We began the day thinking we would end it having had a shower, some salad, and a beer with a few of the things ticked off of our town list. Instead, we got lots of practice in brainstorming and lateral thinking. Turns out the riverside campground we were expecting has been turned into an awesome skateboard park and splash pad. So, learning this once we arrived in Athabasca, we had to go to Plan B.
For awhile, Plan B was to paddle down to the Route 63 Bridge and try to camp there even though it meant a decent portage in the morning. Then I talked to some jet boaters who thought it might be impossible to take out there (I asked him four different times four different ways and he answer was always the same) so we scrapped Plan B.
Plan C was ferry across the river to a spot that looked like it might be possible to camp but it was directly across from us and if we blew the ferry, we’d be back to Plan B. If that landing didn’t work, we’d be onto Plan D, paddle to Poacher’s Landing 40 km downstream. We’d already nixed Plan D because it was already 3 pm and we didn’t know if there would be cell coverage to adjust our pick up tomorrow.
I’ll save you from Plans E through N and say that Plan O became the winner which was paddle back upstream until we found a place to camp at that we were comfortable with. We hadn’t entertained paddling upstream at all-we had thought about pulling the boat upstream-which we did until the thick mud got too sucky…we’d decided to go with Plan C and wanted to give ourselves a bit more river to do the river wide ferry with, but when the mud was too thick, I suggested paddling up a bit more if we could…we could and we did and we are now camped at the river below the welding shop (with a small green space in between) and are enjoying a rare evening outside the tent/ bug house as a stiff breeze is keeping the bugs at bay.
So, even though the day had a few disappointments, it ended strong with us realizing we are much stronger than we were 17 days and 635 kilometres ago. The highlight of the day was hanging out with 24 pelicans who were hanging out on a log as we drifted by. If you look closely at the pics above, you can hang out with them too!
We’ve called this camp, “Disappointment Welding”, and I’ll take the lesson that working through disappointments welds new connections and thought processes and tomorrow will likely yield the things that today did not.
Temporarily paddling south becomes driving north tomorrow and hopes to be #paddlingNorth again on Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by.