Lashing winds drive walls of snow across a vanishing trail. A single skidoo struggles to maintain its course on a track that is rapidly disappearing under the driven snow. The heavy skimmer bucks sideways in the drifts, pulling the skidoo with its human cargo off the track and into the deep snow. Skies are blackened, dusk combines with whiteout winds and shadows, there is no visibility.
The man and the boy drop the heavy skimmer filled with mining equipment and try for the pass once again. They are doubled up on the old skidoo. Jane Creek Pass on the Old Dawson Trail shows herself seductively with glimpses to safety through the waves of snow and wind. If they can get over the pass, they can hide from the storm. Rick Cousins and his son Bobby are 65 Kilometres from Pelly Farm in the Yukon Territory, Canada. Bobby is twelve years old. They have 65 kilometres to go to hit their destination camp at Mariposa Creek; a consideration is Scroggy Creek, which is a closer 48 kilometres and offers possible shelter.
From the village of Fort Norman on the McKenzie River we are taking the junction at the Bear River on our quest to reach Fort Franklin on Great Bear Lake. It is about 100 miles (it’s the old days) by canoe to Franklin. This little hamlet is part of my father’s jurisdiction as Indian Agent. He has to visit Fort Franklin every few months. We are…
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