1st of June 2003 - Mike arrives at Tuktoyatuk
Dodging grizzly's was a favourite pastime this week. Each time I found myself on land, I would see them. I was particularly lucky one day as I was spotted by a mother and her two cubs before I saw them. I got a heck of a fright to see the mother standing on her hind legs checking me out. I moved downwind from her so she could get my scent. As it happened, the cubs then both turned around and walked off in the opposite direction and the mother quickly followed. I'm sure that if they had come towards me the mother would have attacked....but not this time at least!!
The terrain is changing rapidly. Before I could not differentiate between what was land and what was the sea, as everything, just everything, was white. Now, I can clearly see where the land is as it is no longer covered with snow. The sea ice continues to be he easiest route for me but definitely not for much longer. A layer of water covers the ice and in some parts you can clearly see the holes where the entire thickness has melted. I don't have much choice but to continue on the ice at present as I am still pulling my sledge. I'm staying close to the waters edge so at least there is no great danger if I fall in.
I managed to get the kite out a few times this week. Slowly, but slowly, the wind seems to be turning more frequently to a easterly direction. The wind is east once again today
I must do some serious thinking when I get into Tuktoyaktuk. I must either leave straight away and try and cross the Mackenzie Basin on foot before the ice melts entirely, or if I don't do this, I will have to wait about three weeks before I can head off on kayak. Not so keen on the idea of waiting but it may be the easiest solution as I'm not sure how the kayak will get to me afterwards. I can't simply send it to the next village because the village of Tuk is the most western village in the North Western Territories. Next stop from here is Alaska