Selwyn-Flett Portage - Esker in Flett Lake
Distance 23 km [203 km]
Portages 1  [Total carry/walk = 76.27 km]
Broke camp and commenced the portage by 8am. As it was a warm day and as the portage was over two kilometres we did it in two stages. The first stage was to a point opposite where we hoped to find a side track into Lake Goo Tue, a small lake sacred to the Dene who believed it to be the home of the Great Spirit. Tradition states that its waters are healing to drink and that if you visit it you should leave an offering, generally a piece of clothing. After moving all our gear up to this stage we spent an hour bush bashing through a myriad of animal trails searching for the lake. When we finally reached it I left a small cloth Australian flag, John left a pair of Dene snow boots he found on the track.
After a well-earned lunch we finished the portage, all downhill as we have now crossed the height of land, what Tyrrell in his 1893 journal referred to as “the summit of the continent”. The drainage south of this point flows via the Chipman, Fond du Lac, Athabasca, Slave and McKenzie Rivers into the Arctic Ocean whereas to the north and ahead of us the flow goes via the Dubawnt and Thelon into Hudson Bay.
By 3pm we were on the water in Flett Lake intending to make camp at the first suitable spot. We planned to take the next day off as we were both physically drained and the unusually hot weather, 25 -30 degrees, didn’t help. Camp sites were nowhere to be found so we kept paddling towards our last hope an esker some distance up the lake. By 8pm we arrived at an adequate camp with a tiny beach. Again the insects and tiredness meant tea turned into hot chocolate and pilot biscuits. We were asleep by 10pm.