Day 19 -
After breakfast, we pack up our gear and move most of it to the river's edge. Before gathering the rest of the gear, we go for a hike in the back country behind us. Atop one of the hills near our tent site, we find a tumbled down cairn with a marker post that's fallen down over the years. The name carved into the post is hard to read, but the date of 1951 is very clear.
As we come back to where we've left the canoes and food packs, we notice the tracks of a large grizzly in the sand which are headed in the direction of our gear. We follow the tracks and are pleased to note that the bear simply walked right past our gear and food packs and showed no interest. It confirms that we've taken the right approach our preparing and storing our food to keep it safe.
After paddling for a bit, we see two musk ox bulls on the shore. As we film them, it begins to rain. We stop on a gravel bar and put on our rain gear.
Brendan takes his turn at paddling stern
Not long after, we hear the drone of outboard motors, which surprises us. The boats haven't come in to sight, but along the bank we see a musk ox running in the opposite direction, occasionally stopping to look over his shoulder. Soon two boats round the bend and stop to chat with us. It's an official party from the Nunavit government out of Baker Lake. They're here to erect a sign at the Nunavit / NWT border. We're glad it wasn't there when we came down.
We find a nice campsite on river right across from Ursus Island. The site is just after a prominent bend on a height of land. There's a pond just over the ridge. Campsites are scarce in this area. There are a few nice places to position tent's here and some evidence that the area has been used by modern travelers recently.
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