Sun City resident Art “Karts” Huseonica’s twice postponed journey on the Yukon River got started in May but is now in another delay.
Huseonica planned to row up the wild river for the past three years, but the trip was delayed in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also experienced the loss of two expedition partners, one due to the first postponement.
But he slid his canoe, Couquette, into the river at the end of May and began paddling with the help of a series of First Nations Paddlers. His first stop on the adventure was in Carcross Yukon for a 48-hour cultural experience, hosted by Donna Beanz, one of his Native American expeedition partners. In a Facebook post from insertion, Huseonics spoke of scenery that left him breathless.
The pair arrived in Whitehorse on June 4. But then they encountered something that was an omen of things to come.
“All is well,” Huseonica posted on Facebook. “Currently on Lake Laberge resting and waiting out the windy raining weather.”
Some might be following the news from Wyoming where Yellowstone Park was closed last week due to major flood destruction. Huseonica saw some of his own flooding on the Yukon River.
In a video he posted, the swollen river was sending tree limbs and other large debris downstream.
“One of several reasons the government wants folks off the Yukon River,” Huseonica posted with the video. “All organized groups have been ordered off the river.”
He reported June 14 he and another First Nations paddler, Coralee Johns, were still in a hold at Carmacks Yukon and could be delayed two or three more days.
“All camps are now underwater due to melting snow, feeding the rivers that flow into the Yukon,” Huseonica posted on Facebook. “The river rose another foot while I slept.”
Everything had gone according to plan on the expedition until spring melt from record snows. A quick warm-up put rivers that feed into the Yukon River into flood stages with large amounts of debris, such as trees.
“If we can’t put back in we’ll have to abort the expedition,” Huseonica stated in a June 15 email.
Follow his progress at yukon2020.com.
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