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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

The Big Wild

Posted by admin | August 4th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

Its humbling when you step into vast wilderness, or in our case when you get a floatplane to drop you off at Duo Lakes, in the heart of the Peel Watershed, in The Yukon, just outside the arctic circle, for a 14 day descent of The Snake River. Duo Lakes is about 200 miles from the nearest highway and an hour and half by floatplane to the nearest settlement. There is nothing so remote in the lower 48, where the farthest point from a road ” a specific spot in Yellowstone National Park ” is 20 miles.

Having recently completely the trip I can say that “The Big Wild” is descriptive of what we experienced. It also happens to be the name of an activist oriented, social networking community that wants to keep at least half of Canada’s public land and water wild forever. That’s a grand and important vision given that currently less then 10% of Canada’s wilderness is currently protected. Meanwhile, conservation science says that maintaining a healthy ecosystem in Canada requires that at least half of the land and water remain in its natural state.


The Big Wild refers to the part of Canada that is still in its natural state. The large roadless area where rivers flow free, big lakes and oceans lap against wild shores and animals of diverse species roam as they have for thousands of years. The Big Wild is every person across Canada and around the world that gives a damn about wilderness protection. Hats off to its founders – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and Mountain Equipment Co-op.

The Big Wild acknowledges the power of the collective. As they say, “since one voice is seldom heard in our hectic world, The Big Wild is a collective voice that will be heard across Canada and hopefully around the world.”

To check out some more of Peter’s exquisite pictures of our trip and, if you’re inclined, to donate money in support of The Big Wild check out our Snake River Big Wild Challenge.


12 Responses to “The Big Wild”

  • August 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm | Rob says

    I just bought $300 worth of Nau on your last day online. Sweet! I hope I can find great deals when you come back online this fall.

  • August 5, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Ellen Adelberg says

    Thanks for posting this great text about your Big Wild trip and the images. They are absolutely beautiful. The last photo of you (?) on the peak overlooking the Snake is just stunning. I hope you’ll also post it on The Big Wild site! Definitely looks like a prize contender to me. All the best.

  • August 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Ian says


    The photos were all taken by my friend Peter Bowers who, in addition to being a great guy (we refer to him as the “renaissance man”), is a very talented photographer. Peter was intrepid on the Snake River trip. He always had his camera in hand, ready to go. You can check out more of Peter’s photos on his Flickr site at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_fabulous/

    The last photo on the blog post isn’t of me. It’s our friend, Jeff Eppler. Jeff was a prime instigator of our evening conversations that became known as “The Snake River Salon.”

    Cheers to you and your collaegues at CPAWS for launching The Big Wild and for all of the other important work that you do!

  • August 5, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Juri Peepre says

    Hi Ian and the rest of the Snake River crew -

    Great to hear you had a fabulous trip on the Snake, in spite of the cool summer we have been having in the Yukon.

    I just wanted to pass on information on a brand new guidebook and natural and history of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed, inlcuding the 8 premiere paddling rivers. Check out http://www.yukonwildrivers.ca for information on the book, and excerpt and options on how to get it.

    Thanks for your support of the Three Rivers conservation effort!


    Juri Peepre

  • August 5, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Ian says


    Great to hear from you. Your river notes were incredibly helpful. In fact, when we returned to Whitehorse we went straight to Mac’s Fireweed Books (which is a terrific bookstore – especially the magazine section) and bought multiple copies of your new book: Wild Rivers of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the area and for all of your conservation and wilderness protection based work over the years.

  • August 18, 2008 at 4:41 pm | Marilyn Terrell says

    Spectacular photos!

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