Barth was looking for a partner for this float trip and graciously invited me along. He is a Missouri resident and highly experienced and avid hunter but had no experience rafting or hunting in Alaska.
I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and have been blessed by the opportunity to hunt Alaska for the past 5 years. I’m an experienced rafter and my wife and I own 3 different rafts.
Day 1 - 7 September
After a last minute stop at the local Fred Myers we meet Andy at Shadow Aviation for our flight out. He is a wonderful pilot and very knowledgeable of the area.
I fly out first and haul some of our gear to above the lake and inflate our secondary “emergency” raft before trying to find the trail leading down to the river.
Almost as soon as I walk up into the meadow behind the lake I see a nice 58” bull walking along the tree line. Not having anywhere to go or even being able to make it back down to the lake I hide behind one of the few small black spruce and video tape the moose walking to within about 25 yards. I remember thinking this has to be a good sign; little did I know he’d be one of the few we’d get to see.
After Andy arrives with Barth and the remainder of our gear we finish unloading all the gear and cross the meadow to find the trail to the river.
Moving the gear the ¼ mile to the trailhead took the entire rest of the day and proved to be one of the roughest parts of the whole trip. Not that there was too much gear but the tundra was extremely deep and rough to cross with gear. Barth gets an introduction to Alaskan tundra, Devils Club, and Alaskan bugs all in his first day in the field.