Grant R had just picked up a used Yak and was eager to test it out, so we formulated a rather unlikely looking route starting at the continental divide in the southern Yukon, and heading to the headwaters of the Morley river, then paddling it out to Morley lake and the Alaska highway.
|Red-walk, Blue-drag, wade, stumble, paddle....|
The cool thing about this trip is that it would allow us to access the upper Morley river, which I had never heard of anyone paddling before. So we had no idea what to expect. Perfect packraft country.
|The bugs were nasty, rather uncommon for August|
|Avie paths got us onto alpine ridges|
|The ridges offered much better walking than the brush choked and swampy valleys|
|Looking towards the Swift river headwaters|
|Hidden lake with Ram creek headwaters beyond|
|Initially we had reasonable going through Caribou moss covered meadows|
|Faint Caribou trails led us along|
|3 Moose lake|
We alternated between trying to stay near the creek and following bush covered eskers, but no one way was better than the other.
It was getting high time to camp, and just when it looked like it would be a nasty camp in the Buck Brush, the river gods smiled on us and delivered us a perfect shingle bar amid the remains of an old Beaver pond.
|5 star camping|
|There was enough water to start lining, and staying away from the brush|
|Hurrah for Beavers!|
|To rocky to ride|
|Enjoyable paddling in Ram creek|
|If only there was 6 more inches....|
|More classic packrafting, they really are the only way to explore this sort of country|
|After Ice Lakes creek, the river slowed down for a few kilometers.|
|Early evening light on Slim mountain and the upper Morley river.|
The river braided a bit, and I spied a clear spot on the banks. We jumped on it like Ravens on a gut pile. We were cold, soaked and hungry. A blaze soon rekindled our spirits. It was a poor site, with no room for the mid, but we strung a tarp and bedded down on the moss.
The next day dawned frosty and sunny. Did I mention we had both elected to bring light weight sleeping gear? Bad idea. We woke up shivering every morning at 5 AM. Its August for crying out loud!
|The river became much more friendly|
|Evening on the Morley|
|Evening light from the 5 star camp|
|Cold, frosty morning|
The Morley continued to rock and roll us down stream. Nothing spicy, but just enough rock dodging to keep things interesting.
|Lots of width, but not much water|
We arrived at the car, made the drive to get my truck, and got home at midnight.