Our last day of the trip.
We saw a few bald eagles. This was the first one sitting still for us.
And onto getting off the river. Luckily for us today the wind was working for us, and enabled us a very easy exit off of the river. Here are some notes for anyone else that may attempt to exit at the Copper river confluence.
The green lines denote strong currents in the Chitina river, the yellow denotes strong currents from the copper river. The purple lines denote a very strong wind coming from the South. The red dots denote a series of very large whirl pools. I would NOT attempt to exit here less you had this wind coming from the South. The copper river current is extremely strong. The other team took the root of the blue line gaining as much momentum as possible and cut through the whirl pools no problem. The wind then held them against the current while they were able to navigate to the braids and from there pretty much walk to shore. We on the other hand got pushed very close into the canyon wall by the high winds. When we hit the confluence, we got spun around what seemed like 15 times, something I wouldn’t recommend experiencing in a canoe. But we broke free eventually and the winds carried us. With some heavy paddling, we were able to make the same landing.
Some random thoughts: I would not recommend a canoe for this river. It is too unstable to risk tipping into some extremely cold water. Arrange for more time then we did. We only got one day of rest, though, the travel was not hard as the river did the work. it would have been nice to spend more time camping and less time traveling. Also… if it was a raft and not a canoe, you’ll spend more time enjoying the scenery, and not worried about tipping.
A complete photo blog of the trip is located here.