In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau
Day 8 – 17.07. – Visit from a porcupine at Reptile Creek
The warm sun chases us out of our tents directly into the arms of an impressive porcupine. The grown adult walks across the camp in front of our eyes as if it has all the time in the world…into a small creek of the river.
Our Gwich’in friends come over with a blunt stick to try to kill it. In their culture porcupines are one of the greatest delicacies. Killing such an animal is considered the best luck, and the hunter needs to make a wish which, according to tradition, always comes true.
The cute animal poses along the river for our media team for an hour and then together we decide to let it go. Thankfully, we let it wander back into the wilderness.
Daniel, who, together with the elder and the youngest members of his people as well as Wilderness International, was on this expedition already 10 years ago, shows us the colorful stones in Reptile Creek. Almost every stone is streaked with minerals such as iron ore, copper, silver and coal. And the mountains to the east are also flecked with these colorful bands of different minerals. The wilderness takes its name from these features: Land of the painted mountains.