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Yellowknife July 27th - The Narrows - just opposite Air Tindi - ready to go.
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First Camp
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Great Slave Lake: a lot of water dotted with islands in certain areas.
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Turn of into Devil's Channel.
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Old old rocks.
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Bony Pike.
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Huge columns of smoke in the distance.
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Close to Yellowknife - within easy reach by motor boat - unfortunately more garbage dumps than one would wish for.
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Campsites as nice as it may get.
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A lot of stupid people leaving their embarrassing signature. Who cares about George Mandeville?
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Sailing was the key on this particular trip.
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Uncomfy close. What if the wind changes during the night?
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A wannigan's controlled explosion.
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Low sunlight late in the day.
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If your tent relies on stakes into any kind of soil the Canadian Shield will be a problem. Either bare rock like this or...
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... a tangle of vegetation right next to it.
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Good enough for the night. But no way to set up the kitchen tent. Lucky me the weather was fine all the way through. (Night number 10)
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Odd rocks along the shore.
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No camping on the other shoreline either (Pethei Peninsula).
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Plummer's fishing lodge at Taltheilei Narrows. The reason for may be half a dozen noisy motor boats each day. Until may be 40-50 Km's into McLeod Bay.
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Again: not a great many camp grounds. (Night number 11)
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Erosion at work.
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McLeod Bay ahead.
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Looking back. Behind the island is Taltheilei Narrows.
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Perfect sailing conditions.
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Coffee break and 2nd breakfast.
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Dinner time.
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Barnstone River falling into Great Slave Lake.
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A fearless cheeky young sea gull.
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Orderliness - out there - off grid.
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A very valuable and enjoyable stop. Annika, Dave, Kristen and Liv - all shared stories, laughter and yummy meals on my flying visit. I was given advice on top and was also able to leave behind some 5-10 KGs of useless equipment. No trifle with Pikes Portage looming.
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A witch's kitchen ?
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Heavy smoke from wild fires ways away.
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Roger Catling - Fort Reliance - all year round.
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Wildlife look out! Don't mess with the owner.
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The island cluster on Charlton Bay half way to Old Fort Reliance.
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Stilll a lot of smoke. Making me wonder how I would fare exerting myself on Pikes Portage.
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Another picture of the famous (restored) chimneys at Old Fort Reliance.
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A burnt forest is no pretty sight at all !
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The Beach - access to famous and arduous Pikes Portage.
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How many people have unloaded their gear here.
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The other end of the first gruelling leg on Pikes: Harry Lake. Certainly a relieving sight but showing unbelievable amounts of garbage.
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An old fiberglass canoe ?
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Onwards! Getting out of that garbage pile as quickly as possible.
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A perfect camp spot just half way on Harry Lake on the south shore.
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Probably what Pikes Portage looked alike before the devastating 2014 fire.
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The arduous parts of Pikes.
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The pleasant ones.
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Muskox ahead.
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More sweat.
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Respite
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The hunter being hunted.
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Kippling Lake.
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There is no way around carrying.
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The pretty side.
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The ugly one.
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One of the longer stages with my red canoe almost dead center.
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Island camp on a small lake after Toura Lake. Base camp for the hike to Parry Falls.
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Starting out across the land to Parry Falls.
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Approximately 8 Km’s as the crow flies.
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A piece of cake ?
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Due to poor planning I arrived on top of the falls. The rumble was very impressive but I did not dare to walk to the very edge for a glimps.
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I was happy to get through this without a sprained ankle or worse.
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Windfall encounters.
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Bad trails.
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Good ones.
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Conclusions at the end of the day? 8 Km’s as the crow flies can be very very long to walk across a land like that. Probably to most risky day of the entire trip with the most chances to get hurt.
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The indispensable thermos bottle.
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A welcome sight with a heavy load on the back. I screwd up before - following a Caribou trail into the nowhere.
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Heralding autumn.
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Artillery Lake at last. What a relief.
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And what a welcome.
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Timber camp on Artillery.
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Taking a rest day to reorganize for lake travel, wash clothes and pile up wood for the treeless country to come.
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The best raw material I could ever wish for.
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First step: removing the twigs.
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Next: cut to length (stove size).
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Finally: split into nice pieces.
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A small pruning saw together with a thick-bladed knife such as my Ranger Falcon from the Ontario Knife Company gets done a lot.
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Leather lined Kevlar gloves. Maintaining two healthy hands is indispensable for a waterwalker.
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Sailing Artillery Lake from one end to the other in a mere two days. Can’t praise the sail maker enough. The little bump on the horizon to the right is the Beaver Lodge.
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Another coffee break.
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Now it pays to bring wood along.
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The often refered to Beaver Lodge. And of course I offered some tobacco.
