UPDATED 6/4/09: MORE ON YUKON RIVER FLOODING FROM MUSHERS WAYNE AND SCARLETT HALL

AFTERMATH OF FLOOD: UPDATE FROM WAYNE AND SCARLETT HALL IN EAGLE, ALASKA.The 2009 Yukon River break-up was the worst in recorded history…the small town/village of Eagle was ravaged with flood and ice destroying almost all of Eagles epi-center leaving many people homeless with massive destruction. Scarlett and I live several miles downriver from Eagle right where the ice jammed in a 90-degree turn in the river. Whole islands with trees hundreds of years old disappeared right in front of our eyes in just mutes creating an ice-field of 375 acres of inland mass. Ice flows 30 feet high jammed our route to the river giving us no access to launch our canoe. With supplies running low we had to find a way to get our canoe to the river. Our only option was to circumnavigate the ice field overland to launch the canoe. After many days of recon we found a 1 1/3 mile route overland which included traversing several ravines. The job would be impossible for just Scarlett and I to drag the 19 foot Gruman canoe overland hauling a Honda 8 motor, fuel, chainsaw for cutting our way through and other necessary, misc items. But it is not just Scarlett and I…we also have some fine working Alaskan Huskies. It took 6 of our bigger, strong working dogs two days hauling the canoe to the launch site. The first day we only worked them 4 hours because of the heat. The second day was overcast and another 6 hours. This does not include 6 hours of cutting trail thru the thick boreal forest. There were many boggy areas and ravines where we came to a stop because the drag was just too much. We train all our dogs with a specific command for “lets go”. “Lets GO is preceded with…”ARE You READY……then…LETS GO. When we say ARE YOU READY the whole team is focused on the command LETS GO. When the LETS GO command is given the whole team hits the gangline at the same instant. That “HIT” on the gangline usually always breaks loose a dog-sled that is stuck in slushy overflow or a heavy load going up a hill…in this case our canoe. This “are you ready…lets go” command was used maybe a hundred times moving /hauling the canoe to the river. This command was also used climbing Eagle Summit during the Yukon Quest. My team was not very competitive in this year’s race but we had no trouble with the ascent on Eagle Summit.Right now and for the next month or so we will have to back-pack our supplies in overland.that should keep Scarlett and I in shape..and of course a couple dogs will help with the packing also.See a pictorial account of the flood: http://tinyurl.com/pz5gwc or read more about all of the advenuters of Wayne and Scarlett: http://bushalaskaexpeditions.com/

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