CHAPTER 4
DOWN THE YUKON RIVER
 
As we paddled onto Lake Tagish, the wind decided to show us what it could do, whipping up high waves that broke on the north shore of the lake. For a little while we weren't sure we could control our heavily loaded boat.
     But before long we spotted the end of the lake and the opening into the Yukon. “This is more like it,” exclaimed Dave as we were swept along by the swift current. “Now I only have to row hard enough so that you can steer.”
    We sped along for a while, with water from the melting snow upstream pushing us forward at a great rate. When we suddenly slowed down, we recognized that we had reached Marsh Lake. It lived up to its name by being very shallow.
     Even though the evenings were long, it was beginning to get dark. We started looking for a good camping place along the bank. Time for another dinner of beans. Since we had started soaking them early in the day, they were ready to be cooked as soon as our fire was going well. With a good chunk of bacon added, we had a real meal.
    By the time we finished eating, we were eager for bed. Instead of pitching our tent, we laid out our sleeping gear in the open, on a flat spot. As we lay on our backs in our sleeping bags, we gazed up at the brilliant northern sky, trying to locate some familiar stars. Time enough next morning to think about the rapids ahead.
    The first light of day woke us all too soon. After a quick breakfast of flapjacks with lots of syrup, accompanied by bacon, we paddled off down the lake.
    Soon we were again caught by the current of the mighty Yukon River. Knowing that Miles Canyon was not too far ahead, we watched our landmarks carefully so we could stop well above it to reconnoiter on foot. We had heard that over a hundred boats had been wrecked in the canyon, and some people had drowned.
    We knew that if we decided not to attempt the rapids, we had an option that was not available to earlier travellers. For twenty-five dollars we could transport ourselves and our boat around the rapids on a tramway with wooden rails and horse-drawn cars.

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