Day 3 (July 8) - On the River at last
Oatmeal for breakfast, the first of many. It is fast, easy, lightweight, cheap, takes little fuels easy to digest – what’s’ not to like? Taste? What taste? Just let it slither down your throat and be happy for coffee! By 11am, we officially start the paddling journey down the Horton. The river is quite small, more a creek than real river but nonetheless paddling is a pleasure as the current speeds up and we encounter the first of many gravel swifts. Seven or 8 jaegers circle overhead, caribou tracks along the shore. The lesser yellow legs follow us constantly, giving warning from spindly spruce treetops.
The junction of the lake creek and real Horton river is not very impressive – a slightly larger river flow but with more exposed black rocks above the water. Paddling could be impossible in a few more weeks with lower water conditions.
Already, after a few hours paddling, my arms ache and I’m ready to camp. A slight head wind has picked up, we put on more layers. A low bank on river right dotted with Lapland rosebay invites us to stay. Siksiks play on the opposite shore. An over cast sky encourages me to bed early, I sack out by 8pm. Temperature drops to 11C and hard rain ensues. One hour later the front has passed but I’m snug and falling quickly to the dreamless deep sleep of the dead.