In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau
On the Elk River
Hey everyone out there,
Our day begins with a pre-breakfast dip in the ice cold, clear Upper Campbell Lake, surrounded by mountains. After the first abundant meal of the day, with the help of Valerie and Savannah (our guides from Strathcona), we begin to pack the huge canoe with which we will paddle to the Elk River. Before we leave we play a game with the paddles and do a team ritual.
On the water we sing and laugh a lot, and Tina tells us how to say “Thank you” in the language of her people. Thanks to God, thanks to nature and thanks from deep in one’s heart. I think about all of the many things I have to be deeply thankful for. But all of a sudden we have to paddle more vigorously because we are now moving against the current of the Elk River. As we pass the mountains with the bald spots, the river is too flat to paddle so we have to haul it for a ways. I am happy that I have my neoprene socks with me, because the river is quite cold.
We bank on a stony beach in the Elk River Delta and carry everything from the boat. Then we have tortilla wraps for lunch and begin to build our final camp a bit further. First the tarp, then the tents and a temporary bucket-toilet.
After dinner, that tastes even more fantastic in the wilderness, we put on our lifejackets, throw ourselves into the river and just float. It’s crazy cold but it feels good to cool off after the hot day. Later we grill marshmallows at the campfire, which we then eat in a Canadian fashion – with crackers and chocolate chips, and calmly let the day end.
It is so unbelievably beautiful here and I have finally arrived. I don’t even dare to close my eyes because there is so much to see here. I breathe the smells and try to soak up everything like a sponge, because there is so much to learn. Later we fall asleep with to the swoosh of the wind and the river.