For my birthday this year, Martina arranged a trip up the Stikine River with a neighbor who has a jetboat. The Stikine is one of the longest, wildest rivers left in the Americas with a watershed of about 20,000 square miles. Here is the Wiki site which can tell you all the Stikine River facts. We wear our survival suits & goggles for the long cool run up the glacially fed river.
A tremendous amount of water flows here leaving huge logs on this lower part of the 160 mile long river and at levels many feet higher than we now are navigating. Here we are running at 13 feet in height. High flood levels are up to 30 feet here near Shake’s Lake.
Spectacular peaks greet us as we progress up river. Here is a list of river guides to this incredible area. Also check out this site which has a good description of the geology and history of the area.
This is a highbush cranberry–delicious when made into cranberry ketchup.
Here’ we’re cutting out leaner trees over the riverbank near Tom’s cabin. If the spring run-off tears the whole tree out, it takes a large bite out of the riverbank. By leaving the stump, it stabilizes the erosion somewhat but this is an age-old and continuous process of wild rivers. He loses about 3′ per year.
This is one big river when it runs at full capacity…..
We visit briefly with four kayakers who left Telegraph Creek, 160 miles upstream from the mouth of the Stikine, six days earlier. The best way to kayak this river is to fly in from Wrangell and have your kayak shipped to Telegraph by boat. Guides offer trips to Telegraph–a two day trip each way–it’s on our list.
We motor up a side-channel and find a small creek with clear water–perfect for trout fishing. Note the animal traffic here–a large moose and two bears among other smaller mammals and many frogs!
Here Thomas catches a fine cutthroat trout–the first of several which composes our lunch
We build a fire on the beach, heating rocks and place the fish back down to fry. Simply delicious.