06 Jul, 2015 FALCONS, WOLVES, AND THE BEAUTIFUL BEND
Kicked off today shooting a time-lapse of our camp tear down and then paddling off onto the river. The filming is going well. The biggest challenge being the very limited amount of sun we’ve been getting to charge our gear with the solar panels. Paddling weather is good today. Just some rain followed by dead calm waters for a stretch. It’s so peaceful floating down this wild river when the wind dies down like that. An ice rock bluff on the left side of the river is accompanied by peregrine falcons, their cries pierce through the landscape of this corner of Banks Island they call home.
Climbing the far side of the hill next to the bluff reveals a few more rock faces lining the edge of an unnamed creek that feeds the Thomsen river. I go back to my sketchbook and climb back up to put this view on paper. Under better light I would’ve brought my paints up here, but grey skies rule the day so I stick to graphite. Pencil drawing was my first love when I got into art as a youngster and I’m hoping to do a lot more sketches on this trip to accompany my oil paintings. It’s a way to bring back more from this journey and get deeper with the land through close observation.
We paddle on from here to a wide right bend in the river, lined with the highest hills we’ve seen yet. This place has a painting or two beckoning to be made so we set up camp to stay for a couple of nights. The rain returns, and under the tarp stretched over the ends of our tents, we enjoy a great meal. With mountains to our back, the river flowing by, and pure wilderness in every direction further than I can imagine. It doesn’t get any better. But it does. Up on the crest of the hill behind camp, Anthony notices two large dots that weren’t there before. Unbeknownst to us, a pair of Arctic wolves had been peering in on us, the strange new intruders to their backyard. A sense of elation shoots through all of us and brings a great day to a truly memorable close.