day 20, wrigley/pehdzeh ki

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km 738. 82m, N 63˚32 W 123˚44. 1-10pm (with 4 hour break in wrigley).

well, today we met the first friends who became for the next several weeks our river neighbourhood. the first folks we met were the Y camp trip – Sac Dene, out of Camp Chief Hector near calgary. we love them! navi, joe, ben, ian, jenna, nat, robin, seth, sydney and tara. wow, what a talented, caring, sweet, playful, fun bunch of people. they really helped make our trip how amazing it was. it was also neat that both emma and i have/had friends who are involved with the Y out of winnipeg, most of whom have been on canoe trips such as this at some point in their involvement with the Y, so we felt like we got to be a part of that a little. when we arrived in wrigley we tied up to what we thought was the community dock (after almost by-passing the town completely b/c it was so nondescript and happened much sooner than we expected), but later found out was the raft that fellow paddlers from winnipeg were building! their names are mike and aubrey (a CBC article on them can be found here) but we didn’t end up meeting them that day b/c they had hitched a ride back to fort simpson to stock up on food before continuing north. wrigley was peaceful and quiet, a local woman invited us into her house when she saw we were trying to get water at the closed band office, and then directed us to a woman named florence’s house when we told her we were in search of crafts. florence didn’t have anything at the time, but later as we were walking back down to the water she and her husband found us by truck, and she took our foot measurements to make moccasins for us. she was so kind and sweet, but it is something both emma and i have yet to follow up on. as we were readying the canoe to leave, we met nick and taylor of minnesota, who we would see a couple more times until the end in inuvik. they were paddling the river faster than we were and heading all the way to tuktoyuktuk.

in the calm of the evening i pulled out my ipod and we listened to shane koyczan‘s incredible poetry as we drifted along. it felt extra special since he hails from yellowknife. we camped that night at whitesand creek where we saw our first bridge (crossing the creek) that was part of the winter road to the further communities.

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