It was a very different day, cloudy, a bit of a north east wind, and occasionally light snow. The temperature was also much warmer and was -17 C when we got back to Stanley about 4:00 pm.
We’d hoped to get away early, but I slept in until after 8:00 am, after keeping the fire going all night. We first packed up my toboggan, however after getting the tarp all tied down noticed that we had forgotten to tie on the foam sleeping pads. We had to untie the entire load, put the pads on, and then do them back up, which wasted about 15 or 20 minutes. After we’d done my toboggan we took the stove out of the tent and dumped the coals onto the lake (we were afraid if they’d been put on the ground they might have melted down to the ground and caught the brush on fire). Then we packed up the tent and Graeme’s toboggan, and got away from our campsite at 11:15 am.
We crossed Iskwatikan Lake heading west, fortunately with the wind on our backs. As we left the lake where the trail went through the bush we saw that there was water running out of the bush and along the trail. Dark brown tea colored water it obviously was running from the muskeg, and the snow was soft as it had not yet completely frozen. We commented on how easy it was to walk over the frozen ground compared to the bog this trail must be in the summer.
We ate lunch about 3.5 km from our campsite. It was snowing, about the heaviest snow we got all day. Shortly after lunch we met a family on two snowmobiles. The father was driving with his young son riding in front of him, and they were towing a large sleigh. In the sleigh were a woman with another younger child. They were almost buried under a mound of blankets. We waved and the man said, “its a lot warmer today,” which was certainly true.
The bottoms of my feet were sore. However it seemed to be easier to tow the toboggans, since it is a bit more downhill going back to Stanley. Unfortunately my camera had frozen up (it did that yesterday too, but in the morning I kept it wrapped in my coat with the insulated hot water bottle until we took the pictures at Nistowiak) so it would no longer take any pictures.
As we approached Stanley we saw a lot more snowmobiles. One passed us going south pulling a sleigh, then passed us about half an hour later going back in to town with a load of wood. Once again my toboggan tipped twice in the rough tracks going back to town. Up the hill, the steepest of the trip into town, and we were done at just a few minutes before 4:00 pm.
It was certainly a very cold first two days. Though our last day was much warmer, it didn’t have the beautiful clear blue sky that we enjoyed as we went in to Nistowiak.