Ok guys as I promised a quick breakdown of our camping trip up the Noatak River with a bunch of 11 year old scouts in tow!
We took off out of Kotz with 7 scouts, 4 adults and 7 snow-goes. This was a trip that I had promised the kids a year ago but 2008 was just too **** cold as most of you remember. The cabin that we were headed for is about 22+ miles out of Kotz across the Kobuk Lake and up the little Noatak River. The cabin is a 2 story 16x20 and it proved to be very tight.
When we left Kotz it was a chilly -18 and we considered that a workable temperature for this part of the country. A quick check of gear with the boys and dads and we were off. On a trip like this I normally make one stop about 10 miles out of town to check with the the kid and check the basket sleds for any loose loads. Being it was so cold we made 3 stops so the kids could shake a leg and deal with the frost bites that were starting on the kids and dads. It took about 45 minutes to make it to the cabin but it was almost flawless. We had one spot of sloppy overflow to deal with at the mouth of the Little Noatak which is always a bad spot, sloppy but not dangerous.
As the cabinís wood stove began to warm up the kids played in the sleds out front and had a game of snow-go chase on the lake in front of the place.
It was dark quickly and we settled in for a night of card games and marshmallows on a stick.
Day 2: -28 degrees and that was the high! Cooooold boys! I took the dads and kids on a x-country ski trip that was about 20 minutes to long as most of the guys were cold and quickly. After lunch it was off to my favorite sledding hill which is about 1 mile from the cabin. We got the kids over to the hill and almost all of them had new frost bites to deal with. My son and his buddy both had white knots on each cheek the size of ping pong balls but none of these kids complain! Kids up here are just tough by design! This hill is about as steep as a snow machine cares to climb and a blast as you cascade down through the fluff and crash through the willows and small spruce at the bottom. Lots of smiling kids and it warmed the day up a bunch. Well it was about 2:00 pm and the sun was going down quickly so we headed back to the cabin for lunch, clean up and packing for the return trip.
Good trip boys. If you not involved with scouts you should be. Too many of our kids are missing the chance to learn about the out of doors and we can not let that connection pass. The only real no, no for this trip was I did not allow any electronic devices of any kind as a camp out should be about the experience, not the game boy!