Update: Justin Barbour reaches Smallwood Reservoir

Justin Barbour and his dog Saku have completed the first and toughest leg of their 1,700km canoe expedition across Labrador and northern Quebec.

Barbour left North West River on July 28 to canoe and portage across Canada’s boreal forest to the jawbreakingly named village of Kuuijjuarapik on Hudson Bay.

Now four weeks into the expedition, he has completed about 290km of his journey. This sounds modest, but it included 170km of difficult upstream travel along the Naskaupi and Red Wine Rivers, with numerous portages. Through it all, Barbour averaged a respectable 10km a day. This was the same country that stymied the famous Hubbard expedition of 1903. Hubbard starved to death without ever reaching Lake Michikamau, now part of the Smallwood Reservoir.

Justin Barbour and Saku in camp. Photo Justin Barbour

Barbour made it to the former Lake Michikamau on 22 August. Here, he received his first food drop.

He is now crossing this small inland sea after spending a couple of days pinned in camp by strong winds, driving rain and fog. Once Barbour reaches the far side, he will continue west through a twisty-turny chain of lakes and rivers into Quebec’s Caniapiscau Reservoir. Finally, he paddles the last 750km down the Great Whale River to Hudson Bay. He expects to finish in early November.

Link: The Expedition Begins