Hard times on the Mackenzie River

Chad Robertson of Belmont and his friend Jason “Travelroo” Rowland of Australia report having hundreds of dollars of dehydrated food, as well as storage bags, stolen from them as they paddled along the Mackenzie River toward Inuvik in the Northwest Territories.

The two men are attempting to journey from Jasper, Alberta, to Inuvik by bicycle and canoe, a trek of 3,000 kilometres.

Chad on Thursday, July 5, emailed the Express about his problems, referring to a post made by Jason on his own Facebook site.

Here’s what Jason wrote from Fort Simpson:

“We’ve had a bit of bad luck come our way overnight. Someone has ‘accidentally’ taken our food. It wasn’t wildlife.

“We’ve put out a word around town for a financial reward, but other than that… Chad and I are thinking what to do overnight. We may need to just buy more food, but at the moment we’ve lost hundreds of dollars worth of dehydrated food, jerky, vegetables, fruits, nuts… you name it, the food that was meant to last us easily another month, someone has taken it overnight.

“What now? Well, even the grocery store here won’t have the dehydrated foods needed. The food is quite expensive. We’re both really bummed out to be honest. A local called Allan really helped us out. He drove me around town, talking to people, trying to brainstorm where our food will be.

“With his help, he said to offer a financial reward and since then some people have wandered off, asking around town… because hey, money talks. We’re hoping something turns up… but… it’s a long shot. Even the large dry bags they were in will need to be replaced. Days like these suck.”

However, the two seemed to have recovered their spirits later that day, with a new post from Jason.

“So, we may have lost all our food, but we’re already past that hurdle. We met locals that came past and even helped us out with a bit of food. It’s only food, I just sort of wish a bear took it.
“We’re stocking up in town then hitting the water again! Our next stop will be Wrigley, but there will be very limited supplies, maybe even no cell reception. Meaning we may get wi-fi again until Tulita (maybe 13 days away).
“We made some sweet dream catchers though at the Visitor Information Centre. Maybe they will help us catch those monster fish out there. I’m confident the fishing and big fishes are just beginning!
“We are in Grizzly country now though, so we’ll be mindful of fish scents and watching our back while fishing. We’re charging on, weather is looking excellent.
“There’s not much more to do in Fort Simpson, we’re relaxed and ready for the next section of the mighty Mackenzie River! See you on the river!”