Paddling North

Marian and I are “Paddling North” and you are invited! We will be leaving Jasper, Alberta on May 17 and paddling north approximately 3400 kilometres to the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories and hope to arrive there in mid August. We will travel along four different rivers and we hope you’ll come along for the adventure. We will be accompanied by our Adventure Pig, Delilah. You can follow the expedition here at www.taloeffler.com where we will be posting SPOT updates as well as an audio post daily. Where cellular or wifi coverage exist on the route, we will also try to post some pictures of our adventures, as well. You can also see pictures on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts (all are @taloeffler). Take care and catch you from four rivers while we are paddling north!

Posted in Canoe, Paddling North | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 61.16678
Longitude: -113.73476
GPS location Date/Time: 06/25/2018 02:19:05 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xmz62/61.16678N/113.73476W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 61.22805
Longitude: -113.25368
GPS location Date/Time: 06/24/2018 01:41:35 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xkMoM/61.22805N/113.25368W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 60.99003
Longitude: -113.19838
GPS location Date/Time: 06/22/2018 01:03:24 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xeC96/60.99003N/113.19838W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 60.81854
Longitude: -112.94977
GPS location Date/Time: 06/21/2018 00:59:05 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xb47v/60.81854N/112.94977W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 60.54593
Longitude: -112.60341
GPS location Date/Time: 06/20/2018 00:53:25 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xXjVn/60.54593N/112.60341W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 60.37426
Longitude: -112.60858
GPS location Date/Time: 06/19/2018 01:20:57 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xUjFQ/60.37426N/112.60858W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 60.37425
Longitude: -112.60858
GPS location Date/Time: 06/19/2018 00:59:37 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xUhL2/60.37425N/112.60858W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 60.13078
Longitude: -112.23656
GPS location Date/Time: 06/18/2018 00:24:29 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xRtKx/60.13078N/112.23656W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 60.02218
Longitude: -111.91763
GPS location Date/Time: 06/17/2018 03:15:28 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xPj_M/60.02218N/111.91763W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 59.38901
Longitude: -111.44902
GPS location Date/Time: 06/16/2018 00:17:27 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xMYiB/59.38901N/111.44902W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 59.08296
Longitude: -111.40591
GPS location Date/Time: 06/15/2018 00:03:20 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xJTj9/59.08296N/111.40591W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | 1 Comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 58.92554
Longitude: -111.17606
GPS location Date/Time: 06/13/2018 21:15:03 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/xG4ar/58.92554N/111.17606W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Paddling North: Heading Out Again Tomorrow

Turns out, we weren’t in a big hurry to head out from Fort Chipewyan. We’ve so enjoyed our stay that it seemed a shame to rush off (and a bit more test never goes astray).

Yesterday we visited the Wood Buffalo National Park Office and visitor’s Centre. We also spent some time talking about expedition with Lisa’s Grade Seven class. They asked some great questions. Last night, we attended the Athabasca Delta School awards ceremony and help celebrate the students’ achievements.

Last night the light over Lake Athabasca was delicious and we spent some time drinking it in. The golden strip is the sun highlighting the grass/reeds on the far side of the lake.

We going to start paddling North again tomorrow on the Rivière Des Rochers which will lead us to the intersection with the Peace River and the two rivers become the Slave River which we will take to the Great Slave Lake. Phase Four of Paddling North will be Fort Chip to Fort Smith…

Catch you from the river…not sure how much, if any Internet coverage there will along the river for sharing photos but we’ll do an audio update and Spot update daily as usual.

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Paddling North: Fort Chip

We woke, having not had any interactions with the bear whose prints we found on the Winter road, to a grey day. With a weather report of increasing wind, we packed quickly and headed out. The crossing took about an hour and when we looked out of the bay to the larger part of Lake Athabasca, it looked like the ocean and Fort Chipewyan, looked like many Newfoundland and Labrador outports we’ve paddled into.

We were greeted at the Big Dock by Lisa and the barge we met the other day. We let the barge go in first 🙂

We’ve spent the day catching up with Lisa and Ben, both HKR grads, touring town, and doing town tasks. It’s been good to have a rest for our arms after five good hard days of paddling and after closing Phase Three. Phase Four will see us headed for Fort Smith via Fort Fitzgerald.

Lisa met us with a truck and we moved our gear to her house. A different kind of loading and I rode in back to make sure the boat was okay. I felt like I was in a parade. Laundry. Check. Clean the spice kit. Check. Charge electronics. Check. Prep maps. Check. Sleep deep and well tonight. Hope so!

Posted in Paddling North | 1 Comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 58.71256
Longitude: -111.15121
GPS location Date/Time: 06/11/2018 00:30:00 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/x7hNq/58.71256N/111.15121W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Paddling North: 4 Kilometres Short and Playing It Safe

We are hunkered down in our tent. The winds are sailing round and the shaking tent is making our prayer flags sway. We are across the way from Fort Chipewyan, a wee bit broken hearted, after a huge paddling day trying to get there. We are 4 kilometres shy and camped on the winter road. The sky above us has tumbled some and is a sickening shade of gray but so far, no big strikes. It will be fine with us, the swirling winds have already cemented our decision but it was still hard to stop so close. The risk benefit analysis had too much on the potential loss side if a doozy storm kicked up. So, we are dry, have our best campsite in days (no sand, no bugs, no mud, and cell coverage) :-).

We had a wicked cool lunch spot today. The picture doesn’t do it justice. The end of the log was floating and I got to climb out of the canoe, with lunch in hand, up the tree. It was the only spot we could find as we paddled out Maeawi Creek to Mawawi Lake. As we are in the Athabasca River Delta, things are ever changing and maps just can’t keep up. Fortunately, we had satellite imagery to assist us because the map showed the creek ending at the lake’s edge when in reality, the channel reached out 5 km into the lake. It turned out to be very handy that it did as the wind was kicking up a bit and the extended version of the creek cut the open crossing down considerably.

