We made our way to "Char Hole"....a magical place along the Anaktuvuk River. Magical because the Char are sly and yummy, and as we all know there are few things in the world that are both sly and yummy at the same time. On the way there we spotted what looked to be a black Volkswagen van. A dark and monstrous being swayed its way through heavy willow across the river from the bank we were traveling on. On closer inspection it turned out to be a huge bull moose in it's prime. I squealed a tiny bit as I realized that if our dogs saw the beast they would for sure chase after it, and that would definitely end badly. So we cluck at the pups to keep their attention and drove carefully by the monstrous moose. At the last moment I whipped out my camcorder and got a few seconds of the animal standing in the willows...I swear he was squinting his moosie eyes at us.....
We made it to char hole....where Ben caught one tiny grayling, and I fought with a huge Char, and then lost it to the deep green depths of the river. Apparently I squeal alot when fighting huge Char, enough so that a few minutes later Ben told me that I need to be "Calm". I gave him a moosie squint.
Tired and hungry we made a small cooking fire in the willows and hung the caribou ribs to cook. I must tell you that this meal has to be the one meal that everyone should taste at least once in their lives. The burning willow add a smoky flavor to the lean and clean taste of the caribou. I
t was so good in fact that we at first did not notice that the wind was dying down...and Satan's hordes of mosquitoes had found us.
I now know what a million mosquitoes sound like.
I must have had a 1/2 inch thick layer of deet on my body, plus a mosquito net jacket. I swear they would slam into one spot on my body till they wore the deet off...just so they could bite me. We took breaks long enough to wipe the bugs off the pups, and shoo them of our jackets. We headed home as fast as possible.
At one point Nuna, our dog, was side tracked by a running ground squirrel. Which happens often enough. We are going at a pretty slow pace anyways so we don't stop, we just keep a eye on her. We crossed a small river and waited on the other side. Calling her name. Whistling. And in the distance we saw her tiny figure bounding out into the deep tundra. She was moving fast. She did not look in our direction at all, so Ben took his rifle and fired a shot into the air trying to get her attention. She turned and glanced at us for a second...then headed over a hill about a mile away and disappeared.
Stupid Pup was frantically following another trail headed East. So we trudged after her, whistling and calling her name. But by the time we got there she was long gone. We drove in big circles for about 45 minutes.
Gah my poor pup.
So tonight I have left her some food and water outside in the kunichuck (like an enclosed porch, or "vestibule") and I hope and pray she makes it home safe. The younger pups fell asleep as soon as they got home.