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.
Hi there, TA and Marion. We have been following your Everest journey and now thus yout paddling to the Arctic. We love following your daily posts in particular this trip as we are currently in Fort McMurray visiting our daughter and her family but only here until Monday when we are returning home to Paradise NL. We had hoped to see you paddle into Fort NcMurray and capture your picture fit you but we now understand you will be driving in with a friend who will be taking care of you. If you are setting up camp tomorrow, Sunday, we would love to drop by. If we do not get the chance see you, good luck on your continued flow North … have a blast and be safe
Marie and Neil Elliott
Thanks for your kind words. We are driving up to Fort Mac now and are spending tomorrow restocking for phase three. Would be happy to meet you this evening if you would like. You can email me @ taloeffler @ Gmail. Com. Just remove the spaces: if not, see you in September in Newfoundland.
Glad you are both creative, strong, and thinking things through while keeping your chins up! And how cool is it that you have your own temporary support flock of pelicans! 🙂 You two are having the adventures others can only dream about— I’ll look forward to your next update! Deb
Thanks Deb. We are excited to be back on the water again tomorrow
Aw, too bad you missed out on our favorite part of the river, from Athabasca to our lodge, and a chance to experience the Grand Rapids themselves. They are amazing! Best of luck on the remainder of your journey. You can check out pictures of what you missed, on our FB page ( http://www.facebook.com/athabasca.river ) or our website. P.S. There are also campgrounds above the Alpac Bridge (about 17 miles ds from Athabasca, at Poacher’s Landing (about 35 ds from Athabasca) and at the Calling River, where it flows gently into the Athabasca, and of course: warm cabins, hot showers, and delicious home cooked meals at our lodge. Next time…blessings for the journey… 🙂
Thanks for your thoughts-we may return to the Athabasca River for that section with some paddling friends and will be sure to look you up.