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The Arctic and Sub-arctic cover vast areas of the North American continent and exhibit widely varying terrain. I have visited only a very small portion of the North, primarily in the Barren Lands and the drainages that flow into the Hudson Bay. The land feels big and open with a lot of sky. I took the following images while paddling some of the  rivers of the North and are representative of the landscapes in this part of the Canadian.


“The preferred route”  A romantic watercolor depicting summer travel.


 An inuksuk on the Kunwak River. The Kunwak was regularly visited by the Inuit.



Late evening on the Caribou River. The Caribou River starts just out of the trees and
 flows through
stunted growth as it nears the Hudson Bay

 The inuksuik were generally constructed on the river or lake's ridge line to stand out
 against the sky when viewed from the water.


 An unusual flat day on a big lake. We have very few pictures of these lakes when
they were up as we were usually too busy to take pictures.


 As dark as it gets on the Kunwak River in early August.


 Still frozen in the middle of July. Snow showers were not uncommon in the middle 
of the summer.


 Another flat day on another very big lake.


 “Window on the world”. An iconic inuksuk on Thirty Mile Lake in the Kazan drainage.
Inuksuik were very common on the Kazan.


This is the shoreline of Franklin Bay, Beaufort Sea a couple of miles south of where
the Horton River broke through the headland. One of the many burning anthracite
deposits is shown above, burning spontaneously at the surface.

The Horton River broke through the headlands into Franklin Bay, creating a
 large delta.


Our last camp on the Horton River in early August. We were about 72 degrees North.

The signs of the vanished people are common. Inuksuik, tent rings, and tool and
 food caches abound on Thirty Mile Lake.


Flat water on the Thelon River.


 These structures were very big and would have required a good deal of effort to
rect.There were numerous Inuksuk on Thirty Mile Lake.


 Wind and weather in a land without trees. The high winds made the lake crossings 
difficult and at times rather hazardous. Paul asked me more than a few times,
 "Is the shore moving away?". Sometimes yes, sometimes no.


 There were numerous examples of the past near Kazan Falls. 

Some of the constructions near Kazan Falls were very unusual.


 Some of these structures would have required more than a few people to erect. This
area near Kazan Falls exhibited over a dozen constructions.



This spectacular wall cloud roared over our camp on the Horton River and produced
gale force winds.

 A view looking up the Kazan River near Kazan Falls.


 Looking down the Kazan River toward Kazan Falls. 

 It is August and starting to get darker.

Kazan Falls and the canyon was a guaranteed walk if you were going to get to Baker Lake.

 This inuksuk was over six feet tall and could be seen from a

great distance.


A gas turbine Otter gets off an esker at mid-night near Baker Lake.



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 © 2009 Jim Rutzick