Great news to announce: Nicolas Roulx has officially turned 28 years old! He celebrated his birthday on June 23rd, and it's safe to say that this will be a birthday Nicolas will never forget, even if there was no cake to be found. The team took the evening off to relax and have as much fun as they can. Their steady progress has earned them the place of a well-deserved break. Happy birthday Nic!
In addition, the guys took a day off from work because of some discomfort with their joints, especially Etienne with his knee. Their little aches and pains can be explained for Etienne and Philippe because they are getting into the rhythm of the expedition. The pace of an expedition requires the body to get used to constant, non-stop exercise.
For Nicolas and Guillaume, they had gotten used to the monotonous effort of skiing, whereas canoeing requires completely different maneuvers.
Our friends had a lot of company this week: a lot of very curious caribou and birds (no bears). The caribou have this snide way of observing them that seems to say: "poor little bipedal humans, how slowly they move! ". They passed several Arctic swans and terns that they took the time to contemplate.
The pace of progress is excellent, and the days are incredibly varied. However, they bypassed the Back River, a true Arctic river highway. This river would have been their way into Canada and, incidentally, was one of the largest Arctic rivers on the planet.
The team decided that the idea of going up this river was too dangerous. It would have involved too much commitment and risk with the flooding and breakup. So they decided to bypass this huge river from the west, leading them into a chain of lakes.
They have to haul, portage, go up streams, paddle bits of rivers and lakes. They will eventually reach the Back River when the floodwaters subside.
The snow is melting, the heat is coming, the progress is going well!
Make sure to follow along on our social media accounts, @naakbars to stay up to date with any breaking news and photos from Expedition AKOR. Be sure to read more about the team on our previous Blog Posts.