Ingrid's Excellent Adventure
By Ingrid Wilcox
he Stikine River or the "Stikeene" as it is sometimes written traverses some 640
km. Of spectacular wilderness area in Northern B.C. and empties into the Pacific near
The Stikine is divided into three sections, the upper river, the Grand Canyon and the
lower river which begins in Telegraph Creek. It is this portion of the river which
five of us paddled this past August (Theresa Landman, Jim Tousignant, Ron and Cole Pearson
We left Whitehorse on a sunny day at the end of August and caught our first glimpse of the
Stikine 12 hours later. Chocolate brown in color, it looked somewhat like a
chocolate shake laced with Bailey's. As we later discovered, the river was colder,
much colder and not as great to drink unless you like a good dose of gritty sand.
Our staging area was a small sandy beach beside the Glenora campground where we unloaded
all our stuff and then proceeded to try to stuff all the gear into and literally onto the
sea kayaks. The task seemed impossible. When we were finally were done,
all of us had gear on the front deck, the back deck and it took four people to carry
the loaded kayak to the water's edge. Before the trip, Jim worried whether he would
be able to roll his sea kayak should the need arise. It became obvious with the
loads we had on deck, rolling was out of the question.
The river moving quite fast at the beginning with strong eddylines and boils. Ron, who was
a beginner paddler soon learned the meaning of eddy's, eddylines and direction of lean,
when he crossed a particularly strong fast eddyline he crossed a particularly strong and
fast eddyline. He leaned upstream and slowly as if in slow motion, he flipped
despite the heaviness of the boat. His baptism into kayaking complete, we camped at
the nearest beach amongst grizzly bear tracks.
The trip was great. As we got closer to the coast the weather became rainier and
rainier and most evenings and mornings were wet, but during the day the clouds would break
up, and we would enjoy the spectacular views around every bend. The river, for
whitewater paddlers was a piece of cake. Finding your way downriver with humongeous
trees in the river kept you on your toes. No time for nappin'!
We hiked through jungle-like rainforest to view the Great Glacier, stopped at Chief Shakes
Hot Springs, paddled