US 3: Oregon
I continued along the Cascades into Oregon, and popped down to the ‘Rose City’ of Portland for breakfast; I recommend the eggs sunny side up, and just love getting those coffee refills.
Yep, it was hard to drag myself away, but I made it in the end, and full of carbs and caffeine I almost bounced back up the Cascades.
I enjoyed the late morning, running through dense forests that seemed to stretch all the way up to the sky. After ascending Mt. Hood I slid down the glaciers to the shores of Trillium Lake, which I then cooled off in under a glorious sky.
I’d heard Oregon had a lot of diversity, and I wanted to see it, so I made my way down to the scrublands, prairies, and deserts in the afternoon, before visiting Crater Lake National Park in the evening.
Ending the long day in the pristine lake was serene, and I congratulated myself on a well planned day and journey through Oregon.
U.S. 2: Washington state
Leaving Kodiak Island soon after sunrise I swam and I swam, passing Yukon and British Columbia, which brought back good memories, until I reached Washington state just after midday. I was cold and tired, but wasn’t too hungry, as there’d been a steady supply of seaweed on the way.
After a bit of a kip under a refreshing drizzle I made my way to Seattle and Aberdeen, before climbing up to the Cascade mountains; I travelled south over them during the day, passing Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and finally Mount Adams.
I’d eaten an evening meal on Mount Rainier, overlooking Lake Reflection and Tacoma, which was nice. By the time I got to Mount Adams I was just about done in, and was happy to get myself some shuteye.
It had been a tough day, but I’d made good progress.
U.S. 1: Alaska
Crossing from the Yukon into Alaska I said goodbye to Canada and hello to the U.S. As I freeswam down the Yukon River there seemed little difference between the two countries, with wondrous nature in both. The bloody salmon were a bit of a nuisance though, jumping out of the water and hitting me on the bonce all the time!
I lunched in Fairbanks, and feeling re-energised I crossed the Alaska Range, including Mt. McKinley during the afternoon. Great views.
I arrived at Anchorage before dark, and crossed over to Kodiak Island for a good night’s kip. No sign of any bears thankfully!!
Entering the Yukon, snow and ice slowed my progress in the morning, but I made it past many rivers to reach Wolf Lake by lunchtime. Needless to say, it was nice to reach a lake named after me…or one of my kind…and I spent a couple of hours eating and swimming in the vicinity.
After sleeping off the food I picked myself off the grass and soon got some pace going. I reached Whitehorse a few hours later, and stocked up on food there. Then I ran like a gazelle through the Ibex Valley, and reached the Saint Elias Mountains in Kluane National Park and Reserve by evening. I climbed Mount Logan during the night, and made it to the 5,959 m (19,551 ft) peak by sunrise; I felt on top of the world, and was actually on the top of Canada’s world, as it’s the country’s highest mountain.
I could see Alaska from the top, and that meant my Canadian journey was almost over. I had really enjoyed my trek from west to east, and east to west, and hope you did too.
CT2: Northwest territories
Leaving Nunavut, I headed west, and reached Fort Smith in time for lunch. After that I headed north and reached the southern shore of the Great Slave Lake at Fort Resolution. Resting up there, while watching the wonderful nature around me, lifted my spirits after a hard journey.
I then made my way around the lake, to Dawson Landing and Hay River, before swimming across the lake to Yellowknife for supper.
As the evening drew in, I continued north-west, and reached the Nahanni National Park Reserve by midnight. I climbed the Mackenzie Mountains, crossed the Nahanni River at Lafferty’s Riffle, and marvelled at the Virginia Falls.
It had been an exhausting but invigorating day, and I had reached the border with the Yukon as planned.
I swam and I swam, through icy seas, trying to keep the eastern coast of Newfoundland in sight.
And then I saw land ahead, as well as to my left, and I knew I was approaching Nunavut, a frozen land of the north.
I reached land at Baffin Bay, a partof Nunavut, in the late morning, and had lunch at noon on the edge of Iqualuit.
Then I travelled overland to Cape Dorset, before leaving Baffin Bay. I stopped off for a break at Coral Harbour, hey come on, I’d done a lot of swimming, before reaching Chesterfield Inlet by the evening. I then went overland down to Whale Cove, before travelling inland to Cambridge Bay, where I rested up for the night.
I’d enjoyed the day, although it had been quite exhausting, and was happy to have made such good progress, considering the difficult conditions.
I used http://www.gov.nu.ca/education/eng/images/Nunavutmap.gif to plan my route.
After a bit of a lie-in, I swam back across the Labrador sea in the morning, arriving on an eastern beach of Prince Edward Island by noon. I felt something nipping at my heels as I swam, and thought it might be some labradors finally making their presence felt.
On the way I passed the eastern tip of Nova Scotia, and remembered my time spent in that province only a few days previously.
I kind of expected a royal welcome upon arrival on Prince Edward Island, but there was no-one to be seen. Not even a lord or lady. I guess they must have been on some visit or other. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t just a tad disappointed.
So I made my way over to Charlottetown, and guess what, there was no Charlotte to be seen. By this time I was highly vexed, and just sat in the park for a while, trying to get my head around it. No Prince Edward, no royalty, no Charlotte, what kind of an island is this?
Well, to cut a long story short, I couldn’t get my head around it, and was so disappointed I decided to return to Newfoundland that afternoon.
So I decided to get the heck out of there. I swam out into the Atlantic Ocean, and was enjoying the icy waters so much I decided to head straight for Nunavut.
Leaving behind the provinces, I would land in the territories the next day.