July 12

Ever since the beginning of the paddle I have been sleeping on the bare earth, with the exception of the time spent with the pastors in Tulita.
My body has been getting used to it, at least to a certain extent, but now, at the Happy Valley camp site I am sleeping on the wooden slats of the platform. Not very comfortable, but at least level. I am very stiff in the mornings, though.
I am hoping that the barge with my car on it has arrived so that I can pick it up on Monday, repair the air mattress and sleep a little more comfortable.

I walked into town and visited the Visitors Bureau. Very nicely laid out like a tiny museum, good information and a fresh cup of tea were very welcome. I was also awarded the "Certificate of the Arctic Circle Chapter Order of Adventurers" for paddling the Mackenzie River.

The gallery of the Great Northern Arts Festival showed an eclectic array of native arts and crafts: paintings, sculptures, embroidery, traditional sewing and tool making with an emphasis on beautiful hand-carved handles on the various types of knife used for skinning, cutting and cooking.

I had the opportunity to speak with one of the carvers who was making a new sculpture out of soap stone. Hayden explained some of the techniques he uses and also told me that he was still learning; he has only been carving for two years. He showed some beautifully imaginative pieces created from a combination of soap stone, wood and moose antler.

In the afternoon, Bob Mumford, my guide from Tsiigehtchic and his combo entertained the visitors with some music.

In the evening was another performance of dance and music, this time from Paulatuk.

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