11 April 2007
SnowSTAR remained in Kugluktuk until early afternoon for a snowmobile part to arrive by plane and then headed SouthEast into the barrenlands. Their three-day layover in Kugluktuk was a welcome break, but the crew reports that they are glad to be back on the move and heading into another very interesting part of the Arctic. Mathew's Soundclip tonight talks about the big load of gas they bought for this leg of the trip. Kids--Can you guess how much they spent on gas today?? Tonights written dispatch talks about the side-trip they made this morning to historic Bloody Falls.
Click here for Matthew's Soundclip
Bloody Falls of the Coppermine
Enroute Daring Lake, 11 April 2007
Distance Today: 85km
Camp 27 Location: 67º 17.7'N, 114º 07.7W
-10ºC. Overcast and whiteout all day with light snow of needle crystals
Bloody Falls of the Coppermine River:
You may recall that we were delayed in Kugluktuk an extra day in order to fix a
snowmachine and wait for parts to be flown in from Yellowknife. The parts
were supposed to be on the 1:00 P. M. flight, so we had the morning to visit
one of the most historic spots in the Arctic, Bloody Falls of the Coppermine
River. It is about 15 km south of town.
The falls have always been an important spot for both Dene and Inuit
peoples. Fish (char) congregate below the falls and are easy to spear.
Caribou roam the hills above the falls. Not surprisingly, there have been
territorial disputes about who can use the falls. These culminated in a
famous incident in about 1770. Chippewayan Indians from the Barrenlands
came north and found Inuit camped there, fishing. According to the account
of Samuel Hearne, the first white man to cross arctic Canada, who was
traveling with the Chippewayan Indians, all of the Inuit were killed.
Franklin, who came by about 50 years later, found human bones on the site,
confirming the account. This is how the falls came by its name.
The falls (really a rapids not a waterfall) is formed where the river flows
across a resistant rock dike made of gabbro. Just like the Bear River, the
falls is open water, even in the coldest weather.
This is the land of muskoxen too. We have not seen any, but a skull of one
is included to show you what they look like. All the boats here remind us that we are also on the Arctic
Ocean. We include a picture of the boat "Fort Hearne", pulled up on the beach at