As we make our way back over the tundra I am startled again by the large number of caribou bones that have been strewn across the landscape. We surmise that during the migration over years these animals may have been killed by bears and wolves and more likely by local Eskimo hunters. I am on the lookout for a lone wolves and Arctic Fox. Their tracks had been left in the sand near our campsite just last night. A while later we saw the tiny carcass, and a handful of white feathers, of a bird that had apparently just been eaten by the sly fox.
It is clear now; however, that our route will be more difficult in reverse. Heavy rain the last two nights had further melted the snow and ice covering the Anaktuvuk River. Our first two crossings of the swiftly flowing Anaktuvuk and its tributaries are slow going. Moss covered boulders a few feet below the surface create an ongoing slipping hazard. I am determined this time not to get dunked again in the icy water so I move with extreme care.