The Big Adventure
With only two weeks or so to go I find myself having a permanent smile on my face. I wake up in the morning feeling excited and happy to face the day. Less and less my thoughts are of the preprations and checklists and more and more I am beginning to daydream, picutring myself paddling down the river with nothing but wilderness surrounding me. My stomach has been invaded by a a swarm of butterflies, they’ve taken up permanent home inside me. The anticipation is growing daily; after a year and half of planning soon the big day will be here.
This trip is going to be fantastic. Paddling over 5000 kilometres in 5 months with over 90 portages – that’s the adventure that we are about to embark on. I am ready to face the challenge, I am looking forward to this amazing experience – this is going to be epic. We’ve gone over our gear and have made the last minute purchases and have even received some pretty nice gifts, a couple of Helinox cots given to us by our son. We have wanted those for a long time, they are pretty pricey at $360 each – they will make a world of difference both for ease of set up (no blowing up mattresses every day) and for comfort – though we are early risers, maybe we’ll start sleeping in! We don’t have a set schedule, some days we will feel like paddling longer while other days bad weather will keep us on shore. Having the cots will make lounging that much better, it’ll be a good time to catch up on writing and editing. We know we’ll hit bad weather and when we do, we will relax at camp and take in our surroundings. This is a trip of a lifetime and we want to enjoy every minute of it.
We are very happy that our good friend Wade has agreed to join us on this voyage. We stopped in to see him while in Alberta and it didn’t take much conivincing to have him accompany us on this big adventure. He will bring his big yellow lab Misty along – she and Pompom are old friends. Years ago, Wade and Misty joined us down the Athasbasca for a two week trip – he in a canoe and we in kayaks. That’s one of my most memorable trips – now I am about to begin to make new memories.
I can’t wait to wake up on the beach in the fresh air and cook breakfast over the fire. We have so much delicious food prepared – I really love cooking outside at the campsite. We will be eating lots of fresh fish which will nicely compliment the homemade meals we have. On this trip, eating will be a treat day after day. We have coffee for breakfast and will be drinking lots of filtered water with the occasional ice tea. Our Katadyn water filter is exceptional. I have lots of ingredients to make bannock (including lots of dehydrated berries), we have a large supply of homemade jerky in four varities and we have fruit leathers to munch on when we want sweets. Making bannock will be a first for me, I’ve always wanted to make some, but never have. I’ve looked up a few pleasing recipes on the internet and am looking forward to experimenting in the camp kitchen.
While I cook the men will take down camp and prepare the canoes for the day, after we clean up the dishes, we’ll head for anotber day of exploring. There will be many firsts on this trip. I have always dreamed of having the opportunity to camp all summer long. For me, going home is always the hard part. Being out for five months is something I am really excited about. There will be so many new experiences, this summer is going to the best ever! I am very much looking forward to just being outside for a whole summer – I love being outside. I love being on the water.
I expect we will see lots of wildlife from the stealth of our canoes. The river attracts all kinds of birds and animals to it’s shores. Early morning and in the evening will be the best times to get glimpses, take photographs and shoot video. In the morning, the water is usually calm. As dawn breaks, the forest animals and birds come for a morning drink while some hunt for breakfast.
Once we get going I surely will have many interesting stories to share. I’ll be able to include photos of the trip and will undoubledly have some wild experiences to write about. It won’t be long now, only a ocuple of weeks and the big adventure will begin. From Rocky Mountain House Alberta to Lachine Quebec – crossing four provinces over the summer – experiencing Canada’s amazing wilderness from our canoes, I can’t think of a better way to spend the next five months.