles of its absolute headwaters and landing lakes
there looked questionable. Our first camp was at a Class 2 rapid
surrounded by snowbanks and with caribou crossing nearby — a northern
paradise. Next morning we encountered first trees, then a habitation. It
was a tepee frame of great age and almost primitive construction.
Although the spruce poles were firmly locked together at their peak,
they showed no use of an axe or saw. This lack of European tools would
not have been unusual for the remote Hareskin Indians who formerly lived
in the timbered country north of
Horton carried us forward much as we had anticipated:
lots of riffles and Class 1-2 rapids as the river cut a
path between hills rising almost 800 feet. The inflow
We caught a break from the heavy prevailing headwinds so could clock 30 miles daily with time off for stunningly beautiful afternoon hikes out of the valley. Up on high ground, we could see how the river was often exactly on the tree line with timber on the west bank and tundra on the east.
passed three other parties on the river, the most
notable of which was the one man expedition of Brian
Dodds. He and Anders were pleasantly surprised when it
turned out they were both from
Spring 2002 Outfit 108
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