When the sun came out we took a tremendous hike, 2,500ft vertical gain that tired our puppies, but look what it got us! The views were unbelievable. We took a nice rest, ate our lunch and kicked back to hear the bees and lazy flies buzzing behind closed eyelids. No mosquitos at this sunny spot either.
Float planes were the way to go. This photo, taken while exiting the Iniakuk lodge and headed to Bettles for our return to Fairbanks, illustrates the isolation. Literally hundreds of rivers like this meander through a pretty flattened out country. Most of the rivers have one closed off oxbow after another along their routes.
On the first day with no rain, we crossed Iniakuk Lake in a fast outboard, towing these neat German built rubber canoes. Wooden seats snap into these boats and we put folding legless camp chairs on the seats to increase comfort even more. One can load these canoes up with a lot of gear and the draft is still around six inches. We went out the exit river a short distance to the Malamute fork of the Alatna River, and then into the main stem of the Alatna. We had a fine shore lunch, and then continued down river to our eventual take-out. The float plane landed right on the river, coasted to our gravel bar, and in twenty minutes we were back at Iniakuk, enjoying hot tea.
We will make a longer blog posting about this portion of the trip in due course.