Black Lake - Stony Rapids
Distance 3km [838km]
WOW -happiness is cleanliness, or perhaps just hot water. We had our last night in the tent. We were up about 8am to a grey humid morning, had a breakfast of the last of the pilot biscuits and coffee. Then our last pack up trying to get as much of the loose stuff into the now empty food drums. We were on the water by 10.45am to paddle our last three kilometres to the community. We unloaded the canoe and removed the spray cover at the town dock. John went off to look for a taxi to take us to Stony Rapids whilst I was entertained by four locals drinking whisky on the dock. Black Lake is a dry community but people bring in small [micky sized] bottles of whisky which they pay $22.00 for in Prince Albert and sell for $100.00]. The locals are obviously very proud of being Dene and of their country. They were most impressed with our feat of 850 km from La Ronge in 43 days. They were keen to teach me some Dene and give me their face book details. Eventually the taxi arrived and after much argy bargy to get the canoe on top we drove to Stony Rapids about 20 km away.
The folks at the White Water Inn are great, Ed who owns the place was there to greet us and organize where to store the canoe. The place is staffed by Heather a Canadian and Pete from NZ, they met and married in Australia, they are great nothing seems too much trouble. We arranged to have full board for three days and are staying away from the main motel in a lovely building “The Lodge” down by the river.
The Lodge is fabulous, it has a shared kitchen, washing machine, large lounge over looking the river and joy oh joy our own bathroom with unlimited hot water. We both had long hot showers and sorted all our filthy clothes to be washed. At dinner this evening we met American Christopher his sister Heather and three of their various children. Tomorrow they will fly into a lake north of here and go down the Elk River [parallel with the Dubawnt] to Baker Lake, they are anticipating it will take them 40 days and have more gear than you could imagine. Also met Vince, a Dene man who had heard about our trip . He was most impressed, I got my hand kissed liberally, well he was lubricated! Back at the Lodge we talked to the various pilots staying there and were in a real bed by 10pm.