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The land is getting exceedingly bare.
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Esker camp on north-western tip of Artillery lake.
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Bone fragments galore. Likely left behind by Hornby and Critchell-Bullock.
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1924/25 ?
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Cracked open to get the marrow out ?
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Stone dug-out - of Hornby and Critchell-Bullock ?
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Sloping path to the water just below the dug-out.
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Beekis Pure Honey.
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Hornby or Critchell-Bullock's ?
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On top of the esker looking westward.
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Looking eastward.
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Looking at the north end of Artillery Lake.
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Someone on a fruit diet. I was happy to explore the esker without his companionship.
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Hawkins Contura Hard Anodised Aluminium Pressure Cooker 1.5 liters. What a splendid new item in my kitchen.
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Playing around with the “Wild Woodgas Stove” as an insert to reduce the combustion chamber.
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Looking out onto Artillery Lake during twilight.
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Onwards - once again.
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Late August - Geese - hundreds and hundreds and more on their way south. Filling the emptiness of earth and sky with their jabbering. I wonder what they are talking about.
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Same esker as before just on the Lockhart River side. Looking eastward.
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Looking westward.
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Probably as old as the ones on the other end of the esker.
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And also bone fragments but not nearly as many as on the other site.
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Lockhart River with hunting cabins in the distance. And the continuation of that very same esker.
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One of three obstacles on the way up of the Lockhart River.
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Edible ?
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Lockhart River camp.
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Ptarmigan Lake. And – believe it or not: sailing again.
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What a mess.
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Clinton-Colden Lake.
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Nice to have some fire wood in store.
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Still sailing...
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The Wild Woodgas Stove.
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Island amidst Thanakoie Narrows.
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The pressure cooker as fry pan. Just the small opening is somewhat awkward.
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It is raining cats and dogs outside...
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Late evening sun.
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Did I mention the sail ?
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Two-Lake-Island camp - just a few hours short of the northern tip of Aylmer Lake.
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The smaller one of the two lakes.
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Two-Lake-Island camp looking northward.
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Glowing autumn colours. September 4th.
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Too much wind. But I was ahead of schedule anyway.
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Edible ?
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Edible !
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Final camp at the northern end of Aylmer Lake - 5th of September.
sussex lake sat
Google Maps
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View onto Sussex Lake with island (both behind the bright esker).
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Georgs Back's view onto Sussex Lake on August 28th 1833. (From: Narrative Of The Arctic Land Expedition published by M.G. Hurtig Ltd.)
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George Back's tentring ?
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Aylmer Lake shoreline.
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Looking northward.
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Late in the season trickle of the Back River.
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Day hike along the north side esker.
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Aylmer Lake with the appendix of Sussex Lake to the left.
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Aylmer Lake and the first bothersome part of the Back River's headwaters. Wonder how navigable this is early in the season.
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More trouble in store as you proceed down the Back.
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Looking northward at the first notable lake. But still a long way to Muskox Lake.
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Looking back along the esker towards Sussex Lake.
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A collapsible canoe. Noteworthy how far a foam mattress, a few aluminium rods and some truck canvas can take you.
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Seriously wind bound. No plane will pick me up today.
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With gusts reaching 70 Km per hour. Still standing but likely the limit.
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Time to play around with the wood gas stove and the available twigs.
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It works but sure is time-consuming.
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Amazing how so small a foliage yields so large berries.
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The weather is calming down. May be Dave can pick me up tomorrow.
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The entire outfit set up to go.
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A heart-warming sight for a lonesome tourist in this barren land.
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The egregious privilege of living in the age of fossil fuels.
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The trickle of the headwaters of the Back River.
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The esker hiked along. With the 1st notable lake (+/- 1178) in the distance.
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Aylmer Lake
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Two-Lake-Island. Red marker is indicating the camp spot for 2 nights.
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First clusters of trees as we move southward.
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More and more trees.
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The burnt areas.
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McLeod Bay in the distance.
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Just about to land at the Hoarfrost River homestead.
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Lacy Falls on Hoarfrost River.
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Rebuilding after the devastating wildfire.
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Fish works.
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Bear works.
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Kitchen tools.
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"All my bags are packed. I'm ready to go."
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Not a jet plane but what a pleasure to fly in.
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Shores of McLeod Bay.
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Kahochella Peninsula with Wildbread Bay.
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"The Gap" between Douglas Peninsula (left) and Pethei Peninsula.
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Pethei Peninsula
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The red marker is indicating night number 10. The turquoise one night number 11. As the crow flies not even 20 KM's apart. A short day with wind and rain.
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Plummers fishing lodge (red asterix).
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The main land on our way to Yellowknife.
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Yellowknife