Gates of the Arctic National Park, Day 2
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
192Trip End Oct 14, 2011
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We're above the Arctic Circle and I was afraid that the constant sun would make sleeping difficult. That turned out not to be an issue. I eventually heard Moe stirring so I got up and we had breakfast. Moe noticed that the river was a different color than it had been when we went to bed. He marked the edge of the river so we could tell if the level was changing. It was and very rapidly. Our gravel bar wasn't very high so we quickly moved our "kitchen" and boating equipment to higher ground in the tundra, packed up our tents and put our canoe together. By the time we had everything loaded into the canoe and were heading downstream about three hours later the river had risen around four feet and the entire area where we had been camped was underwater.
The higher water levels made the canoeing a bit more challenging. We were mainly interested in finding a gravel bar that looked secure and didn't really want to spend a lot of time on the water. We soon came across a gravel bar that we liked and set up camp. We spent a good part of the evening building a campfire. Campfires are a lot of work in the tundra since all of the wood is more like kindling. The wood was also all wet but at least it took longer to burn.