Nahanni Day 14 – Deadman’s Valley
Glorious glorious day – sun and not a cloud in the sky. Relaxed breaking down of camp and on our way at around 10. Paddled through 3rd canyon for the morning arriving at lunch break at 1230. Then we left 3rd and paddled 2nd canyon and on into Deadman’s Valley. The wind picked up, really blowing in to a headwind….. it was a lot tougher paddle.
There is a story that the McLeod brothers – Frank and Willy – found gold down Flat river – apparently quite a cache. This was back at the turn of the century. On their way back they couldn’t make it the whole way so they wintered over in the Valley. The next year prospector’s coming up river found them in a cabin without their heads! This is a local legend and of course nobody knows if they were killed for their gold……hence the names that adorn the region: Deadman’s Valley, Headless creek, Funeral Range and finally Headless Range.
We came upon a small wood cabin (1 of 2 on the river) that is filled with the paddles of people who have come down the Nahanni, some of the names included Trudeau. Amazing to see small, large, whittled, carved and other paddles all hanging from the ceiling. We too will be leaving a TYL paddle at the next cabin.
Finally we came upon the Rangers Cabin in Deadman’s Valley – it has an emergency beacon, food, water and first aid. The sign says if you are in distress break in and activate the beacon and they will send rescue. Very reassuring!
Then a bit more paddling to get to camp at around 4 pm – we are in Dry Canyon – as we pulled up I saw a large black bear running away from the campsite – that is my third sighting! Went over and took some photos of the footprints – pretty big fella….
Tomorrow we are back in the rapids and make our way through first canyon.
Padding time: 6 hours
Total Distance: 50 km
Altitude Lost:- 75m
Maximum speed – 15 kph
Highest rapid – 3 feet
BugMeter – on the rise as we hit the lower lands – back to 4/10