If you drive southeast from Whitehorse, Yukon, and then turn due south at Jakes Corner you will eventually find yourself in northern British Columbia. The road continues south along the east shore of Lake Atlin. Here you will find nice stony beaches to camp on, and if you head inland further east you might come across the O’Donnell River.
Of course I didn’t end up here by accident. My friend Pierre had invited me along for a whitewater paddling excursion. I was a little bit nervous about the idea of class 3 rapids, not having paddled whitewater in some time. The river was completely different from anything I had paddled before – narrower, with tighter turns and sharper rocks, but running at a lower volume and less intimidating than some rivers I have paddled out east.
Fortunately I needn’t have been nervous about the paddling. My skills from years past served me well, and we had a wonderful time on the river. On Saturday we ran both the more challenging upper section, and a longer lower section. We returned on Sunday for a quick run on the upper section. We wouldn’t have wanted to return much later, as we noticed a drop in the water levels just between our two days on the river.
Before returning to Whitehorse, I stopped by the Miles Canyon – an interesting location with basalt columns along the Yukon river just outside of town.