On the pic above, you can see the location of our lunch log. Pretty cool, we had lunch “in the middle” of the lake. It was a big day…we paddled about 41 km with 20 of them being against the wind and 9 of them being against wind and current. We expected the trip to Fort Chip (live the rhyme) to take 8 days so you can imagine how pleased we are to have almost reached it on day five. We were able to cut off some distance by using the Mawawi option rather than the Embarras or Fletcher Channels.

This was the camp where we perfected our big house which was excellent timing since yesterday’s camp had a fair share of mosquitoes and I was able to cook dinner and breakfast with only a few mosquito guests. The only thing we haven’t solved is how to do our business with company. That’s a challenge!

The birds are singing now-not sure if it is post storm or pre storm songs. The bird song today as we paddled was so amazing. The winds are still gusty so I don’t think we are quite done but I’ll close for now and go watch the weather.

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 58.68661
Longitude: -111.20157
GPS location Date/Time: 06/09/2018 23:34:26 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/x59NI/58.68661N/111.20157W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 58.48006
Longitude: -111.48033
GPS location Date/Time: 06/09/2018 00:11:49 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/x2OQV/58.48006N/111.48033W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 58.22425
Longitude: -111.43997
GPS location Date/Time: 06/07/2018 21:00:30 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/w_1vd/58.22425N/111.43997W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Paddling North: Cobble Barge Camp Day 21

What an evening we are having. The light, as you can see above, is stunning. We arrived at camp, which we are calling “Cobble Barge Camp” just in time to unload the boat, set up the tent, and set up the tarp before a rumbling thunder squall romped through complete with downpour. I was cooking dinner while Marian set up the inside fixings of the tent.

After a yummy dinner of miso soup, fried cabbage and falafel with sweet chilli sauce, we celebrated the 700 km Mark with Aztec Hot Chocolate and a few squares of dark chocolate. We were hungry. We’d paddled 54 km today. I realized we are averaging a marathon a day of paddling. 42 km day in and day out. We are on track and meeting our goal each day thus far.

Tonight, Marian found a lump of oil sands. In a moment of experimentation, she put in our fire. It steamed. It smoked a bit and then it began to bubble. I poked it out of the fire and pretended to be a road builder and use a big rock to flatten it onto another rock. I just paved a mini highway!

I wish you could see and hear the 50 geese floating by. They are honking and grunting and singing as they go by. It was an amazing day watching geese. We must have seen at least 1000 fly by in giant flying V’s of 50 to 100 birds. We could hear them flying up and we would stop paddling and just watch them fly. You could see them change leaders and adjust the V. It was breathtaking.

We have our paddled most human generated sound save for a few powerboats that passed us. We thought another one was passing by out of sight when all of a sudden, a barge came around the corner and into our channel. We paddled quickly out of harm’s way and got set for the wake, it was substantial- the largest rapid we’ve run lately.

Another fab day on the river, our three week anniversary on the trip and we passed the 700 km mark. A good day all around. The bugs have discovered me so I must go in the tent. Good night.

PS Amazed to have a bit of coverage to send this.

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 57.86651
Longitude: -111.37952
GPS location Date/Time: 06/07/2018 01:05:00 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/wyQn4/57.86651N/111.37952W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Paddling North: Back in the Saddle

Lovely evening here. Dinner done early so there is time to pull up a log and drop you a note before the temperature plummets to near freezing and we run for our sleeping bags.

The light this time of day is always buttery and it’s lovely to stop, pause, and take notice. All of our rhythms are slowing once again after attending to our to do lists in Fort McMurray.

The weather was mixed today. Some sun, lots of rain squalls, and even a few downpours. Our hoods went up and down more times than I’ve climbed Signal Hill ( that might be a slight exaggeration :-). We hear another warm spell is coming and we’ll soon be baking once again. Since March, I think I’ve been through four winter, spring, summer sequences. As we often say in NL, if you don’t like the weather wait a minute.

We notice in increase in sand now and we seem to have an even mix of sand and mud. We touched some oil sands today on the river bank today and with a few more kilometres under the boat tomorrow morning, we will say good-bye to lots of human generated sounds. We are eager for our bird and other companions to rejoin us along the river as they were very sparse today.

We added a new river today to our paddling list as we started our day in the Mackay River. Soon after, we entered the Athabasca and turned left and began to paddle north once again. The Athabasca is both bigger and smaller now. More water flowing and a few wider sections but many midstream islands that break up the channel into more intimate river runs. Current is very evident at times and seemingly, none existent at others.

Our world is shades of blue and green with bountiful reflections to attenuate the view. Our extra bits of colour, reds, oranges, yellows add spice and our blue barrels and spray deck tie us together with the view.

It was Shepherd’s Pie with peas, corn, and gravy for dinner. Simple but filling. I tried to replicate Sara’s Mumbai Hot Chocolate with some success. I’ll be working to perfect my field version. A bit of dark chocolate finished the meal and hope it keeps us satiated until morning.

Off to bed. Hope your day was rewarding as well.

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment

Audio Post

Posted in Paddling North | Tagged | Leave a comment

Check-in/OK message from SPOT TA

Device Name: TA
Latitude: 57.44938
Longitude: -111.62280
GPS location Date/Time: 06/05/2018 21:10:40 NDT

Message: TA & Marian are paddling to the Arctic Ocean. Check the map to see where they are paddling & exploring today!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/wv7ov/57.44938N/111.62280W

If the above link does not work, try this link:

You have received this message because “TA” has added you to its SPOT contact list and attempted to contact you.

FindMeSPOT.com

Posted in Paddling North | Leave a comment