Thelon River, NU - Max Finkelstein

My name is Max Finkelstein and my Watermark is the Thelon River. Throughout my life I have this weird obsession about rivers. I either want to paddle up them to the source, or down them to the end, and they call me very strongly. I don’t know why that is. My first canoe trip up north was on the Thelon River, and that trip changed the direction of my life. The Thelon River is like going back to the world as it once was, thousands and thousands of years ago. One morning we woke up, and the river was covered in Caribou hair. And we paddled a little bit and we saw where herds had crossed the river, we could see the tracks. They’d swim across the river. So we followed the tracks into the hills, and after a few hours we got to the top of a ridge and we looked down, and there was like 25,000 caribou grazing. And it was just… it’s hard to describe. I felt like everything in my life had brought me to this moment. And we all felt that way. It was somehow an accumulation of life moments.

One friend and I said “Let’s pretend we’re wolves and see how close we can get to the herd.” And we worked ourselves right into the middle of the herd, until when they start to move and we step out from our cover and they just part around you as if we’re a rock in a river. It was just an amazing, unbelievable experience that I’ve yet to repeat.

Thelon River, NU
Ottawa Riverkeeper
Emma Konrad
Max Finkelstein

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