1 day ago
Haggard but happy. This was Day 39 of our 60 day unsupported (meaning we carried everything from beginning to end) paddling trip across the Barrens of NWT and Nunavut a couple of years ago.
It is the place we are returning to very soon, this time for a hundred days.
The bugs are relentless, the winds incessant. Trees do not grow here so we are very much exposed to the elements. Portaging waterfalls and gnarly canyons is tedious, exhausting. When friends look at this photo of me, looking haggard, blood from a mosquito bite smeared across my forehead and a dry pack weighing 50-60 pounds, they cringe. They say, "No way!" so emphatically, so resolutely.
The yearning to travel in the Barrens that some of us feel is greater than any discomfort we will endure. It speaks of the power and allure of the Barrens. It is why we are returning and will most likely continue to be called to return as long as we are capable of shouldering such loads.