Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Packing Up the Sundowner in Carmacks: Day 18 of the Yukon River Trip

...continued from "A Dilemma & Departure in Carmacks:  Day 18 of the Yukon River Trip"

Jake's departure propelled me into action; I probably had more work than I could fit into his anticipated 4-hour absence.  I welcomed the work that sprawled around me because it left no time to ponder & fret over Jake's journey.  A strategy surfaced, and I launched my campaign to triumph over the endless job of prepping & packing for our long drive home. 

I had four major goals:
1.)  dress man-like in order to not draw attention to myself as a lone female on our alluring boat that surely held desirable souvenirs for those with bold, corrupt intentions
2.)  dry out the boat, tarps, floor mats, gear, shoes, and clothes to avoid mildew & ruin on the week-long return drive home
3.)  put away all belongings in a logical & memorable place
4.)  group tubs, bags, & gear according to where they should be placed in the Expedition for possible access or non-access for the 3,300-mile journey

To attempt Goal #1, I dressed in gray North Face zipoff pants, my heavy boots, a zipped-up black fleece jacket, and a camo baseball cap that hid my long hair from distant, curious onlookers that might bring unwanted distractions & delays to my day's objective.  Feeling alone & possibly vulnerable, I randomly caught myself at times mimicking mannish mannerisms & movements, hoping to convince onlookers that I was able to hold my own--whether or not they bought my masculine character.

Initiating Goal #2, I began to gather & spread various items, ranging from damp to drenched, on any & all available spaces that would possibly catch a draft of the Yukon wind blowing through Carmacks that morning.  Due to the limited sites that captured the Yukon sun & wind in the Sundowner's position, I was continually draping & redraping our first batch of saturated possessions to capitalize on sunlight & wind before swapping the thoroughly dried items with the next significant soggy set.

At some point, I realized that I was not the only being hard at work; I noticed locals working their fishing nets on the opposing bank of the Yukon River.

First Nation Families Attending to Their Fishing Nets Across the Yukon River
Carmacks, YT, Canada

While the welcomed & much appreciated summer sun dried our gear, it also forced me to shed the layers of my manly costume to make my vigorous task bearable.  Well aware that I would no longer possibly pass as the opposite sex, I continued my work in my camo hat, black tank top, gray pants, & Chacos...still trying to appear as valiant as possible.

It was during my employment of Goal #3 when Jake's dreaded prediction of trouble became a reality & paid me a visit.  As I hopped and balanced and maneuvered through the maze of my organized stacks & piles on the deck of the Sundowner, I detected my approaching visitor.  She was already 10 feet from boarding the Sundowner when I first saw her.  How did she get this close without me noticing?  Jake would not approve.

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