Thursday, May 3, 2012

Floating at Clearwater

How convient it was that just when we hadn't had time to figure out what to do during a weekend, a great idea comes to you! Our co-worker Tom and his wife Melissa invited us to a floating trip to Clearwaters, near Delta Junction.
So on Friday we went to the university and rent a canoe. Tom took it to his place already and on Saturday morning we again packed the car with our stuff and headed to Tom's and Melissa's place. There we packed their truck with two canoes and slightly different food gear comparing to hiking. We had packed lots of different food, hot dogs with all the side stuff, marshmallows, chips, chocolate, bread, cheese and peanut-butter-honey-sandwiches. And of course cider. Yeah, light backpacks... :D

First we had a breakfast at Oasis, local restaurant and then headed to Clearwaters. The trip lasted hour and a half and then we were there. 

People were already sitting beside the river and opened their first beers. Weather was nice, a bit cloudy but sunny mostly. We unpacked the canoes and stuff and it was time for practice. Someone said canoeing causes lots of divorces. Let's just say some people choose solo canoes for a reason... :D We had lots of practice working together and after Piia was able to give up and change her place to front from back, it worked very well. 

After everybody was ready we let the stream do its job and floated forward. The water was clear, no wonder why it's called that! And the stream was pretty fast at some points so we were moving forward at good pace.

The group included 8 canoes, usually with two people. Two canoes had two adults and two kids. Also two dogs came along! It was very relaxing, just floating, just had to paddle now and then and of course when turning. We experienced 5 minute rain shower but otherwise it was sunny or cloudy. We saw lots of waterfowls and maybe some fish.

We floated over 5 hours and stopped a couple of times for a pause. The landscape was beautiful, saw the Alaska Range once in a while.

Finally we found a camping place, in a sand island with drier ground in the middle. Everyone unpacked and put up the tents. We also collected fire wood for big bonfire, and then it was time to just hang around the fire and eat and talk. Everyone had a cooler for drinks and food, good way of camping! Usually we have noodle soup for dinner, and now we had maybe six-meal-dinner! Specially Julien's banana-chocolate-dessert was successful. We played a stick-game meaning spinning around a stick, then you had to throw the stick on the ground and jump over it. :D Lot's of laughs and fun! The night was long and we had to chance to talk to lots of people, that was great! Slowly people went to bed, most of around 3 am. The last ones, including a French man, crawled to bed at 4 am!

 Hot dog!!


Melissa playing with the stick!

The morning was lazy and nice with slow waking up. With bonfire going we had warm sandwiches and some people had a burbot breakfast that they caught from a net during the night. Then we packed the stuff. Before going on we climbed on a hill near our camping beach. The view from there was amazing!

After hanging out there for a while we headed down the river again. We floated about 3 hours with two breaks and then finally hit the destination, Trans-Alaska pipeline bridge. People headed back to the starting place to get the cars and others waited washing canoes and eating last snacks. Packing cars was a bit easier, it seemed we had eaten our bags empty. It was time to say goodbye, hopefully we see those folks again!

On the way back we stopped to have burger/sandwich dinners, was gooood! Heading home we were all tired but we made it, being happy to meet some people and try canoeing in over-night trip for the first time. Recommended!

Check the video!


  1. Good trip !!!
    vieux con

  2. Sympa.
    des nounours ?

  3. Yes it was a verry good trip,
    Et non Daniel heureusement pas d'ours, on est pas vraiment presse de les rencontrer a vrai dire!!