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Yukon Trail Magic

Yukon Trail Magic

In 2018 we spent almost a month living and travelling in the Yukon Wilderness aiming to recreate Alex Van Bibber's 1943 Canoil Expedition from Mayo to Norman Wells. During our stay in Betty's Cabin away from distractions of modern life with emails, calls and other elements I literally had 2-3 nights where I awoke with poetry and verse flying around my head. With a pencil and my journal this is what i managed to jot down by head torch. There are three poems about the Yukon that i am sharing on my website.

Of course I am not the first to experience such inspiration as the famous Yukon poet Robert Service bears witness to the creative and spiritual nature of this wilderness. During our time in the wilderness we randomly met up with E’speciale Skidoo crew featuring Pete Beatty (who spent 30 years living and trapping in the Yukon Wilderness), Ken, Kent, Mike and Ray. What followed was a 48 hour micro adventure up the line by skidoo to the incredible Woodpecker Point, Pete’s home.

Hopefully we have made friends for life, pioneering people with a beautiful spirit. The Yukon is full of such people…Enjoy.


Heading to the northlands for some Yukon magic 

Matt gets frostbite toes, departs early, tragic 

A change of plan sees us seeking a bolt hole 

Experiencing the wilderness for a month is the new goal


Exploring and skiing with the cabin as a base

We’ve been here 3 weeks without another a human face 

Then out of the bush appear five men 

Startling us greatly in our little den 


Our means of transition is my human toil

There’s skidoos running over snow and soil 

Ken,Ray,Mike , Kent and Pete Beattie 

We’re out numbered so parley for a treaty 


But we really didn’t need to worry 

After beers and chats what’s the hurry 

So it’s agreed then we all should stay 

Eat ,drink and be merry and await the new day 


Better still comes the offer come with us 

Our skis aren’t so quick and there isn’t a bus 

Club e’speciale our name and you can join our crew 

Skidoo tandem it’ll have to do 


Kent’s out front riding on point 

Sloughs on the left, right and some are joint 

Woodpecker Point is a faraway place 

Not on a skidoo boyo, they sure can race 


Worse still it’s snowing and the weather is no good

Snows piling on the windshield and over the hood 

We battle on chasing the light 

Don’t fancy being stuck out all night 


We try a few channels that seem pretty sound 

Til a beaver dam or a log jam means turn around 

And after a few wrong turns and a few major 

He’ll be busted down to corporal I’ll wager 


We arrive at paradise there on the bank 

It’s our host Pete Beattie we’ve got to thank 

Stoves on, fires stoked we’re ready to talk 

Of tales of the old ways and don’t need no chalk


These lessons are timeless and should be in school

The fact that they’re not seems pretty cruel

Hunting and trapping living off the land 

Built these cabins in a month all by hand 


Riding the trails like a king and queen 

You’d be amazed by the things that they’ve seen 

Wolves , lynx and plenty of grizzly bears 

Making a living from the pelt and the hairs 


And ken is a man who knows his stuff 

A library of knowledge, he ain’t so gruff 

Mike is my pilot and a kindly soul 

Like a big brother that’s his role 


Flying over the snow like a young Luke skywalker 

Open her up mike, un-cork her 

We hit a few bumps and get big air 

Bumpy landing , smashed nose and a scare


Rays the steady driver and a curious type 

A travelling Wilbury away from the hype 

Kent is the comic of this most excellent bunch 

Worrying us all with his persistent hunch 



Tomorrow you’ll awake alone and want to scream 

This paradise and good company was all in a dream 

A mirage he offers with a mischievous laugh 

You’ll all be freezing while I’m having a hot bath 


I know he’s Joking when all’s said and done 

Just knowing these guys the worlds full of fun 

Kent’s got a secret agent status called Clint 

Thousand yard stare and hard as flint 


We needn’t have worried, with an awakening feeling 

Of laughter and friendship full to the ceiling 

And hopefully one day a reunion gig 

With the band back together for another fine jig